Jessie J: Apparently Gay – The Sun finds some front page news
According to The Sun, Jessie J is “100 per cent” gay. Yes, that woman who sings about “doing it like a dude” might actually be exclusively into girls. Grab me the smelling salts, I’m so shocked I might faint!
In her unauthorised bio, Jessie J: Who’s Laughing Now, author Chloe Govan alleges that Jessie was advised by industry execs to stay in the closet – or better yet, come out as bi.
Govan says: “Certain people thought being bi was trendy, exotic and a fashion statement. It would increase her allure.” OMG, paging the Grazia Hot List – the A/W 2012 is in, and bisexuality is on all the hottest catwalks!
“Being gay would alienate people,” Govan continues. “They knew how important image was and asked her to tone it down a bit.”
That’s right: bisexual? You’re cool. You can munch rug once in a while as long as you hold hands with Tinie Tempah. Gay? People keep away from you like you’re a bad smell.
But besides that odious sentiment about bisexuality being totes on-trend, I’m taking issue with the fact that Govan’s book deserves to be on the front page at all. Outing celebrities is an awful practice that belongs in the last century.
Sure, it would be great if we lived in a world where unicorns shat rainbows and celebrities could be great role models and out from the get-go without any fear of rejection. Sadly, we don’t. But outing people doesn’t add to our sum total of role models.
If Jessie J is actually a lesbian, it’s not like any of us can now shake her hand and say, “You’re such a great role model for young gays, being outed on the front page of The Sun against your will.”
Now if she’s lied about being bi to her fans, we might be right to criticise her. (But we don’t know that for a fact – she’s come back and said that the rumours are boring.) But that’s not what I’m taking away from this expose. All I’m getting from this front page is: “You dirty queer! We knew there was something off, and now we’ve exposed you – HA HA HA!”
Outing people only reinforces the idea that sexuality is something that’s shameful and deserves to be squirreled away with a dirty secret – something that, in turn, deserves to be exposed and dissected by the media.
Look at it this way: Jessie J is a fucking pop star. She isn’t Pastor Ted Haggard, who openly campaigned against gay rights while bingeing on crystal meth with rent boys. She isn’t Republican senator Larry Craig, who tried to ban gay marriage and was caught cottaging in an airport toilet.
If she has lied about her sexuality, she’s not a despicable hypocrite in the same way these guys are – she’s not made a career out of homophobia. All she’s done is tried to be a musician at a time when unfortunately, musicians are seen as public property. And music industry executives know it – that’s why they (may) have tried to repackage her sexuality as something more “palatable” and “non-threatening”.
But ultimately, we don’t get the right to out her just because we occasionally listen to Price Tag on Spotify (IT’S A GOOD SONG, OKAY). Maybe Jessie J was going to come out as “100 per cent gay” later on in her career. Maybe she wasn’t.
Maybe she actually is bi. The only person who knows is Jessie J herself, and she’s the only person who gets to tell us.