Wednesday, July 19, 2006 at 6:02 AM

Oprah protests ‘I’m not gay! (Too Much, Me Thinks)

Posted by Anthony L. Hall

On Monday, Oprah released excerpts from an interview she and her “best friend” Gayle King did for the August issue of her own O, The Oprah Magazine, for which Gayle is editor-at-large. In the interview, they deny they’re gay – though insist, of course, that “there’s nothing wrong with being gay.”

Oprah begins:

I understand why people think we’re gay….There isn’t a definition in our culture for this kind of bond between women. So I get why people have to label it — how can you be this close without it being sexual?

And, for good measure, Gayle adds:

The truth is, if we were gay, we would tell you.

Alas, the ladies doth protest too much, methinks.

Frankly, unless it’s a shrewd ploy to generate sales for her magazine (August is the slowest month), one has to wonder what motivated Oprah to proclaim her sexuality in this way. After all, she’s been in the business long enough to appreciate that the best way to fuel speculation about her being gay is for her to deny being gay.

But surely Oprah does not need whatever profits she might earn from increased sales of this issue. And, even though she seems to have virtually no secrets left in her closet, surely she must realize that broadcasting “I’m not gay” in this fashion has no journalistic value whatsoever.

Therefore, why Oprah, why? An overzealousness to hide what is plain for all to see…?

Regular readers of this weblog know that I’ve insinuated in previous articles (here, here and elsewhere) that the friendship between Oprah (never married) and Gayle (divorced mother of two) is more than platonic. And now Oprah has admitted as much with her extraordinary assertion that “There isn’t a definition in our culture for this kind of bond” between them.

But I fear she’s beginning to buy into her own cult worship if she thinks her friendship with Gay(le) transcends our culture. After all, I know women who, like Oprah and Gayle, have friendships with other women that have flourished for over 30 years. And I know women who, like Oprah and Gayle, share almost everything that’s going on in their lives.

But, unlike Oprah and Gayle, these women do not provide for each other the way Oprah provides for Gayle. Unlike Oprah and Gayle, they do not have “four-times-a-day phone calls.” And, unlike Oprah and Gayle, they do not routinely dine, socialize, travel on business and take vacations (to Paris and The Bahamas) together – without male companions: a togetherness, incidentally, which makes laughable Gayle’s lamentation that “it’s hard enough to get a date on Saturday night”.

(As for odd-man-out Stedman, I suspect he’s quite happy to exploit the perks and freedom that come with being Oprah’s consort for public consumption without having to perform too many private duties….)

Perhaps Oprah thinks one has to travel to the Isle of Lesbos (apologies to my Greek friends) to find an appropriate definition for her friendship with Gayle. But as long as they bond like other female “friends” have bonded since the days of women’s liberation, then people of this culture have every reason to assert, in the vernacular:

If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck . . . it must be a duck.

NOTE: In a related story, perhaps, the US Congress rejected a proposed constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage yesterday, leaving open the prospect that women will soon be able to seal their bond in legal ceremonies in liberal states all over America.


  1. Em Asomba July 20, 2006 at 3:10 pm

    Hi AH,

    Once again you have just hit the right buttons. Oprah is a bit amazing with her assertions, whether set with an indirect tone “her revelations” are striking a chord about her marketing prowess.


  2. K T Cat July 23, 2006 at 3:02 am

    I always saw Stedman as Oprah’s poodle.

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