You can file this one under breaking news: Valerie Singelton, the beloved British TV and radio host, wants you to know she likes guys. A lot. She loves penis the way Mel Gibson hates Jews. She's had affairs with men, lots of men, and that talk you heard about her having a relationship with Joan Armatrading thirty years ago? A bunch of bollocks. All she ever did was interview her, and though she doesn't specify, it sounds like they had their clothes on the whole time and kept their hands to themselves.
Still, the rumor, which Singelton thought was so silly that it would eventually go away on its own, settled in like an unwelcome houseguest -- like Monty Woolley in The Man Who Came to Dinner, if you will -- making Valerie self-conscious to the point of public rudeness. As she tells The Daily Mail's Peter Robertson:
"Many years later, I was approached by Joan as I was leaving Broadcasting House after presenting PM. She said: 'Hello Val, do you remember me? I'm Joan Armatrading.'Misconceptions about her sexuality, she claims, plagued her to the point that bartenders and receptionists she'd never met before just assumed she was a lesbian:
"I thought: 'Oh my God, I can't be seen talking to her in the middle of the BBC reception,' so I rudely rushed past her shouting: 'Sorry, but I can't stop as I'm late for the theatre.'
"She must have thought me very abrupt. Apologies, Joan."
"Every single friend of mine has at some point had to deny the rumour. And, even when there's a denial, you get reactions such as: 'There's no smoke without fire.'And just in case there is any lingering confusion about her sexuality following those remarks, Singelton proceeds to list men she's found attractive (including "gorgeous older cousins"), men she's made out with (including a young Albert Finney) and men she's had relationships with (a married coworker and a TV broadcaster who later paid for her to have an abortion).
"It really is rubbish. I'm very honest and if I were that way inclined I'd have said so."The truth is I have always been the complete opposite of gay."
It must be a real pain in the ass to have everyone think you're gay when you're not. I know that from the time I was born it was just assumed I was heterosexual, and that got rather tedious after awhile. Coming out hardly seemed to help anything; it just resulted in classmates and relatives asking "Are you sure?"
"Are you sure?", for the record, is what you ask when someone suggests doing something crazy, like buying an SUV or seeing the new Tim Allen movie. It is not what you ask when someone tells you they're gay. (We're not always sure how to spend our movie-going dollars; more often than not, we're sure what our genitals respond to.) And once you're fully out of the closet, that thing, that having to declare yourself, never really goes away. You still meet new people almost every day who simply take it for granted that you're heterosexual.
The only way to avoid having to constantly come out, I think, is to permanently wear a sandwich board that states, in bold letters, "I'm Gay," and even then you'd have illiterates and people who left their glasses at home to deal with. But Valerie Singelton, she has access that most of us don't. She can take to the pages of publications as noxious but compulsively readable as The Daily Mail to assure the public of her heterosexuality, even if the end result seems oddly Onion-esque.
Related: Why Do All These Homosexuals Keep Sucking My Cock?