Aug 27, 2013

Cameron Monaghan: Being Not-Gay is a Choice

I've never seen Shameless, the long-running British series (2004-) or its American counterpart (2011-), about the antiheroic Frank Gallagher and his sociopathic brood.  One of his "problems" is a gay son, Ian (played by Gerard Kearns in the U.K. and Cameron Monaghan, left, in the U.S.).

My problem: Ian often has relationships with women (at least in the U.K. version).  In the sixth season, he settles down to a long-term relationship with a woman.  Asked if he's bisexual, he replies "No, I've just found the right person."  Apparently every man, gay or straight, is looking for the Woman of His Dreams.

It's become quite a film convention to present "gay" male characters who prefer relationships with women (other examples can be found in Party Monster, Transamerica, Noah's Arc, Chelsea Boys, and of course Will and Grace).   Instead of stating that the characters are bisexual, producers insist: "No, they're gay.  It's just that, like all men, they find sex and romance with women infinitely superior." A blatant Uncle Tom attempt to demean, diminish, and erase same-sex desire.

Gerard Kearns apparently disliked playing a "gay" character for six years; in an interview, he said that the gay sex scene were "awkward" and "made him squirm."

But Cameron Monaghan doesn't seem to have a problem with it.  He previously played a gay teenager in the short Two Boys (2010).

And in the Disney movie Prom (2011), his gay-vague Corey helps best friend Lucas (Nolan Sotillo) get a date with the Girl of His Dreams, but Lucas realizes that he would rather be with Cory.  They blow off the prom and go to a concert together.

Still, the actor doesn't seem to be very savvy about gay identity, implying in an interview that his character "made the choice" to be gay.

He is so often rumored to be gay that he recently "came out" as not-gay on Twitter: "No, I'm not gay. Yes, I play a gay character. No, the question should not be relevant."  Apparently he is not familiar with the terms "straight" or "heterosexual."