Heche gay? I don't feel it

By David Thomson

By Salon Staff
Published August 28, 2000 7:16PM (EDT)

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I have a hint for David Thomson: bisexuality. Or maybe I should say it in his language: like Sharon Stone in "Basic Instinct." I understand his confusion though -- I mean, there are so few bisexual characters in movies, they must not turn up much in real life, either.

-- Amber Baum

What a stupid article! The author used rumors, suppositions and plain old fabrications to malign a woman who -- even though she dated men in the past and may perhaps date men in the future -- has done more to advance queer rights and lesbian visibility than most "real" lesbians, including closeted dyke icons like Jodie Foster and Rosie O'Donnell (who never hold their girlfriends' hands in front of the president). Such is the fate of bisexuals in the gay community. No matter what we do or say or risk for "the cause," we're never gay enough to be accepted.

I don't know Anne Heche either, but here are the things I believe about her: I believe that she truly loved Ellen DeGeneres. I believe she risked her career for that love. I believe she spent three years as a tireless activist for the right of all people to love without apology. And yet people like Thomson still feel compelled to dismiss her because she has on-screen chemistry with her male costars. How pathetic.

-- Amy Carlton

I am appalled by your horribly homophobic and misguided article on Anne Heche, and I am disappointed that Salon would choose to post an article so devoid of cultural intelligence.

Mr. Thomson, why don't you think Anne is gay? Because you find her sexy? Because you -- who admittedly has never met her -- don't "feel" it? Too bad for you. Clearly, her screen presence has had an impact on your fantasy life, but your ruminations about her sexuality and personal identity should begin and end there.

I'm afraid your reasoning is based on the all-too-common generalization that lesbians are a frumpy and confused lot. I beg to ardently differ: There are more than a few beautiful, intelligent, talented and -- yes -- very sexy gay girls out there. Certainly, some of them have been involved with men before they delved into their passions more deeply, but that doesn't give ignoramuses such as you a reason to cast judgment upon them. I commend Anne Heche and her non-Hollywood counterparts for their success and their strength in confronting the biases that you evidenced, and I'm very glad they aren't wasting their energies fantasizing about you.

-- Michele Burns

Salon Staff

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