When I posted these affectionate pictures of Latin TV personality Rodner Figueroa from TV Notas, I admittedly wasn't quite sure about the angle—my understanding was that he was openly gay, so these were just nice photos of a public figure's gay PDAs. The mag's tone was hard for me to translate and understand but seemed juvenile rather than anti-gay, like, 'He he, caught you being romantic!' more than 'He he, you're gay!'
A tipster claims to me that the paparazzi photos were first shopped to Figueroa himself and to his bosses at Univison because while his homosexuality is assumed, he has not done the "I'm gay" interview. Oops—context is everything!
With that in mind, Figueroa (so far, pending any unfortunate belated reaction to their publication!) deserves credit. He is one of the few public figures I can think of who is apparently genuinely out of the closet in his personal life and yet who does not take homophobic precautions to never be seen in public doing anything gay. Too many stars play that game, firmly keeping not only the intimate details of their love lives private but also closeting every aspect of their behavior.
If he's willing to walk around and be photographed with his lover, does it matter whether or not he's publicly affirmed he's gay? Does this affirm it? I'm still a big fan of the coming-out statement just so nobody's playing both sides of the fence (the sides being intelligent, rational fans and homophobic fans), but I have to say that if actions don't speak louder than words, they speak at least as loud as words.
I also have to agree with my tipster on a point I've made here before—for some rea$on, the tabloids seem more willing to bluntly out smaller stars, preferring to respect bigger stars' "privacy." Don't think there are not similar photos of his American counterparts (the ones we all know to be gay but who have not come out and said it yet), and don't think that in their cases, they or their bosses did not buy the photos when offered them.
I don't have a problem with paparazzi taking pictures of stars in public or with tabloids publishing them, but if they're deliberately holding back on other stories and pictures, that becomes discriminatory and supersedes arguments about the closet; it's then about basic fairness. And it becomes homophobic in and of itself to censor some and not others because it's selectively shaking down the closet cases and glass-closet cases.