There is something to be said about how progressive American popular culture has become during the Obama years. Not only are LGBT rights more acceptable in matters of public policy (repeal of DADT, presidential support for marriage equality, etc.) but in the media -- the mirror of our culture -- there's also seem to be more openness regarding LGBT performers (Frank Ocean, Anderson Cooper) and characters (ABC's Modern Family and NBC's The New Normal).
And nowhere is this trend more evident than in one of the most anticipated, and commented, film adaptations of the year: Fifty Shades of Grey the movie, as adapted from the E.L. James erotic novel that has women going gaga around the world with the story of hunky business tycoon (at day) and BDSM prince (at night) Christian Grey -- and his fetish slave: the young and innocent student Anastasia Steel.
Speculation has mounted all summer long as to who should be cast for the coveted role among a string of talented and good looking actors, popular among the ladies who have read the book and follow the incidences of what we here at PolicyMic call "the Christian Grey sweepstakes."
So far, Drive's Ryan Gosling, The Tudors' Henry Cavill and True Blood's Aleksander Skarsgard have been mentioned as potential favorites to fill the shoes (and hold the whip) of the CEO of Grey Enterprises. Another big favorite, White Collar's Matt Bomer, also places high on the sweepstakes -- not without his share of controversy.
Early on, American Psycho author Bret Easton Ellis, who was declined as a potential screenwriter, said that Bomer (who is openly gay and is married to his longtime male partner) is "too gay to play Christian Grey." Though Easton Ellis' statement was dismissed as the comments of a sore loser, there was an initial fear that the writer's malicious rant could hurt Bomer's chances of being cast as the quintessentially manly Christian Grey -- as it has traditionally been the case with "out" celebrities who end up being typecast in stereotypical gay characters.
But times have changed. Not only are Bomer's female fans more determined than ever to see their idol incarnating "deep blue-eyed" Grey on the big screen, but the star himself was a good sport about the whole brouhaha.
To make a long story short, the fact that Matt Bomer is gay hasn’t changed a bit his legions of female fans' desire that he plays Christian Grey despite of what Easton Ellis may think. He may end up being the best Christian Grey. After all, there's plenty of evidence to support this cause. Neil Patrick Harris, an openly gay actor, plays a womanizer in How I Met Your Mother. Conversely, Eric Stonestreet, who is straight, plays a beloved -- and award winner -- gay father on ABC's Modern Family.