There are times I wish someone wasn't gay because of negative attention they've drawn to themselves. A case in point is Jet Blue flight attendant Steven Slater. On Aug. 9, 2010 he claimed to have had a confrontation with a passenger upon landing at New York's JFK Airport. His ensuing meltdown resulted in Slater grandly exiting on one of the plane's emergency slides. After an initial outpouring of support from the public (and tens of thousands of Facebook followers) the FTC determined Slater had fabricated the story and JetBlue terminated his employment. He was later treated for alcohol abuse.
In no particular order, here are some others, oddly all men, who I wish didn't bat for our team:
- Richard Simmons - With his frizzy, clownlike hair, manic chattering and age inappropriate short shorts, Simmons has been somewhat of a court jester for the straight world for the past 30+ years. The late Liberace also once appeared on stage in red, white & blue sequined hot pants, but his preferred garb was over-the-top fur coats. And then there's Carrot Top. For boys questioning their sexuality in the 1970s and 1980s these entertainers may not have been the most appealing gay role models.
- Perez Hilton - Despite losing weight and losing the various dye jobs he's still a boorish, vindictive scold.
- Andy Cohen - His execrable Housewives reality TV shows on Bravo glorify the worst in human nature.
- Richard Hatch - Although winning the first season of Survivor was a positive, his myriad legal troubles afterwards diminished him. And then there were his embarrassing cameos in the movie Another Gay Movie and its sequel Yet Another Gay Movie.
- Roy Cohn - A truly despicable character. There was some satisfaction in seeing him get his comeuppance in Angels in America.
- Andrew Cunanan - Murderer of Gianni Versace and four others. And although neither Jeffrey Dahmer or John Wayne Gacy murdered anyone famous, they more than made up for it in volume.
- George Michaels - One too many arrests for drunkeness and public lewdness.
- Elton John - The good will he accumulated from years of charitable activities for AIDS causes was largely wiped out when he performed at Rush Limbaugh's fourth wedding in 2010.
- John Galliano - The former head designer for Christian Dior was fired from his post after going on a drunken, anti-Semitic tirade against some bar patrons in Paris in 2011.
- Sam Adams - The luster of his election as the first openly gay mayor of a major U.S. city, Portland, OR, in 2004 was tarnished somewhat when he admitted to an affair with an intern, a relationship he originally lied about because the young man was underage when they first met (he insisted they didn't have sex until he reached the age of consent). Another politician you can add to this list is former New Jersey governor Jim McGreevey. After coming out at a press conference in the summer of 2004, and resigning, all sorts of tabloid-worthy escapades were revealed.
- Finally, any cast member of LOGO's The A-List: New York and The A-List: Dallas.
Happily, the scales are weighted heavily in favor of positive gay role models such as Tim Gunn, Rachel Maddow, Carson Kressley, Ellen DeGeneres, Greg Louganis, Tammy Baldwin and Neil Patrick Harris, to name just a few.