Let me set the scene, shall I? One of my mother’s friends came for a visit, and she was in our den watching Outlander, one of my favorite TV shows.
Honestly, what happened next is a bit fuzzy because the situation escalated so quickly. For some reason, Mom’s friend said something like “I bet [Sam Heughan] is gay.” Sam Hueghan being the actor who plays Jamie Fraser on Outlander.
I’m not sure when I decided to throw my two cents into the discussion, but I remember trying to explain to them that just because Sam has done theater acting doesn’t automatically mean he’s gay; it’s a stereotype that theater acting = someone is gay.
This did not go over well at all. Mom came in my room and yelled at me “I’M TELLING YOU A FACT!” Translation: Sam Heughan must be gay because all theater actors are gay. It’s just a fact.
Later, when I mentioned that a different theater actor was, in fact, straight, my mother denied the Sam Heughan incident. Something to the effect of “I never said that. I never would.”
Well, she did say that. And I haven’t been able to look at Outlander the same way since. I fully support Sam Heughan, whatever he happens to be, so I don’t know why something that happened months ago still bothers me. I haven’t even been able to listen to the entire Outlander Season 3 soundtrack. Season 3 is the most recent season.
But I do know this: I still can’t fathom why any actor’s orientation would cross someone’s mind when watching TV. The audience is supposed to be engrossed in the story. That night, not so much I guess.