Luke Evans Is Gay, Straight, and Gay Again — Or Is He

4/20/2017

At 22 years old, actor Luke Evans said he was a gay man in a candid interview with the Advocate. A few years later, Evans was reportedly in a relationship with his female publicist. The public back and forth from men to women, after claiming a gay identity, was confusing for a media used to binary sexual orientations. Yet, Evans’ back and forth with his sexuality could point to his inability to vocalize his bisexuality.

Luke Evans at the Los Angeles premiere of ‘Beauty And The Beast’

“I try to keep my personal life and my private life separate,” Evans said in a recent interview with Jackal Magazine. “Not for any reason other than there’s a clue in the title – it’s private. As an actor you have to keep some sort of enigma and mystery. There’s a dignity to keeping private.”

While Evans claims his personal life is kept private for the safety of his family, it’s also odd when celebrities feel the need to hide their sexuality. Often, celebrities who hide their sexuality fall on the queer spectrum.

Evans’ back and forth from men to women, as well as his desire to keep his sexuality private, mirror the stories of many men in Hollywood. Notably, Tom Hardy mentioned his same-sex experiences, again to an LGBT publication, back in 2008. But in 2015, Hardy pushed back hard against a question about his sexual orientation:

“I’m under no obligation to share anything to do with my family, my children, my sexuality — that’s nobody’s business but my own,” Hardy told a reporter at The Daily Beast calling the question “rude.” Hardy, now married to a woman, says his sexuality is irrelevant and not something that needs to be discussed.

Both Evans and Hardy reflect Hollywood’s current predicament with bi men. The few that do come out as bi run back into the closet when met with biphobia. Others, like Evans, may not have the language yet to describe the fluidity of their sexuality and are resolved to keep quiet about.

As I’ve said before, sexuality should never be a subject that is avoided out of privacy, or worse, shame. Society will only accept sexually queer folk once celebrities like Hardy are forthcoming when asked questions about their orientation. Especially bi men, who have all but been absent from Hollywood or mainstream media, need to come out and be proud as bi.

There are complexities to coming out as a bi man, especially under the scrutiny of a public eye, that fosters this sort of back and forth from gay to straight. Bi men, perhaps more than other sexual orientations, burst binaries in ways that makes people uneasy. For a man to be interested in multiple genders, especially those from either ends of the feminine or masculine spectrum, breaks down the cisheternormative idea of a binary attraction in which masculinity must attract femininity.

The stereotype, which is cissexist, is that bi women are actually straight and bi men are actually gay because of the attraction to men. A patriarchal, and binary, understanding of sexuality says that once you like men you must only like men.

There have been a lot of bi women who have come out in Hollywood in recent years. Of course, the “acceptance” they receive as bi is riddled with overt sexualization of their bisexuality which often leads to violence. Still, bi women have found their voice in Hollywood and have fought back against the biphobic narratives in media.

Bi men must do the same. Evans and Hardy may not be bi or they may very well be bi men in the closet. Still there’s a noticeably absent gap in LGBT Hollywood representation when it comes to bi men and it’s important those that are bisexual and in the public eye fill it.

 

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Related: 5 Reasons Bisexual Celebs Should Use The B Word.

Eliel Cruz
Eliel Cruz is a speaker and writer on religion, (bi)sexuality, media, and culture at Bisexual.org, The Advocate, Mic, and Religion News Service. His work has also been published in the Huffington Post, Everyday Feminism, Washington Post, Soujourners, DETAILS Magazine, Quartz, Rolling Stone, and various other international platforms.