Rupert Everett, left.
British actor Rupert Everett says he “can’t think of anything worse” than two gay men bringing up a child together — an opinion that is probably held by vast numbers of people who would not dare to say so in public. But, thanks to the magic shield of celebrity, actors can get away with speech “crimes” that the rest of us would (metaphorically) hang for.
Being gay himself also deflects criticism — Everett came out as a homosexual 20 years ago and has said that this damaged his acting career. His comments on gay parenting were made in an interview with the Sunday Times Magazine last weekend (alas, The Times is only accessible to paid subscribers so we rely on The Telegraph here).
Everett, probably best know for his role as a gay man in the 1997 film My Best Friend’s Wedding, says his mother, Sara, who was also interviewed for the article, “still wishes I had a wife and kids. She thinks children need a father and a mother and I agree with her. I can’t think of anything worse than being brought up by two gay dads.”
The 53-year-old, who has a boyfriend, said — somewhat unnecessarily — that he was not “not speaking on behalf of the gay community.” Then he said something very interesting:
“In fact, I don’t feel like I’m part of any ‘community’. The only community I belong to is humanity and we’ve got too many children on the planet, so it’s good not to have more.”
Leaving aside the comment about “too many children”, his note of scepticism about a “gay community” suggests that the impression given by gay activists (who are, of course, decrying his views) of a large and united constituency of homosexual persons is a political myth. We need to hear from more of these individuals on subjects such as gay marriage and parenting.