Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Did Homophobia Kill Michael Jackson?

Of the many things that contributed to Michael Jackson's death (fame, drugs, exhaustion, money, debt, etc.) one has not been getting any media attention, in fact it is not even being discussed--homophobia.

It is a not-so-secret secret that Michael Jackson was gay. It is an unspoken fact that probably only his parents continue to deny. In his book "Unmasked: The Final years of Michael Jackson" Ian Halperin argues that Jackson was the victim of greed, and handlers that pushed him to perform 50 concerts in London to help keep him out of bankruptcy. But he also spills the beans about Jackson's secret gay relationships:

"It is clear to me that Michael was homosexual and that his taste was for young men, albeit not as young as Jordan Chandler or Gavin Arvizo.

In the course of my investigations, I spoke to two of his gay lovers, one a Hollywood waiter, the other an aspiring actor. The waiter had remained friends, perhaps more, with the singer until his death last week. He had served Jackson at a restaurant, Jackson made his interest plain and the two slept together the following night. According to the waiter, Jackson fell in love.

The actor, who has been given solid but uninspiring film parts, saw Jackson in the middle of 2007. He told me they had spent nearly every night together during their affair – an easy claim to make, you might think. But this lover produced corroboration in the form of photographs of the two of them together, and a witness.

Other witnesses speak of strings of young men visiting his house at all hours, even in the period of his decline. Some stayed overnight.

When Jackson lived in Las Vegas, one of his closest aides told how he would sneak off to a ‘grungy, rat-infested’ motel – often dressed as a woman to disguise his identity – to meet a male construction worker he had fallen in love with.

Jackson was acquitted in the Arvizo case, dramatically so, but the effect on his mental state was ruinous. Sources close to him suggest he was close to complete nervous breakdown."

See Ian Halperin, "I"m better Off Dead. I'm Done": Michael Jackson's Fateful Prediction Just A Week Before His Death"

It may be too simplistic to say that homophobia alone killed Michael Jackson, but let me lay out a theory. Jackson lived a life in the closet. From a young age, he was victimized by racism and a father who beat him. He grew up black in a racist, anti-gay society, and gay in a homophobic black culture. He did not love or accept himself as gay or black. As he tried to change his physical appearance through damaging plastic surgery, he tried to cover up his true sexual identity by playing straight. He had to keep his true self secret, from his family and fans. He could not be himself. He found substitutes for a loving gay relationship with fans, female friends, and children (I don't think he was a pederast though). He could NOT be himself.

All of this would drive anybody off the deep end. Add on the pressures of fame, fortune, stardom, and his growing financial problems, and we can see the results...

What IF Michael Jackson had been allowed, or allowed himself, to be an out gay superstar, who could have a healthy loving relationship with another man? Would he still be alive?

See also:
CNN, Jackson Rabbi-friend: Michael was a "Tortured Soul"


against ignorance said...

Thanks, Jim. Very thoughtful.

WhiteDwarfStar said...

So you think his relationship with Lisa Marie Presley was a lie? Not according to her. Perhaps Jackson was bisexual?

Myron said...

Thank you Jim for your thoughts. I do not know what to say about Jackson's sexuality. No label could fit him my opinion. He definately loved children and everyone in general.

Anonymous said...

I could not agree with you more. If these assertions are true (and I suspect they are)it is no wonder that addiction and seclusion became his only friends.

a girl said...

MJ was not gay. If someone doesn't state that they are gay, you have no call or right to allude to that. Ian Halperin is not the most reliable source for anything. He is one of the tabloid people who constantly made up stories about MJ's health. He came up with about 50 different diseases MJ supposedly had. And the Jackson camp was constantly having to provide proof Halperin was an idiot. Halperin just wants to paint MJ as he wants to paint him and cash in, as Halperin has always wanted to do.

I'm not sure Halperin has even MET Michael Jackson. He's just another leech like Diane Dimond and Gloria Allred trying to paint MJ the way they think he is or should be.

Let's look at the evidence: MJ admitted to crushes on Tatum O'Neal, Brooke Shields, Diana Ross, Liz Taylor, and Lisa Marie who he loved.

He was married a second time, though I don't believe the second marriage was in any way sexual. I think he was just trying to be perceived as normal.

He wrote many songs about WOMEN. MJ is one of the few artists who I felt truly sang from his heart. If he liked men instead of women he either would have written about men or he would have just sang more generic love songs with no gender mentioned (like many gay musical artists have done), or sung about just the environment and world issues and things like Thriller. There were plenty of things he could have written and sung about that wouldn't be specifically about an attraction to women.

Off stage MJ was shy and soft spoken. That is not the equivalent of gay. (Not that there is anything wrong with being gay, but saying someone is gay when they aren't gay isn't okay.) I've seen the footage of the private elopement where MJ and Lisa Marie got married. It's pretty obvious to me that he was in love with Lisa Marie.

Now he "could" have been somewhat bisexual. I won't argue that one. If he was somewhat bisexual his religious upbringing would have caused him to lean toward heterosexuality. But it still would have been an honest expression of his sexuality.

I think the most likely reality is that he was somewhat asexual. Because in many ways he never grew up, he never had a childhood and he got stuck developmentally. He seemed to get stuck RIGHT at the point of puberty where sexuality starts to really develop. His onstage raw sexual energy to me is an evidence of this struggle. I'm not sure he could fully deal with his sexuality in a fully adult way outside of the stage.

I think his relationship with Lisa Marie was likely sexual but probably a more playful sexuality than most of us are used to seeing.

I do agree with you though that homophobia played a role in his death. The fear of homosexuality led to people to assume MJ was gay and whisper about it. Homophobia further leads to the stereotype that gay men are pedophiles (which isn't true.) The background belief in MJ's homosexuality coupled with homophobia led to the molestation allegations.

The stress and sadness which ultimately led to his death.

Anonymous said...

"What IF Michael Jackson had been...an out gay superstar, who could have a healthy loving relationship with another man? Would he still be alive?"

Hard to say. I doubt that he would have ever achieved superstar status being out. He was not of a generation where that could've even been possible. I'm not sure that it's even possible today--there's not a young, gay entertainer today, that's even close to being on the same career-path of success. Hollywood doesn't even have a leading man who's come out and still gets good work (Rupert Everett). Ironically, there's still a long way to go in a field where you rely on selling an image or fantasy as part of making your money.

Anonymous said...

Very interesting.

I´m a Michael fan but unlike other fans I don´t jump on saying he´s not gay because NO ONE can tell for sure. I found ridiculous fans saying he wasn´t gay like they know him and his life.

Their argument is the straight porn found in his house, but I have gay friends and they see straight porn, also. According to them, men in straight magazines are most macho like lol.

As for his marriage with Lisa, of course she said it wasn ´t fake...I believe there were feelings for her part, but Michael didn´t even said publicly he loved her, he just refered to her as "sweet". Oh and a man who leaves his own wife alone for whole six weeks can´t love her so much...he didn´t even fight for her when she filled for divorce.

It says a lot and can explain Lisa being bitter in her interviews about Michael.

Some people said they were happy in the photos, but celebrities smile all the time and the first instinct is smile for the camera.
Michael´s smile isn´t different for other moments in his life.

Brittney said...

Whoever wrote this is a crazy (probably gay ) bitch all gays want to pull the most famous people into their "closet" of sins Michael Jackson was not gay he said so himself.

Laura said...

@ a girl:

Of course Halperin isn´t a reliable source as every journalist. But isn´t Lisa Marie or others, either. Lisa was his wife so what you expected her to say? Even if Michael was gay-and I can´t care less-she never would admit such a thing. And it does of her a not so reliable source. Besides she´s a compulsive liar. She told so many versions of her story with Michael, lol.

Joe Jackson is a disgusting homophobic. Michael couldn´t come out even he wanted.
Straight porn can be read by gay men too, specially closeted ones. Straight porn has a lot of male pics alone.

So little one...nobody knows what the truth is. Just because you can´t handle the idea it doesn´t mean he wasn´t gay. It´s two different things.


You may not believe Michael was gay but you could have had at least some respect for the gay community.

Michael Jackson fans are disgustingly homophobic. They really deserved Ricky Martin´s fans fall to reality. They were sooooo but sooo sure as well...THEY DESERVED IT!!