Sometimes You Can’t Help Sounding Like a Frau

Lee Pace and Richard Armitage together at lastPhoto from a fundraising event in NZ in 2012.

This whole Richard Armitage/Lee Pace thing really is a bit comical and disappointing. It’s not the thought of the validity of this relationship being proved or disproved that engenders my response, and it’s not really about these two men. It’s about the larger issue of this maniacal need to assign something sexual to people who are together in seemingly commonplace situations. I’m not strictly thinking of the park bench scenario but of all the scenarios that have somehow been inferred as portending a sexual relationship. Oh, sure there could be a sexual relationship (I’ve never ruled that out), but I’m talking about the “evidence” on which the conclusion it’s sexual has been drawn:

Let me recap:

  • Going to see a movie together
  • Attending a fundraiser with a large group
  • Attending each other’s performances
  • Eating dinner together
  • Eating dinner together with family present (gasp)
  • Wearing each other’s clothes (oh damn, that’s so sexual)
  • Staying in each other’s homes while visiting (don’t grown, middle-aged men know they cannot do this without it being sexual)
  • Visiting each other during the holidays (definitely up to something sexual)
  • Refusing to answer questions about private life (oh shit; trying to hide something sexual)
  • At least one of the parties playing homosexual characters (yep, definitely a sexual relationship going on)

Maybe I’m naive, but can two people of the same sex who are middle-aged and single actually be close friends without someone else assigning a sexual connotation to their relationship?

A few weeks ago a friend of mine was over to visit, and she wanted me to see something on Facebook. She pulled it up, and then we ended up looking at a mutual friend’s photos, and this mutual friend had all sorts of vacation pics with another woman, and my friend said to me later, “I think she’s probably gay.” I asked, “What do you base that on?” The answer was the vacation pictures with the other woman, and that there were no pictures of men. Nothing else. Just the fact that these two women had been on vacation together on three occasions. Oh, and also that they’re both single and middle-aged.

Sadly, I’ve heard people make sweeping statements based on less, and this kind of assessment seems to occur much more often in the last several years. Can’t people of the same sex just be close friends anymore? Probably not since everything seems to be sexualized. That’s sad to me because friendships are so precious, and how frustrating to think that if you’re middle-aged, single and hanging out on a regular basis with someone of the same sex, then there is the specter that it is sexual. What a drain.

And even gay people are tired of the myth (see #3 and #4 and maybe #7) that if they are around people of the same sex it must be sexually motivated.

Then again, maybe it’s good for a laugh. James Franco seemed to give that appearance. Of course he was also promoting a project.

I did say that speculation was a favorite past time, and I still stand by that, but I also like to be reasonable unless, like Franco, I’m unreasonable to get a laugh or make a point.

note: Frau is a term commonly assigned to a certain set of fangirl and often used as an epithet on a particular gay gossip site. Frankly, I’ve found it uproariously funny when I’ve read it.