Guest Blogger

Actor Luke Evans Is Out - Then In

Filed By Guest Blogger | November 05, 2011 5:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Entertainment
Tags: closeted actors, coming out of the closet, in the closet, Luke Evans, movies

Editors' Note: Guest blogger James Mason is an actor and LGBT advocate from Los Angeles. He writes the popular Hollywood Duke column for

Luke-Evans.jpegThe story of Luke Evans, who stars as Aramis in the just-released The Three Musketeers, as Zeus in the upcoming Immortals, and who is now filming The Hobbit, is a perfect example of the oppressive influence that Hollywood has over its actors.

In 2002, as a young theater actor in the UK, Evans talked frankly about the fact that he was gay and stated in an interview that his honesty, at the onset of his career, meant that he wouldn't, one day, have "that skeleton in the closet they can rattle out." In 2004 he went so far as to talk about his gay porn collection. Evans was not only open about his sexuality, but unapologetically so.

Then something changed.

In April 2010, he made his first big foray into film playing the Greek god Apollo in the blockbuster movie Clash of the Titans. He was thrust into the spotlight, and this meant more attention being focused on his personal life. The website did an article in which they linked Evans to a PR executive named Holly Goodchild; "Luke's lovely - we're really old friends and it just sort of happened," she was quoted as saying. She then added: "We are nowhere near engaged but things are really good."

In August 2011, this strange discrepancy was picked up on by, which attempted to contact Evans and/or his team for clarification. During this time, Evans' Wikipedia page was changed from simply saying that he was "openly gay" to saying that he "rarely speaks about his personal life," and that "he has made it clear in the past that press and private life are very separate and should never be mixed."

His publicist later released the statement: "I do not comment on my client's personal lives in the media. As for Luke, he did so once, a long time ago when he was an inexperienced, young actor and now with maturity and hindsight, he has learned not to engage the press in his personal life again."

What makes the publicist's statement particularly disturbing is that it basically says that Luke, and any other actor who has the courage and conviction to come out, are naive and immature. Not only is that incorrect, it is wrong. Evans is clearly a victim of the status quo in this industry that dictates that unless you follow the rules and fit into the box they want to put you in, you have no chance of making it as a leading man.

A friend of mine, who also happens to be friends with Mr. Evans, told me that Luke wishes he could be out, but he has been forced back in the closet by the studio executives who essentially gave him an ultimatum: it's the closet or bust.

In the last few months there have not been any further comments from Evans or his team, nor has any of the mainstream media asked any questions during the publicity tours that Evans has been on for The Three Musketeers and Immortals.

All has been silent, except for a change to his Wikipedia page which now states that Evans "openly identified as gay" in his "early career" but he recently was "romantically linked with a woman." The fact that this duplicity has been able to go on without any real accountability or opposition baffles me.

I have never outed anyone; in fact, I am strongly against the idea of outing. But I do think, as Michael Jensen of put it, that there's "nothing wrong with asking the question," particularly when we're talking about an actor who has already in the past been open about his sexuality but is now backtracking with no explanation.

It's less about Mr. Evans himself than it is the stranglehold that the power players in Hollywood have on their performers. It may be unpopular to discuss, but the truth needs to be told, and the more that happens, and the bigger the dialogue becomes, the sooner this injustice will stop.

(Crossposted at

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Although it definitely sounds like there is some closeting going on (either the actor deciding to closet himself, or his team pressuring him into it), this doesn't mean he's not in a relationship with a woman. Maybe he used to identify as gay and now identifies as bi. It's not uncommon for people to id first as monosexual and later in life as bisexual.
As people get older and accumulate life experiences, sometimes they make different choices around identity language. I've known plenty of people who at one time identified as gay or straight, but later -- maybe after the experience of falling in love with someone of the gender they hadn't typically been attracted to -- started identifying as bisexual instead. Sexuality, and the words we use to describe sexuality, can be fluid for some people.
That said, if this actor did id as gay in the past and now identifies as bi, it would be nice for the sake of his fans, the bi community, and the LGBT community, if he felt comfortable being out about this identity shift. And it would probably be nice for him, too... if he felt that comfortable. It sounds like, unfortunately, he does not.

@ Amy. Male sexuality isn't the same as female sexuality. You should be aware of that and not spread the pseudo-intellectual sexual philosophy that states this. Yes I've read the literature that espouses what you seem to believe. It seems that as soon as gays and lesbians get their foot in the door (to acceptance by the larger culture) we set out to destroy ourselves.
This actor's publicists, and the man himself, are counting on our larger culture's forgetfulness and flightiness. We've all experienced this on a personal level. People who share a secret with us at one point in their lives (a moment of weakness or vulnerability, or maybe at a time of personal empowerment) who later will harshly judge others for the same (perceived) transgression. And deny, to those of us with a good memory, that he or she ever did or said this or that. These publicists, along with the Internet, are conspiring to change these facts on a larger scale. I don't know this actor. None of his movies made enough of an impression on me to remember him. It may be the same for many other people. Those that do remember his history are a minority. So, what they know as truth, can easily be wiped out and they can easily be discredited as 'prancing faggots' who think everyone is gay. See how they use our own subculture to discredit us. By buying into that sexual philosophy you espouse, because it's 'chic', you give ammunition to those who wish to destroy us.
I don't expect to sell you on this. I'm sure others will jump in and attack my views as well and will never back down. Being contrarian to common sense and rationalism is the norm in our subculture. It's 'chic' to self destruct and take us all down with you.

@Sxschulz: I'm sure I'll regret this, but what is the basis for your claim that "male sexuality isn't the same as female sexuality"? I mean, hear you are talking about literature, so I look forward to seeing what you cite. I'm a researcher in this area. - G.

Where did I write anything about comparing "male sexuality" to "female sexuality"? Also, I'm not sure what you mean by "sexual philosophy" -- I didn't write anything about a philosophy of sexuality. (I don't even know what that means.) I wrote about anthropological research on the linguistics of identity. Can you clarify?

Maybe Evans went to an ex-Gay meeting and is now hetro. Homophobes say Gay men can "change." Sxschulz was merely stating an opinion which is his reality: Gay men are different. I agree with him. A male who is Gay is Gay. Perhaps a female who is, isn't. And Ms. Andre, please "clarify" what you mean by "....anthropological research on the linguistics of identity."

It's difficult enough to come out to begin with, without having publicity hounds all around you looking for the latest info. I do agree with what you said, Amy; that it'd be nice for all if Luke Evans was comfortable enough in his own skin to talk about his identity shift openly.

I doubt most of us can imagine the pressure a gay actor is under in the movie industry (and others). Let's hope that he can come to terms with his sexual identity once and for all and that he can settle down with a beautiful young man like himself.

I think it needs to be pointed out that that is a photo of Kellen Lutz, and not Luke Evans.

I was wondering the same thing about the picture. They should realy correct the picture.

Dammit. That's my fault. When I got the photo it said it was Luke Evans and I thought "That's not him, is it?" So I went and got the other photo that IS him. Unfortunately, they had the same name and I STILL uploaded the wrong one. *sighs* That's what I get for being in a hurry to see my friend from out of the country, eh?

Sorry folks. It's corrected.

@ gf70:
Northwestern University (2003, June 13). Study Suggests Difference Between Female And Male Sexuality. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 6, 2011, from /releases/2003/06/030613075252.htm.

As a researcher shouldn't this info already be common knowledge to you? And why didn't you respond to everything else I wrote? Isn't the point of this discussion to improve the lives of gay men. Shouldn't we rid our subculture of destructive and self destructive elements.

As I came of age in the 90s and met other gay men this subject would come up. I'd read Michel Foucault and Kinsey so I knew why people believed that male bisexuality was the ultimate in sexual evolution. I had no interest in women but occasionally met other gay men who claimed they could go either way or even men who had children. They wore it like a badge of honor and would bring it up, unnecessarily, in discussions with me. Based on those numerous experiences I've had over the years of knowing gay men like this I drew my own conclusions about gay men who
claimed to be bisexual. Mostly I've grown to believe that many gay men lack self confidence and want to find something that makes them more appealing. Since men who sleep with women are seen as 'true men', even by our own subculture's standards, they can use this to their own benefit.

Micheal Bailey sleeps with his patients, bribes his research participants, bases his research on bigoted assumptions and dismisses contrary evidence as people in denial. Please don't use any study of his as the basis of thought. If a study of his hasn't been debunked, its probably just a matter of time. This 2003 is study he did on male and female bisexuality was thoroughly debunked earlier this year.

Just found the study. Thanks. Praise Jesus. Hallelujah. The world is now a better place.

I think we should just start assuming that this sad little Luke Evans is an ex-gay, since he is now romantically involved with a woman. I'm sure he will be more embarrassed and ashamed if folks think of him as ex-gay. With gay kids still committing suicide, he sends a horrible message advocating going back in the closet. Somehow, he now looks less good looking to me.
And to Amy Andre, it really is unlikely that this actor is now bi. Women are much more fluid than men, in terms of sexual orientation. In my observations, a man identifying for years as gay, and then becoming bi, is rare if not non-existent, unless this is driven by religion or gay self-hatred. I don't think this is true of women.

Of course, there are many women as hard wired as men, whether they are gay, straight, or bi. Strictly in terms of desire, there are far more women who go from gay to bi or straight, or straight to bi or gay... than men going from gay, to bi or straight.

I always think that if I had the looks and talent to make it as a celebrity I'd insist on being out no matter what. But I'm not facing the scenario that Luke is. The studio could've easily passed him over for a straight actor or a gay actor willing to play the game. In the latter case we'd just be discussing someone else who suddenly "switched teams".

Ideally personal integrity would win out over fame and fortune, but the impact of taking a stand would be minimal, considering the number of actors that'd be willing to take his place.

If gay men feel threatened by one actor's sex life there is something wrong here. As for this article, it is making a lot of assumptions, some of which may be wrong. People have the right to represent themselves in public the way they choose, and a pack of rabid and slightly paranoid gays biting at a male star's heels is not a pretty picture.

The biggest factor in progress for gay rights over the years has been people being out of the closet. It's hard to hate your son, your daughter, or even your favorite talk show host. Rosie, Ellen, Elton, CNN's Don Lemon, MSNBC's Thomas Roberts - these people do not have to be out. But they are because they know that just for the fact that they are open about their sexual orientation (NOT their 'sex life'!), they are helping young people throughout the world, and bending the arc of history towards justice.

And a pack of rabidly homophobic, image conscious publicists and producers shoving a gay, possibly bi, actor into the closet is even more frightening. How do you know Evans wishes to present himself this way? Because judging from the evidence at hand, the days of lavender marriages are apparently not over.