We’ve all heard the studies that say homophobes are secretly attracted to members of their own sex – and in these seven cases, that’s wishful thinking (depending on what floats your boat, obviously.)
Here, we count down the world’s most inadvertently homoerotic homophobes, because, well… why not?
(And a quick disclaimer: there are different ways to deal with bullies. One is to laugh at them, because humor is a form of defense.)
He’s got a name like a gay porn star and looks like seven gay subcultures at once – but Tyson’s furious at gay people.
In November, the heavyweight boxer, who stands tall at a strapping 6ft 8in but can’t spell for toffee, told the Mail on Sunday: ‘There are only three things that need to be accomplished before the devil comes home: one of them is homosexuality being legal in countries, one of them is abortion and the other one’s pedophilia. Who would have thought in the 50s and 60s that those first two would be legalized?’
But a recent encounter with a gay guy called Paul Cole in a Lancashire pub hints at hidden complexity. ‘He said he wasn’t homophobic and suddenly rubbed my beard and kissed me on both cheeks,’ Paul said. ‘I’ve changed my mind about him. He’s a big, friendly giant.’ Can you rub our beards next, Ty?
He’s got the distinguished older man thing going on, as we saw in 2014’s Still Alice and 2013’s Blue Jasmine – but there was nothing gentlemanly about Alec Baldwin allegedly calling a paparazzi photographer a ‘cock sucking little faggot’ and a reporter a ‘toxic little queen’ in 2013. He’s since passionately denied anti-gay accusations, but it was a case of too little, too late for some people. And he is an actor, after all. (He did make out with Russell Brand in 2013’s Rock of Ages, if it’s any consolation.)
If you’re into bankrupt has-been rappers with weird eyebrows, Fiddy’s your man. His recent XXL cover, where he’s seen cuddling up to a topless Soulja Boy, is a homoerotic fantasy come true.
The Magic Stick rapper famously told Playboy in 2004: ‘I ain’t into faggots. I don’t like gay people around me, because I’m not comfortable with what their thoughts are.’ However, he’s since denied he’s homophobic, and got on like a house on fire with Graham Norton during a recent appearance on his chat show.
Not convinced? Well, his ex, Vivica A Fox isn’t even convinced he’s entirely straight. When asked by Andy Cohen about his anti-gay comments last year, she said: ‘You know the pot called the kettle black is all I’m saying.‘ There might be hope yet, guys.
An oldie but a goodie: we’ve been having guilty thoughts about Marshall Mathers III for almost two decades (give or take the nasally voice).
The interesting thing about Eminem, from this writer’s perspective, is the way his homophobia seems ‘for show’. He insists he’s gay-friendly in interviews, then, on tracks like 2013’s Rap God, writes throwback lyrics like: ‘I’ll still be able to break a motherfuckin’ table over the back of a couple faggots and crack it in half.’ We’re sure there are more than a few gays who’d love to crack you in half over a table, Emsie.
Some would argue lusting after this guy is all sorts of wrong, for all sorts of reasons. But what if we can’t help it? We’re even willing to overlook the fact he dresses like a four-year-old. Almost.
And if he’s to be believed, he’s seen the error of his ways where the alleged anti-gay slurs of yesteryear are concerned. After raising eyebrows for reportedly cancelling an appearance at a gay pride parade, he said on Instagram: ‘Y’all gotta stop with this bullshit. I was never booked. Y’all love to say I’m homophobic and shit to have something to be mad at. […] Some of my friends have came out to me and I love them just the same.’ The jury’s out on this one.
The big daddy of homophobes. The kind of guy who once uttered the (infamous) words ‘One can feel calm and at ease – just leave kids alone, please’. Yes, the Russian President makes us nauseous with desire. Or something. In the very least, with his penchant for scantily-clad publicity photos doing manly things – horseback riding, fishing, brooding – this 63-year-old is a bodily inspiration to all guys approaching retirement.
Pastor James David Manning