Journalist Louis Virtel has no doubt that anyone who saw his recent appearance as a contestant on TV’s Jeopardy! figured out pretty quickly he is gay.
‘If you watch the show, I’m slamming around on the buzzer with a wrist flicked up to heaven. I’m coltish in my feminine movements. I gush about meeting Jane Fonda, my favorite movie star of all time, during my contestant interview,’ he writes in a column for HitFix.
And there’s more.
‘I snapped my fingers at the camera during my introduction; I snapped again with full "In Living Color" gusto after I responded correctly on a Daily Double. Before the closing credits, I posed like Linda Evangelista with a ladylike arm in the air. It all felt fantastic and organic, a reflection of my obsession with the show.’
He has a sensational game and was in position to knock out the defending champion heading into Final Jeopardy!
But Virtel missed the final question and finished in third place.
But that is not his biggest regret.
‘I hate, hate, hate that I didn’t just say "I’m gay" on air,’ he writes.
Virtel can think of only one Jeopardy! contestant who explicitly mentioned his gayness on air. That occurred in the season 28 premiere when contestant Glenn Edwards talked about singing with the New York City Gay Men’s Chorus during his chat with host Alex Trebek.
‘As much as I represented my gayness, I didn’t say the word,’ Virtel writes. ‘As a kid growing up in the suburbs who venerated everything about Jeopardy! I would’ve loved seeing an expressive gay contestant own his homosexuality as well as the buzzer. ‘