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Tara's Take: Hoax Cover Raises Real Questions

By: Tara Wheeler
By: Tara Wheeler

Recently a fake "leaked" People Magazine cover has been circulating claiming "Twilight" actor Taylor Lautner is gay. Here's Hollywood's response criticizing the focus on the actor's sexuality.... and, of course, my take.

A fake "leaked" People Magazine cover was circulated on the Internet over the holidays. It featured a picture of "Twilight" actor Taylor Lautner, with text saying "Tired of rumors, the Twilight star opens up about his decision to finally come out."  Twitter and other social media sites were all abuzz with confusion, criticism, and support after seeing the cover.

Celebrities like Def Jam's co-founder Russell Simmons tweeting their congratulations to the "Twilight" actor before realizing the hoax.  Then, responding with criticism after a rep from "People" magazine said the cover was "absolutely fake".

"Disappointed that people would joke about someone coming out about their sexuality. Let Taylor Lautner be whoever he wants to be," Simmons said in a later tweet Monday. The creators of the photoshopped cover are unknown.

It's not the first time Lautner has been harrassed about his sexuality. Though the 19 year old has been linked to starlets like Taylor Swift, he is still asked to squash rumors that he's gay. In a "GQ Australia" article this fall, the actor was asked if he was hit on while at dinner with director Gus Van Sant and screenwriter Dustin Lance Black, both openly gay. Black fired back in response to the tactless question on his blog:

"... Really Mr. GQ writer? I’m curious, will you be asking all of the handsome actors I’ve ever had the privilege of working with or meeting if I made passes at them as well? I’d love to be there when you ask Sean Penn that same question. Or, Mr. GQ writer, were you projecting your own unprofessional desires onto me and Gus? Perhaps? Or worse still, are you a homophobe? Above and beyond this clear attack on my character, I’m shocked that GQ would allow their writer to lean on the scurrilous, outdated stereotype that gay men are by nature sexual predators. I mean, would you have asked this same question if it were Diablo Cody and Kathryn Bigelow at dinner with Mr. Lautner? Leaning on lies, myths and stereotypes about gay people is hateful, harmful and outdated. It’s not the 1950s anymore GQ, it’s 2011 and it’s time to grow up."

The magazine has since apologized on their facebook page saying "The point we were actually trying to push was that Taylor is irresistible to virtually everyone – regardless of sexuality or gender.”

Finally my take: Who cares?! (Aside from teenage girls who have a crush on him).

Gay or straight, I say it's time we focus on personality instead of sexuality. Unless you've been hiding under a log, you've seen the news of the bullycides happening around the country where children are taking their own lives after being relentlessly bullied, many times over their sexuality. I hope we can encourage people to celebrate others for their character, talents, and contributions to the world instead of bullying, harassing and making fun. That's my take. What's yours?

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