Thank you anonymous for your well made points. But you know I wouldn't be myself if I didn't challenge one or two things. I do so love a good debate!
First during the filiming of Showboat in 1950 Agnes did not have flaming red tresses.
I have never debated Agnes' preferring the female gender. It is obvious she was far more comfortable with women and gay men than she ever was with straight men. She flirted outrageously with both sexes. What I have debated and will debate vigourisly is that there is no more proof that she was purely lesbian than there is proof that she was purely heterosexual. Everyone seems to be devided into the two camps and insisting that she fit into one or the other. My point is, always has been, that there is more to sexuality than column one or column two. There is a column three and that is bisexual. I don't debate that Jack Lee was a lousy husband and did far more damage than we will ever know. I don't debate that Robert Gist was a prick and basically blackmailed Agnes. Nobody has ever used that word but let's call it what it was, blackmail. Gist made out like a bandit when they divorced and I think the length of the divorce proceedings speaks to the level of information that he had about her and she had about him. I think, my opinion of course, that Agnes fell between lesbian and bisexual actually. Most actresses like Janet Gaynor had beards. They were readily available in Hollywood because there was a market for them. More than likely all the men surrounding these women categorized as "boyfriend" or even "spouse" were most likely gay themselves and simply were constant escorts. What I doubt and will always doubt is that Robert Gist was amoung them. He was a gigolo pure and simple. He sold himself to further his career. The whole genre of "beards" served many purposes and benefitted all who partook. My point with all of my flag waving, neon sign above the obvious, hello does anybody get this but me, writing has been and always will be that Agnes was a sexual enigma. Everything seems obvious but there is so much more to her than what appears on the surface regardless of how you interpret the surface. She was, indeed, mistress of misdirection. I know that because I wrote an entire blog piece about her pretzel like interpretation of reality called Miss Direction. You are right my pieces do lead one to conclude that she had a strong preference for the female sex. What I ask for with her, though, is what I ask for with myself, don't rush to judgement because there is no simple answer. I have straddled the same fence for years. I've had long term, 20 plus years, relationships with women and then I fell in love with a man. I ask for people to be open to the idea that there is no box one way or the other. That people can go through life loving someone "who is this or that, male or female", as Agnes said in the Boze Hadleigh interview. That gender is a suitcase and you can pack one as well as the other. That humans fall on every point along the line of sexuality from straight to gay and back again. That we formulate ideas and think about her sexuality without the urge to cram her into one box or another. That we accept that what made her the idol of millions of women over her career, she was attracted to women and they were attracted to her. Sexuality is fluid in nature as are human beings.
I appreciate the chance for debate. I relish it. I think debate is essential in drawing a clear picture of who or what someone was, is or might be. Continue questioning. Always look to the obvious and then beyond it. As I said before there is no simple answer to any of it but knowing that there are people who look at my work and get the point is gratifying. To all of you who do I applaude your willingness to think outside the box and challenge your own point of view!
- ► 2013 (18)
- ▼ May (5)
- ► 2011 (47)