I have so many mixed feelings about the John Travolta gay sex allegations it is difficult for me to write about this. As any regular reader of this blogs already knows, I am a straight spouse. A straight spouse is someone who married a gay partner. In my case I was unaware of my spouse’s true sexual orientation when I married him. For most straight spouses, the discovery of the true nature of their partner’s sexuality is devastating.
Accusations of John Travolta’s sexual orientation have dogged the actor for years. Is he or isn’t he gay? He has been married to actress Kelly Preston since 1991. Publicly they have always maintained that their marriage was completely traditional. So why do these rumors persist? Is it mere speculation? Does he have a homosexual past? Is he living a secret homosexual life now? Is he an easy target because of the roles that he has played?
John Travolta is far from the only high-profile actor or personality that has dealt with these types of accusations, others have included Tom Cruise, Ryan Seacrest, George Clooney, Kelly Clarkson, Alicia Keys and even Oprah Winfrey. In the case of Travolta most of the allegations have been from men seeking monetary gain from sharing their experiences. Although not all of them have sought money, as one man simply went to the press with his story. Then there is the long-time girlfriend of the now deceased actor Jeff Conaway, Vikki Lizzi. She has come out with a tale of Travolta sexually assaulting her partner while he was sleeping. It is difficult to ascertain her reasoning for revealing this accusation now, as her deceased partner cannot corroborate the story. But at the same time what does she have to gain from telling it? Was she paid for her story? Or does she feel it is simply the time to be upfront and set the record straight (or set the record gay, pardon the pun) now that multiple accusers have surfaced.
Ultimately someone’s sexual orientation is their own business. Travolta should be free to love and have sex with whomever he wants and not need to broadcast it to the world. Yet, if he is hiding his true nature and living in the closet, he is setting a horrible example for young gay men and women. By using a straight spouse as cover he is sending the message
To survive you must hide and take others down with you.
If he is using his wife as a sort of a prop and she doesn’t know it, she has my deepest sympathies. Although if she entered this marriage with the full knowledge that her husband was gay or bisexual and his occasional sexual affairs were part of the bargain then none of this is our business. It is not as if John Travolta is condemning the lives of homosexuals or working to suppress their rights. Unlike the hypocrite Ted Haggard who was condemning gays from the pulpit only to later come out as a gay man himself. But Travolta’s religion of Scientology, has had a somewhat uneven history on the subject of homosexuality. The church officially states it is one of tolerance toward homosexuals, but the original teachings of L.Ron Hubbard read as very homophobic.
If Travolta is gay, and he feels the need to hide is sexual orientation in order to have a successful acting career than it is a tragedy, for his family and for himself. The closet is a suffocating vice, which forces the person living inside of it to constantly lie. They must lie to their loved ones, lie to themselves and lie to most of their partners. If he is gay, I would suspect that some of his homosexual partners might be coming out now out due to resentment towards him. As a closet case he gets to have his cake and eat it to, live the life of a heterosexual free of societal stigma, harassment, bullying and discrimination while secretly living as a homosexual. Yet if he is gay and living a lie, he is only encouraging more men and women to do the same. As a straight spouse this cuts me to the bone. Most of us don’t know the truth until we have invested years sometimes decades into a marriage, and we don’t have multimillion dollar estates to soften the blow.
With changing attitudes about homosexuality and the greater acceptance of homosexuals no one should have to live like this. Other openly gay actors like Zachary Quinto, Rupert Everett, Ian McKellen, Neil Patrick Harris, Ellen DeGeneres, Portia de Rossi, Jane Lynch and Alan Cummings haven’t hurt their careers by coming out. After all an actor is just filling a role. We all know that Travolta is not the same man who was a hitman for hire as he was in “Pulp Fiction”, nor is he Edna Turnblad from “Hairspray”. Plenty of women were swooning when Zachary Quinto portrayed Spock in the last “Star Trek” movie even though we suspected or knew he was gay. I was completely in LOVE with Spock, not the actor, but the character created for the movie. Travolta’s sex life is his own personal business, but if he is living a lie I wish he would come clean. If more gay men were open and proud about who they are and who they love in this world we would have much less suffering, and no straight spouses. And as a straight spouse, I would never want anyone else to go through what I have gone through. Living your life as one half of someone else’s lie is a torture I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy.