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The Tongva Times

The Tongva Times

The Tongva Times

Stewart told to hide sexuality in public

    Ivy Kwok

    Staff Writer

       “I have fully been told, ‘If [you] do yourself a favour, and don’t go out holding your girlfriend’s hand in public, you might get a Marvel movie,” actress Kristen Stewart stated in an interview with Harper’s Bazaar Magazine on Sept. 4. 

       Stewart, who prefers not to label her sexuality, says that she is more comfortable with discussing the topic now than she was in the past. Actresses like Stewart have become open about their identity but many in the entertainment industry are still asked to hide their identity to maintain a specific image.

       The actress gained fame at a young age for her role as Bella Swan in the Twilight Saga. Since then, she has starred in a multitude of films and has started the production of her own movie that covers the topic of self-expression.      

       Similarly, Ellen Page, who starred in films such as X-Men series and Inception, had also been advised to conceal her sexuality. 

       “I was distinctly told, by people in the industry, when I started to become known: People cannot know you’re gay and I was pressuredーforced, in many casesーto always wear dresses and heels for events and photoshoots,” she recalled, “as if lesbians don’t wear dresses and heels.”

       Though, withholding one’s sexuality is not a new practice. In the 1930s, William Haines, often considered to be the first openly gay actor, was told by his company to either separate with his male partner or give up his career. Choosing the former, he left the film industry and created a successful business with his partner instead. 

       Today, there are many prominent actors who identify as LGBTQ and have obtained recognition in the industry such as Ellen DeGeneres, Jodie Foster, and Neil Patrick Harris. However, not everyone is willing to come out, especially young, inexperienced actors who have yet to make a name for themselves. 

       “It’s not that advisable to be honest. It’s not easy,” says Rupert Everett, a known gay actor, “I would not advise any actor necessarily, if he was really thinking of his career to come out.”

       Revealing one’s identity may also affect what roles actors receive and, consequently, their career. A UCLA study found that 53% of its LGBT participants believed that directors and producers are biased against LGBT performers.  

       Actor Matt Damon believes I think you’re a better actor the less people know about you period…Whether you’re straight or gay, people shouldn’t know anything about your sexuality because that’s one of the mysteries that you should be able to play.”

      Whether or not one’s romantic preferences has an influence on their work, celebrities like Stewart are unafraid of discussing the pressures Hollywood actors face regarding their sexuality. 

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    Stewart told to hide sexuality in public