Is Richard Simmons a gay man? Is he out or not? Is he just a different kind of heterosexual man, one with a huge flamboyant streak?
Richard Simmons is a diet-and-exercise-hawking, flab fighter guru. In his autobiography, Still Hungry After All These Years, Simmons candidly discusses his battle with bulimia, anorexia, childhood traumas, ill health, and semi-poverty.
He doesn’t discuss being gay or coming out, either to himself, a family member, his god if he has one, his counselors — no one. Coming out doesn’t come up. That is unrealistic if he is a gay man.
Richard Simmons always portrays himself as what is insultingly called a “flamer”. The character he plays invites comedians like David Letterman and others to mock him for his effeminate ways while he plays the clueless buffoon.
Is Richard Simmons ever seen or heard from helping with the liberation movement that allows him to keep working safely, making millions of dollars, despite his caricature portrayal of a stereotypically effeminate gay man?
Is he a luxuriously fortunate heterosexual man in the gay version of black-face, making money by standing on piles of murdered M2Fs?
Or is he a gay man allowing himself to remain still too frightened and feeling threatened to come out?
Either way, Richard Simmons is ignoring his obligations to his fellow living human beings who are, or are thought to be, gender-variant, as he has portrayed himself to be, for a profit.
Richard Simmon’s face and presence and exuberance and happiness are missing from the mind and equality expanding marches and demonstrations where his peers are putting their lives and bodies on the line for him.
It really does make a difference whether he is gay or het.
Either he is a het man whose career is based on subjecting an effeminate gay character to comedic ridicule in order to sell diet products and services, while the people of the U.S.A. and the world ridicule, beat, torture, cut, hang and burn real people they think are like that.
Or he is a gender-variant gay man himself, subjecting an effeminate gay character to comedic ridicule in order to sell diet products and services, while the people of the U.S.A. and the world ridicule, beat, torture, cut, hang and burn real people they think are like that.
He owes the effeminate gay men who came before him for parts of his life and career, and he owes those who will come after him whatever bravery and presence he can come up with, to show them that it is possible to be out and successful.