Speculation was rife that Ron Reagan Jr. just had to be gay. After all, he was a willowy dancer with the Joffrey Ballet who grew up among his parents' Hollywood friends, many who were gay. So, eyebrows were raised among the chattering classes when the 22-year-old son of the newly elected president was married in New York City on Nov. 24, 1980. He wed Doria Palmieri, whom he had met at a dance studio she managed in Los Angeles. She was six years older than Ron.
After his father left office Ron's liberal political leanings became known and he even addressed the 2004 Democratic Convention. (He also makes occasional appearances on MSNBC.) In that same year he was interviewed by the Advocate and addressed the gay rumors head on. Unlike some other figures in the public eye I've never heard reports of any sightings of him in clubs or walking hand-in-hand with another man at a gay resort. The rumors and hubbub have long since dried up. Meanwhile Reagan and wife Doria are still married, they have a daughter and live in Seattle.
Similar speculation surrounded New York Mets catcher Mike Piazza who felt compelled to call a news conference in the spring of 2002 to deny he was gay. And in 2014 Green Bay Packers quarterback also called a press conference to squelch rumors that he and his male personal assistant, who lived with Rodgers, were a couple.
Then there was the case of married couple Richard Gere and Cindy Crawford, who took out a full page ad in the Times of London in 1994 to deny rumors that they were splitting up (which they did six months later) and that both were gay. Curiously, the fact that President Obama's former chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, studied ballet and attended Sarah Lawrence College (after turning down a scholarship to the Joffrey Ballet - the same dance company Reagan performed with) didn't cause speculation about his sexuality. A sign perhaps that metrosexuals had become fully integrated into society - and that Reagan was ahead of his time.