Sir Stirling Moss: I once had respect for you

So Sir Stirling Moss has gay friends, and there’s nothing wrong with being gay, yet he thinks its okay to use anti-gay slurs and wouldn’t want an openly gay man to play him in a movie.

As a racing fan I have a lot of respect for Stirling Moss, he drove Formula One when the sport was insanely dangerous and open. As a man whose written for two gay newspapers now I just want to raise my middle finger, or give him the two-finger salute because he’s British, and tell him several choice insults

Stirling Moss with his arms around three women, an act the long retired driver says a gay man couldn’t portray accurately if a bio-pic were ever made about him. www.stirlingmoss.com

At a recent appearance he was asked that if a movie was made about his life, like “Rush” the upcoming Ron Howard bio-pic about Niki Lauda. Instead of throwing out a name or two, or listing an inoffensive trait, like wanting the guy who plays him to be British, which would be understandable, he said, “I hope the actor would be masculine – not a poofter or anything like that. Perhaps the guy from Skyfall.”

Really?  I pretended to be straight from 15 to 22, and apparently I was pretty good at it.

Who knows Daniel Craig “That guy from Skyfall?” Also, and perhaps most importantly who uses the word “Poofter,” and then later insists there was nothing offensive about it?

If you’re not familiar with Poofter you’re probably not from Australia or the U.K. where it’s a not uncommon pejorative for gay men. It falls into that category with words like Puffs, Flop, Batty Boy that are only ever used by straight guys in a demeaning fashion towards gay men. My British friends tell me it’s not on the level of a racial epithet, but it’s never used as anything other than an insult.

Moss tried to pull out the whole, “I have gay friends,” and “Not that there’s anything wrong with that,” as a defense. He also said “I’m sorry I’ve caused offence, but I’m disappointed anyone could be so narrow-minded as to take offence. It was not meant to cause any.”

Part of me gets it, Moss is in his 80s, he’s really not with it culturally speaking if he doesn’t know who Daniel Craig is – ironically a scene in Skyfall suggested James Bond might be bi – but it’s difficult for gay actors.

Yes, more gay actors have come out, but supposedly a number of high profile actors who are still in the closet, in large part because they fear their careers will suffer? Why? Because they’re afraid they won’t be able to find good roles because they’re afraid Hollywood believes that people won’t go to see a romantic comedy with a gay man in a lead role. Or that a gay man won’t be believable playing a womanizing man-whore like Stirling Moss.

I’d also like to know how many gay men could be involved with the movie in Moss’s world. Could the director be gay? Screenwriter? Could a gay guy be the makeup artist? How about the Director of photography? Cause they might not know how to light a man so that he looks masculine enough.

When Moss said a gay actor doesn’t have the depth to play him — offensive language aside — he reaffirmed a sterotype that gay actors just aren’t good enough to portray straight men. It’s like he repeated a racial sterotype, similar to when former Cubs Manager Dusty Baker said white players weren’t as good in the heat as black or Latino players.

So Moss, I had respect for you, once, a while ago.

Topics: Formula One, Stirling Moss

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  • Shaun Murphy

    He was nearly 40 before they decriminalised homosexuality in Britain . It’s an old fashioned attitude. Not saying it’s right but how liberal do you expect an 83yo who’s spent his life in a very macho industry like F1?

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