Kate Winslet knows a lot of gay actors who are terrified of being outed

Kate Winslet to be honored with Tribute Actor Award at Toronto International Film Festival 2020 **FILE PHOTOS**

It really wasn’t that long ago when “juicy gossip stories” regularly revolved around speculating about an actor’s sexuality, or openly discussing whether they would eventually come out of the closet. I still think about that with some celebrities too, even though we’re in a totally different age of LGBTQ+ acceptance, inclusion and education. It’s truly no one’s business if someone stays completely in the closet, or if a public figure stays in a glass closet, or if someone is out and doesn’t want to talk about it. I genuinely feel like we’ve gotten to the point in American/western culture where no one should be outed, but being out and proud LGBTQ+ is massively accepted in society. Enter Kate Winslet, and what is effectively a blind item about which of Kate’s friends are secretly gay.

Kate Winslet is opening up about a stigma in Hollywood that can create obstacles for gay actors. In a recent interview with The Sunday Times, the Academy Award winner said she knows ‘at least four’ closeted actors who fear for their career if they come out.

“I cannot tell you the number of young actors I know — some well known, some starting out — who are terrified their sexuality will be revealed and that it will stand in the way of their being cast in straight roles,” she said. “Now that’s f***ed up. I’m telling you. A well-known actor has just got an American agent and the agent said, ‘I understand you are bisexual. I wouldn’t publicise that.’ I can think of at least four actors absolutely hiding their sexuality. It’s painful. Because they fear being found out. And that’s what they say. ‘I don’t want to be found out.’”

Winslet also noted that the stigma applies to “men more than anything.”

“It’s bad news,” she added, “Hollywood has to drop that dated crap of, ‘Can he play straight because, apparently, he’s gay?’ That should be almost illegal. You would not believe how widespread it is. And it can’t just be distilled to the question about gay actors playing gay parts. Because actors, in some cases, are choosing not to come out for personal reasons. And it’s nobody’s business. Perhaps privacy. Perhaps conditioning and shame.”

“We could have had a conversation about how I feel about playing a lesbian and possibly taking that role from somebody,” Winslet said. “But I’m done with not being honest about what my real opinions are, and I know the part was never offered to anybody else. In taking this part I had an opportunity to bring an LGBTQ story into living rooms.”

As for what’s necessary to bring about change, Winslet said, it will take “more people to speak the way I am. I don’t intend to browbeat or take on Hollywood. We’re just talking about young actors who might be considering joining this profession, and finding a way to make it more open. For there to be less judgment, discrimination and homophobia.”

[From People]

“We could have had a conversation about how I feel about playing a lesbian and possibly taking that role from somebody.” Ah, that’s why she’s talking about this. She’s played a lesbian in Ammonnite and she hasn’t shut up about it for months. Someone must have said something about how it’s actually not cool that a straight actress is playing a historical maybe-lesbian, and that’s why she’s overcompensating. I get it now. As for closeted actors still, to this day, being told that they can’t come out or shouldn’t come out… yeah, I believe it. As much as LGBTQ+ acceptance and inclusion has become mainstream, Hollywood is still Hollywood. There are too many powerful, white, straight men telling LGBTQ kids that they can’t do this or that, that it will be “bad for their image” or it will limit what parts they’re offered. Not everyone can be Matt Bomer and Neil Patrick Harris, although I’m sure both Bomer and NPH haven’t been considered for roles just because they’re gay/out.

I really do feel like Winslet was halfway giving us a blind item too, which is not cool! We’re not supposed to idly speculate about which actors she knows who are stuck in the closet. Especially because one of them is Leo DiCaprio, right?!?! No, I’m joking! I am looking through her IMDB page to check out her costars though.

Kate Winslet to be honored with Tribute Actor Award at Toronto International Film Festival 2020 **FILE PHOTOS**

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Backgrid.

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28 Responses to “Kate Winslet knows a lot of gay actors who are terrified of being outed”

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  1. Liz version 700 says:

    There are many gay actors in Hollywood who are terrified of being outed…. so I am just going to talk about it and guarantee people speculate about it ….

    • jbyrdku says:

      This. What was the point of saying all of that and causing rampant speculation in the lives of the people she’s worked with? She could’ve kept that to herself.

    • Sequinedheart says:

      Yes this is the most click baity comment. 🙄

    • Nanny to the Rescue says:

      I wanted to say the same thing.
      I believe it’s true, but she’s not helping.

    • Nicole says:

      Exactly. They’re TERRIFIED of being outed. And now they realize that something they told her in confidence is up for discussion? She’s basically threatening her friends but she’s so self absorbed that she thinks it’s okay. Gross.

  2. lanne says:

    Shit move on her part. All she did is put the spotlight on some probably terrified actors. This is peak Entitled White Woman Mess. This doesn’t affect her. She can play straight or gay roles, and her career will not be compromised. Now, many in-the-closet actors who don’t have her power, her success, her contacts, her acclaim, and her wealth could be inadvertently outed and their careers upended. She is NOT HELPING. This is NOT ALLYSHIP. She has just sicced a witch hunt on god knows how many people, and she gets to prance away unscathed. Thanks for nothing, Kate. Really, you shouldn’t have. You SHOULDNT HAVE.

    • girl_ninja says:

      I don’t understand what she thinks she’s doing here. Why even say any of this?

      Seems really douche to me.

      • Princess Peach says:

        She is honestly the worst and has been for a long time. Whenever she has something to shill she just says whatever she thinks will get her the most press. Like she worked with Woody Allen for wonder wheel and when she didn’t get an award from that tried the next award season to reinvent herself as some crusading feminist. When there was outcry about pay disparities in Hollywood she said it was unseemly to talk about money but literally gave an interview discussing her incontinence a month later. Also this is such a crappy thing for her to do to hint at people being in the closet, which btw isn’t her business, when her go to move to get clicks is to talk about Leo and their friendship/old titanic stories. Of course everyone is going to speculate about him.

        She’s a very talented actress but is so self-obsessed it is beginning to overshadow her talent.

    • humanhedgehog says:

      Honestly homosexuality being more accepted makes life easier for those who for personal or family reasons remain closeted. “Oh why wouldnt they come out if they were gay?! its fiiiine!!” might well be what is keeping some people safe. Nobody stays closeted just because.

  3. Veronica S. says:

    As a bisexual woman in a semi-conservative (purple) state, I feel like the opposite is true, to be blunt – I’ve gotten more discreet about my sexuality in recent years. I don’t hide it, but I don’t bluntly announce it, either. The Trump years were a vicious reminder of how quickly social attitudes regress, and that fascist movement is alive and well in Congress right now. The older I get, the uglier hiding part of myself feels, but I believe in an abundance of caution in uncertain times.

    I respect Lil Nas X for being loud and proud and defiant about his experience as a gay man growing up in Christian culture, but one only has to look at the backlash he’s dealing with to see how much LGBT+ acceptance is reliant on you being quiet about it and refusing to challenge the norm. He’s taking it with good humor, but I’m betting it’s taking a hell of a psychological toll on him to be at the center of that storm. I can absolutely understand why PR agents are telling their people not to out themselves. That’s as much to protect them as anything else. I get why she’s bringing light to the issue, but I do wonder how they feel about it.

    • HufflepuffLizLemon says:

      This. I’m a straight passing bisexual woman and I keep it very quiet these days-even though I used to be pretty open. I also hope my son is straight-not because I GAF, but because his life will be so much easier if he is. *sigh*

    • Case says:

      Same for me. The Trump years amplified people’s hatred and even the pandemic has shown me just how selfish and cruel people are. I’m bisexual and while my sexuality isn’t a secret, I don’t broadcast it either.

  4. Elizabeth says:

    Yeah I think Kate should have probably NOT taken a lesbian role and maybe promoted a lesbian / queer / bisexual actress for it. I’m sure she meant well and the historical person may or may not have been gay but the movie went all out in portraying her as gay. I also am tired of lesbians / queer women being portrayed as in the past, unattractive, unsuccessful, and rather miserable. So I didn’t like that movie anyway.

    • Lex says:

      I don’t know how I feel about gay actors/actresses only playing gay roles. Just like what Kate says here, a lot of actors are closeted, so then they wouldn’t be able to portray them? What about bi? Sexuality is so fluid, I think it’d be a disservice to only cast gays for gay characters and straights for straight roles. This isn’t like a race or trans casting issue.

      • Joni says:

        The flip side to only gay actors playing gay roles is gay actors not allowed to play straight roles, which obviously isn’t the goal. Logically it would also mean that everyone would be required to disclose their sexual orientation in casting (which is an illegal requirement), and be exactly accurate about it – no fluidity allowed, neither present nor future!

        Obviously there is a more complicated issue here. Just as with BIPOC and transgender people, gay people are often underprivileged and underrepresented, and less likely to succeed.

        As Billy Porter has told in interviews, for a long time he couldn’t get roles because he was perceived as too gay or too feminine. Even after all the awards and recognition he has gotten, I think he’s still typecasted as gay or queer or genderfluid. Which means he’s still casted as his publicly perceived persona, in spite of his immense talent. I presume he’s not offered any other types of roles, yet I’m pretty sure he could play any role, gay or straight.

        As Lex says, I feel like the obvious solution of casting BIPOC in BIPOC roles and transgender people in transgender roles doesn’t work with casting gay roles.

        I don’t know what the answer is, but for me it’s not casting only gay people in gay roles.

  5. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    This is why I can’t stand most celebrities.

  6. Case says:

    I feel like this was a jerk move on her part, because now people are speculating what costars might be gay. And they might not even be costars — they might be friends or acquaintances — but now she’s put extra pressure on those people. Going as far as to say one of them just got an American agent, etc., is revealing too much. I feel bad particularly for Saoirse Ronan, who I think has been long suspected part of the LGBTQ community but in the closet, at least professionally. If I were one of the people she’s talking about I’d be like “dude, wtf?”

    But anyway, I do think a lot of celebrities — some very well known — are still in the closet for image and opportunity reasons. And I’m sure higher ups encourage them to keep it that way. I guess that’s part of her point — yes, gay actors should have the opportunity to play gay roles, but it’s a bit of a conundrum if they’re not out yet want to play a role they feel connected to.

    • b says:

      Why would you put this actress’s name out there all the while taking Kate Winslet to task for what she said? It’s a dick move on her part but she didn’t name names. Now you, Case, have done just that, more of a dick move than what Kate said.

  7. Amy Bee says:

    I don’t know what the aim of her talking about this and to a UK paper which is deep in the culture wars. Perhaps she’s trying buy protection from the British press but I just think it was unnecessary and not her place.

  8. Veronika says:

    She just keeps getting more & more annoying.

  9. Yonati says:

    *Everybody runs to Google to find out which actors just got an American agent

  10. Stan says:

    I find this so interesting because I am a huge fan of Francis Lee’s first movie “God’s Own Country.” It is truly one of the most beautiful yet sparse films I have ever seen. Francis Lee is the writer and director of “GOC” and “Ammonite.” He is openly gay and quite vocal about being gay not just in the fi!m industry but also in rural England (where he lives). I have thought many times how he made these 2 gorgeous films and chose both times to have straight actors portray the lead gay actors. (He said he knew Josh O’Connor was the one for GOC because of his hands.) I think this is a topic I would like Francis Lee to discuss rather than Kate Winslet.

    I may be part of the problem, though, because when I saw they had just cast the lead in the new Matthew Venn detective series, I googled to see if they had hired a gay man to play a gay man. Turns out Ben Aldridge considers himself to be part of the LGBT+ community, so I don’t know if he is gay. And I guess since he has said it in such terms, he’s telling me it’s really none of my business. I need that reality check to get out of my cisnormative bubble.

  11. Lunasf17 says:

    Kind of a weird comment to make. As others have mentioned people are so sexually fluid and I feel like it’s kind of weird to demand to know who someone has had sex with before you give them a role. What other job would demand that kind of history from you and be legal?

  12. Izzy says:

    If she knows they’re scared of being outed, why doesn’t she just keep her mouth shut?

  13. Alyse says:

    Kate may have a history of saying problematic things but don’t feel she’s wrong here. She’s discussing a big problem in the acting world, she no doubt has lots of friends which aren’t public friendships so I don’t think she is outing anyone or bringing attention to anyone? Other than Leo D, I have no idea who Kate is friends with!

  14. Kat says:

    JFC, how thirsty can you get? Not to mention the amount of stress and strain she’s just put the people she’s mouthing off about under. The more KW says, the less I like her — and it wasn’t much to begin with.

  15. FF says:

    She’s been desperate for relevance and a paycheck since her Woody Allen defending blew up in her face.

    She’s just as problematic as ScarJo, so it baffles me how she isn’t called out as much – she’s pretty cringe, especially nowadays.

    She has a need to self-publicise and doesn’t care who she “oops, accidentally” throws under a bus. None of this was necessary.