Should sexuality be a private matter?

Hardy has answered questions regarding sexuality before but had no patience for it this time around. Credit: Gabbo T

Hardy has answered questions regarding sexuality before but had no patience for it this time around.
Credit: Gabbo T

IN A RECENT interview, actor Tom Hardy was asked about his sexuality. In his new film Legend he plays the Kray twins, one of whom was bisexual. The actor responded by quickly shutting down the journalist and moved on to someone else. However, this action led to a discussion in the press and online on whether Hardy was right to do so, and whether or not he should have answered the question. He is playing a bisexual character, and the journalist wanted to know if Hardy’s sexual orientation reflected this. Since the interview, Hardy has clarified why he shut down the question while speaking with The Guardian online.

“I found it very humiliating for somebody to decide that, on his dime and his time, to openly and inelegantly pursue a line of questioning which I could only sense … was zeroing in on a reaction from me that would become a topic of discussion that had nothing to do really, really to do with what was there.”

Others have said that sexuality should not be private and he was wrong to be so dismissive, especially as he has discussed such matters in the past. I think this is a rubbish idea, as we all have the right to privacy in our lives, although I know there are those who believe that people in the public eye should not have privacy, or that sexuality is not an issue that is private.

Now, just because you chose to purse a career that’s made you famous, does not mean I need to know what you get up to in the sack. Some people choose to discuss sex and sexuality, and it is their right to do so. If some person takes comfort because of it, and it does good in the wider community by bringing to light much needed coverage for gay rights, all the more good. However, if someone does not want to talk about it we should respect that and move on.

The idea that sexuality should not be private, I am afraid, is not going to work in this current climate. The day anyone can be who they are without fear of repercussions is a day I look forward to, but we unfortunately do live in a world where it can cause problems for people, which really pisses me off. Tom Hardy may have chosen to not answer the question because he did not want revelations of his sexuality affecting his work prospects, as has been suggested. Alternatively, maybe he just found the question inappropriate for the occasion it was asked, or maybe he just thinks it is no-one’s business but his own.

At the end of the day, we need to improve the world and its attitudes towards sexuality. We need to continue the conversation until it does not matter what you sexual preference is, and until then let us leave it up to folks to decide when they discuss their sexuality.