Last week there was yet another fan controversy that I'm glad I missed for the sake of my health because I would have popped a blood vessel. A photomanip appeared of Armitage standing next to Lee Pace from the recent Hobbit fan event and apparently someone was confused because wasn't Pace in London and how could this be? Uh, Photoshop obviously. Whether anyone was honestly confused by it is unclear to me but what was made very clear in discussions I have read is that it was solely the fault of those damned shippers again.
I'm not posing a question about what goes on in the minds of shippers or anyone else. I am saying that if you take more than a thousand words to say something that can be boiled down to five or ten you're bullshitting someone and rest assured it isn't me. You're not offended on anyone's behalf but your own because the thing that animates this discussion every single time it happens is your own fear that it might be true. Before you read anything else reread that last sentence and be absolutely certain what it says because if you lob some nonsense at me that I'm spreading a spurious rumour or gossiping about Armitage I will eat you for breakfast.
I don't give a fuck if he's gay and I don't give a fuck if he's not. This isn't about him ultimately. Most fandom fights aren't about him, they're about us and the ways we jockey for position and butt heads. But boy we need to be careful what we say because the internet is permanent and if he says something tomorrow that flies in the face of what we hope is true then we have egg on our faces, hence the bullshitting and the fencesitting and the crazymaking accusations of who's living in fantasy land or not. We all are, to some extent, insofar as we wonder how we might get along with him were we given the chance to sit down and have a cup of coffee with him. But the idea that he's as uptight as you are is as much a fiction as the idea of him having a kinky streak a mile wide because it's in YOUR head and it's a projection of your thought process. He isn't there at all because, like I said before, this isn't ultimately about him.
Someone who was not Morgan Freeman gets quoted a lot on Facebook and Twitter as saying, "Homophobia is not a phobia. You're not afraid. You are an asshole," and I wholeheartedly believe that to be true. I've held the hands of too many friends damaged by someone else's fear of who they are to believe otherwise. I don't know Richard Armitage anymore than you do but I do know you. Maybe it's time you face yourself.