I don't care for achievers and celebrities who are ashamed of their sexual orientation and hence in the closet. Many gay men speculate about the famous, especially about actors, even getting a vicarious pleasure out of such gossip. One has heard so many names of people from Bollywood supposedly queer that sometimes one wonders if there are any heterosexual men in the film industry at all (comparatively far fewer names have been taken in the case of women; I guess, because lesbians are even more closeted than gay men).
There has been speculation about Shah Rukh Khan's sexuality for years now, and as I mentioned in my post of 19 September 2003 at my earlier blog site , India Today even quizzed Shah Rukh whether he's queer. Shah Rukh never gives a 'straight' answer to such questions and his choice of friends, roles and words and more words only fuels more speculation.
But, at least here in Mumbai, there's practically no gossip about the sexual affairs of politicians.
Yes, one has heard the occasional generalized remark about the Sangh's bachelors (so were the protests over the movie, "Girlfriend", internalized homophobia?)
The only time I heard some queer juice about powerful politicians was on a foreign junket with some journos a year ago. It came from the mouth of the editor of a language newspaper, apparently leaked to her by an intelligence source: she alleged that a young man from the services was specially flown down from Delhi to be with the Mantriji when the latter was recuperating from surgery in Mumbai. Further, Mantriji was supposed to be having an affair with a junior protege.
It was a surprise though to read two recent posts (here and here) on the same blog about some famous Delhi politicians. But then the blogger is a full-time journalist from Delhi (apparently he has moved to Mumbai recently) so he would have more access to gossip on politicians. The blogger's remarks indicate his own discomfort with homosexuality (why does he keep proclaiming his own heterosexuality?) or else he is being plain cussed.
We may gossip endlessly about famous people, but what good does it do to us, as individuals, or to the queer cause? In fact, as long as these folk themselves don't state their orientation in the media, no matter how out they are in their own society/industry/politics, they remain bad role models. Most of them are not only closeted but also married. When I first came out to my parents, outing celebs to them only seemed to work against me. Very selfishly, mom and dad would argue that if so-and-so can be gay and married, then you should get married as well.
There may come a time though when some closeted queer people, especially politicians, may actually hurt the queer cause actively, by their statements or actions. In fact the time may already be now. I would be more than happy to out the RSS chief if there was the evidence to prove that he's gay. And even happy to an extent if the following were outed: Karan Johar (it takes more to redeem oneself for a 'Kal Ho Naa Ho' than promoting 'My Brother Nikhil'), Niranjan Iyengar (who is credited with the dialogues for KHNH) and Apurva Asrani (for co-directing 'Out of Control'). Someone should plan a sting, what do you say?