Ceterum censeo

I suppose little about the last two days has surprised me, but the thing that has been (a) least surprising and (b) most depressing is that the first inclination of so many of us is to beat up on other fans for their reactions — no matter how any of us feel about anything, there’s definitely someone there to criticize us for admitting it.

At this point, I’m not going to congratulate a total stranger on a decision like this, even if he is my crush — he lived his life, suffered what he suffered, made his own decisions given the options he felt he had. A fan has no role in supporting a crush through all of that. He’s not my friend and I don’t know the details. Our cheers or boos are very distant from his experiences. I’m not legitimately proud of him in this sphere, because I’ve done nothing to facilitate or restrict his decisions.

The people I can support, though, are fellow fans, and by saying “I hear you,” whatever it is they are thinking. Rejoice with those who are rejoicing, weep with those who are weeping. Protect the rights of people to feel as they feel. And believe me, what we are all thinking, no matter what it is that we think, is way more complex than anything about the spite of the people who are criticizing us for thinking it.

~ by Servetus on January 8, 2020.

48 Responses to “Ceterum censeo”

  1. Well said. I’m just happy he’s happy.

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    • Me, too. It would be okay if that weren’t your first reaction, though.

      It’s funny because I wrote a post for this occasion many years ago, not long after I started the blog, after chewing the question over in my mind for a long time. I don’t feel any different now than I felt then, but even saying what I had to say now seem superfluous — in a good way, i.e., on the whole, the parts of the fandom I experience are not caught up in this question the way we were almost ten years ago.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Brilliantly said. Thank you

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I am kinda new to this and don’t usually take part in online fandom but I have followed Richard for years and I always thought I really wanted to just know the truth of whether or not he was gay, just to stop wondering about it. Now I find myself wishing he had never told us. Not that he really did tell us – since his wording is vague at best – but rather than stop speculation it seems to have fueled even more, and more conflict alongside that. Personally, I find myself disappointed – of course my own personal fantasy of him prefers him to be straight – but that doesn’t stop me from still being a fan. I guess another one of my questions is…why state something so vaguely if he finally wanted to come out? why not just say outright that he is gay rather than skirting around it? Why not just answer the family question with a yes or no…maybe one of the reasons my interest in Richard has persisted is because he simply confuses me and I suppose he will continue to do so.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Thanks for the comment and welcome. It’s totally legitimate to not want to know. And I agree, there’s something about him that’s hard to grasp that does make him fascinating (assuming one is a person of great patience). I don’t know why he put it the way he did, though.

      Liked by 5 people

    • My feelings are the same as those you expressed so we’ll.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. I have the feeling I missed something (? or rather: didn’t read an interview.) Could you point me in the direction, please?

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    • https://meandrichard.wordpress.com/2020/01/06/richard-armitage-interviewed-in-the-telegraph/

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      • Thank you! Now I get it. ^^

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        • We got so accustomed over the years to speaking elliptically on his particular topic that I have kind of gotten used to doing it that way.

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          • sniggers I’m happy to read that he says he is in a relationship although I got a weird pang of not really jealousy but something I can’t quite put into proper words. It’s so odd, really. I don’t know him, he doesn’t know I exist, so…

            Liked by 2 people

            • This is exactly the dynamic I wanted to be talking about in this post — the sort of combination of “good for him, but I feel sad for me” that I think a fair number of people experienced. As you say, it’s not about realistic options, it’s about something else.

              Liked by 4 people

              • Yes! It’s so weird. I’m not like that usually. Odd. It’s the Armitage Effect. 😉

                Liked by 1 person

                • Like you couldn’t say what you were attracted to, and so now you can’t exactly describe what the issue is. I hear you.

                  Liked by 2 people

                  • You definitely find the words better than me. It feels like some strange “in between”. I still love his work, his looks, his voice but somehow it shifted. Just slightly. I think in due time it will get back to the normal fangirlish feelings from before. Gosh, if only I wasn’t so awfully curious who the lucky partner might be (but that’s a different matter ahem). Under the bottom line: I’m happy for him despite being in this weird in-between space.

                    Liked by 2 people

                    • I think this is our best guess

                      https://www.gettyimages.fi/detail/news-photo/richard-armitage-and-jim-gibb-attend-the-13th-annual-golden-news-photo/1182567749?adppopup=true

                      he has a really non-descript name but he may be a creative director / advertising person for a large brand management company.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • I remember having seen the picture before and noticing how close they sit together whilst looking very comfortable that way but put it down as “actors and their non existant concept of personal space”. Tehe.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • I think, in the absence of other evidence, that’s a reasonable interpretation. I’d add “with two glasses of wine in them.” There’s a picture of Armitage with Bryan Fuller at the Saturn Awards where they have a similar proximity, for instance.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • I think I also stumbled over one with – I think, I’m not entirely sure – Aiden Turner in which they also stand very close together. Alas… that’s just me being too nosy for my own good. ^^

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                    • There was also that moment at the Berlin Hobbit 2 premiere with Luke Evans. And a lot of posed pictures where he’s got his spare hand basically on a woman’s rib cage or hip. I agree. It’s an actor thing or maybe a Richard Armitage thing to stand really close to people. (Closer than I find comfortable, personally.)

                      Speaking from the viewpoint of evidence — both can be true (Richard Armitage has an issue with personal space and he is together with this fellow) but they are not both necessary conclusions. I admit that I am getting really allergic to the kind of thinking that says “because they stand together in photo or because they clicked like on something they must be romantically involved.” Yes, it can be true, and it may be true in this case, but it’s not always true.

                      Liked by 2 people

                    • It’s just all speculation and no proof, I’m aware of it. It helps a little over the initial “shock” but at the end of the day… it doesn’t really matter. It’s his life. I have mine and if I look at it realistically… we would have NEVER crossed paths as much as I like the idea. But I fully understand why some people react very strongly at such news. Sad when they lash out.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • I wish I knew how to explain the lashing out.

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                    • Maybe because when people have a crush on someone and devote time and a lot of thoughts to that crush, they feel closer to the object of their admiration than they actually are. So when the crush enters a relationship it feels like betrayal (to phrase it dramatically) and as if that crush took something from them.
                      But I’m no expert.

                      Liked by 3 people

                    • I agree it must have something to do with damage to the ego.

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  5. I totally agree with you. Well said.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Once again, I am obviously not hanging out in the spaces where people are in conflict about this. We all have our own reactions and feelings to work through for our own reasons. We are unlikely to all feel the same, given our different life experiences and mindsets. Richard has to make whatever decisions make sense to him at any particular time.

    It is possible, though, that he may be looking at social media to see what fan reactions may be, to try to predict the possible impact on his career. The problem with that, though, is that people don’t necessarily tell the truth in that setting, wanting to seem supportive. Only time will tell if the revelations (even vague as they are) have an impact on his popularity.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Interesting question: are people who are being supportive going to maintain their crushes? Complicated by the problem that the average celeb crush doesn’t last all that long anyway.

      And to be fair: there are certain fans who seem extremely invested in trolling other fans any way, so they may be creating ill feeling on purpose because they enjoy doing that.

      Liked by 3 people

  7. I don’t usually participate in online forums too, but I’m so glad that someone says what I thought when I read the article. Thanks Jen.
    Why doesn’t he say clearly that he’s gay, then the children’s question would be resolved. His answer also suggests that his girlfriend cannot have children. I also find it strange that his mother’s death caused him to talk about it. Would she have had a problem with that?
    I hope that I will get back to “in due time it will get back to the normal fangirlish feelings from before.” Somehow I hope everything is fake. But since he only spoke about the heading. And yes, the question of who your partner is is somehow exciting. I have a lot more questions … (sorry for my english)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Welcome! Maybe he doesn’t think of himself as gay — but so many gay couples have kids today that I don’t think the matter is really resolved by that answer. (In 2014, when asked the same question by Tanya Gold, he essentially said something along the lines of “doesn’t everyone want to pass things on?” — deflection.) Or maybe he is bi (although the definition of what that even means is contested) and so the descriptor would be inaccurate. I agree that he said this in a kind of convoluted way. I choose to think that he wanted to be honest, but it does read a bit like he’s being questioned in a court room.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Thank you for your thoughts on Richard. It’s all so true. I enjoy all your posts and I hope your Dad is doing well. Thank you again….

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Beautifully said.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Very well said. It’s great that you have created a space where people can be honest about their feelings. We all have biases and whilst I genuinely don’t care if RA is gay or straight* my crush would die instantly if I found out his partner was very young. When Bradley Cooper dated a 19 year old I went right off him and I’ve never been able to crush on him since.

    although I think it might have bothered me more a few years ago than it does now.

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  11. I was surprised because I always thought he would give the big reveal when he turned 50. Don’t know why, maybe because he might see himself as too old to be sexy (wrong) or macho or whatever. I hope he will be taking his shirt off on screen for a few more years. BS wasn’t that long ago and he looked great IMO.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Thank you so much for this post. Well said. But it´s sad that it seems necessary to say this. Should go without saying to be able to tolerate different reactions/feelings/opinions. I don´t get why people feel the need to criticise or claim their reaction is the only appropriate one. After all no two persons in this world will have the exact same thoughts and feelings about anything.
    I have to admit that I didn´t see any offending reactions myself and I can only suppose those things might happen on Twitter or other social media. But I decided quite early to stop reading comments regarding this article for a reason.

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  13. Thank you for writing this. This has been on my mind since the article came out and I had to back away from any more articles/comments just to give space to my own reaction and not overwhelm myself. I remember when my friend, a crush since my early teens was getting married, I told myself “13yo me is sad, but present me is happy.” I feel like this is a similar situation, that the part that’s sad is bound to memories particular to first watching him to the Hobbit. I’ve also come to terms that feelings aren’t one or the other anyway, and I’ll just role with it until it dissipates. Now though, it feels like I’m free or bound from instantly liking all his projects, and perhaps be better at choosing which ones I like best and not just watch them bc I get to see him. Out of all his projects, it’s Castlevania that I’m looking forward to.

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    • There’s a level on which good memories of the past pull us through difficult points in real life relationships, and I think there must be something like that in celebrity crushes (otherwise people wouldn’t stick it out as long as they did). How you felt about the Hobbit will always be there, even while you’re sorting out what is going on now.

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  14. Apparently, like Sue, I don’t hang out in very controversial spaces. 🙂 I had expected to see more backlash and bickering than I actually saw. But yes, well said: everyone’s personal reaction to the news (such as it is) is valid.

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    • It’s confining itself to a few places and none of them are a surprise. (And to be fair, what I’ve written above is no revelation coming from me. Hence the title.) This is just a particular bugbear for me and something i turn over in my head — can I be a fan the way I prefer to be, without associating myself with fans of Armitage generally? Over the last decade (almost) the fandom has been harder on my feelings at many times than Armitage has.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. It’s funny. It doesn’t really matter if he’s straight or gay. Or bi. But when I found out Rupert Everet was gay (surprise surprise) I found myself looking at his work differently. I think in the Ideal Husband a naked girl comes out of his bed. And I’m thinking. Yeah right. Is that weird?

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    • I think it does matter to some spectators.

      I know that there are actors whom I can’t detach from other things I associate with them — and who I really think just play themselves over and over again. (Tom Hanks would be a good example of this. I don’t dislike him, he’s just always the same guy.) There are other actors who I don’t think do that.

      In any case, how you feel is how you feel and as long as it’s sincere (i.e., not trolling — there have been trolls in this discussion but I don’t think most people who are expressing regret are in that group), I don’t think it’s weird.

      And, having been thinking about this again this afternoon after seeing someone explode imo unnecessarily, I’ll put this down here — I also think that people who have reactions I can’t abide deserve some compassion. For people who really thought that he was straight, and really are upset by homosexuality (either on religious or aesthetic grounds): they must be feeling a lot of anguish right now. (I actually think there’s a lot of trolling that goes on in that realm, but that’s a separate question).

      Liked by 2 people

  16. Well said, Serv! I’m a little late to the party (I just saw the article last night). I can’t say I’m surprised at the way he worded his response…giving information without really saying it. lol His sexual orientation was a topic for discussion way back when, and reading this article hasn’t changed my stance: it doesn’t matter as long as he is happy. He says he’s in a good relationship and that is good enough for me. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

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