Magazine article The Spectator

Straight Talking

Magazine article The Spectator

Straight Talking

Article excerpt

I wasn't aware of the news this week that Robbie Williams's sexuality has been the subject of speculation, as one newspaper put it, throughout his pop career. Mr Williams's former manager, Kevin Kinsella, now claims that his one-time charge is definitely gay. He said, 'I think he is totally gay . . . but controlled by parameters which say that you can't come out and say you are gay because it will affect your career and sales, and people may not love you.' Mr Williams himself has declined to comment.

Most of Mr Williams's fans are women, so I presume that he means that girls would be put off buying his records. Personally, I find this idea nonsense. As a member of the female sex, I think I speak for many girls when I say that I am put off by men who don't declare their sexuality as opposed to those who do. Indeed I decidedly unlove them.

When a gay man fails to make clear he is gay, it constitutes a type of sexual abuse against women. It simply isn't fair. Where does it leave us - hanging in the air? There are an increasing number of gay men who give gays a bad name in this manner. What I mean is that they ask women out on dates and never tell them that their proclivities preclude any kind of romantic activity. In other words, that they find these women as sexy as a dead halibut.

This can lead only to anxiety, disappointment and eventual blind rage. I know women who have wasted months going out with good-looking men, wondering why they never made a pass. They begin to question their attractiveness and eventually conclude that all males regard them as sisters.

There ought to be a law against it. If a gay man asks a woman on what falls into the category of a date - that is, a meal à deux after eight o'clock at night - then he should immediately declare himself. I realise that for many gays this is difficult - perhaps they are afraid of their parents finding out, let alone the public - but it is something that has to be done. A failure to be frank simply whips up anti-gayism among the girls.

I speak from experience, alas. A good many years ago I met a charming, handsome young man who kept on asking me out. After roughly six dinners nothing had happened. At first I suspected he was just terribly well brought up or cripplingly shy. …

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