Another Charity Pic and Fangirl Angst

**CAUTION: FANGIRL ANGST AHEAD!!** I was distracted all day Tuesday, thinking about those pictures of Richard Armitage at last night’s charity event, the Golden Heart Awards, in New York City. Guylty (with some sourcing from Kate) posted the pictures yesterday and I’ve posted them again below — plus an additional picture from the event.

While spending way too much time on-line today, I found Richard again in the background of this picture from the charity’s website (no photographer credit was given):

Neil Patrick Harris at Golden Heart Awards_LI

And here it is focused in (apologies to the photographer for enlarging and cropping the very clear photo):

Richard Armitage and Jim Gibb at Golden Heart Awards

The first record of the event was from Richard on Twitter giving us a nice photo of just himself at the dinner, showing the hair, mustache, and beard that he’s growing, maybe for Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya play, scheduled to begin January in London. Very nice look, I think. (As opposed to the random guy next to him in this photo, who really should have ironed his suit jacket.)

 

But then the official photos of the evening by Patrick McMullan showed up on Getty Images (thanks, Kate via Guylty, for the find).

Embed from Getty Images

Embed from Getty Images

Embed from Getty Images

Embed from Getty Images

So, first, I really like his whole look, including the suit, shirt, and tie. I love that he’s put on a bit of weight and looks healthy and like he’s just enjoying life. Nice that he’s taking a pause between jobs right now, it seems.

Over on Guylty’s blog, Rachel pointed out that the man he is with is Jim Gibb, listed in some places as Creative Director at Authentic Brands Group. Others show him as formerly being in that position, but having been an art director in advertising and design for more than 15 years, with a BA in graphic design from Brigham Young University. (The man in the middle in the last photo is Sheridan (Dan) Wright, who is on the charity’s board.)

But, wow. Is this a date? Out in public? And being photographed? And if so, was he holding back from being photographed with a male romantic interest only while his mum was still alive?

Or, did the charity invite him and this is a pal who lives in his building or works out at the same gym or whatever? Or is there somehow a professional reason that he might know him? Is Gibb involved in brand management for celebrities, for example?

I was talking to my friend at work today and we were discussing how she and I often pose close together in photos, but there is only friendship between us, so a pose doesn’t necessarily mean anything. On the other hand, my other friend at work says that I am in denial.

So, the next question is: If Richard was on a date, does it change the way I feel? Is it important to my fangirling experience that I can maintain plausible deniability? That there is no overt declaration?

Why should it matter? It’s not as if I would ever be in a position where my movie boyfriend would ever become my real boyfriend (not to mention even that of course I’ve been married for 31 years). And yet, is it important to my idea of him that he potentially be romantically interested in women?

These are only questions, but they have kept me thinking all day.

165 thoughts on “Another Charity Pic and Fangirl Angst

  1. I don’t really like to engage in the “is he – is he not”. I have my own theory, but as long as he hasn’t clarified it himself, I’m keeping the discussion behind the scenes. However, I do agree that the answer to the “is he – is he not” has an impact on fangirling. And yet this is such a tricky topic. I have never touched upon in on my own blog because I simply don’t know how to write about it without being misunderstood. (And a lot of that fear has actually been shaped by experiences with earlier such speculations/facts when those fans who were not on board the ship, were branded homophobic.) But since you mentioned it – let’s be honest here: Maybe it’s just me, but crushing on an actor (for me) is also affected by the (entirely theoretical) availability of the crush as a romantic interest. I’m a heterosexual woman – hence I’d like to crush on a heterosexual man. That’s simply what *my* logic tells me – however irrational or irrelevant it actually may be with regards to that particular actor. Hence my fangirling will definitely be affected when the crush is generally unavailable due to his sexual orientation. – However, the speculation/fact that is gleaned from these images, is not new to me. I have had time to consider the fact that he is not “crushable” (for me) anymore. My work-around has been to move the crushing away from the actor – and to the characters he plays.
    The point is – whether he is gay or straight in RL doesn’t matter to me anymore. Whomever he loves in his private life, he is *still* entirely convincing when he plays straight character on screen. I’ve never felt that he was unconvincing as Esther Krug’s love interest, or that he looked “not-heterosexual” when portraying Reba McClane’s lover. He plays it well and is a joy to watch.

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    • That is a really great work-around, G, to focus on the characters. I’m really grappling with this whole thing myself right now. Like, really. Granted, I’m going through some pretty stressful crap right now, but I’m kind of surprised at how hard this has hit me. Of course I just want our beautiful, adorkable man to be happy IRL. He, like every good human, deserves it. But yeah, if the .00000000001% chance that he could be obtainable by me is completely taken away? I’m going to have to reconsider my crushing. I still will adore him as a human being and always admire his work but…I dunno. Just feeling a little crushed myself right now. I can’t even express it well and am angry with myself for letting it all be so important to me.

      Anyway…excellent post, Sue! Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us. My own personal take on how his willingness to be so open in these photos relates to the death of his mum is that he’s realized that life is too short not to acknowledge that you have someone who holds your heart in his. 💖

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      • I can’t believe how much this distracted me yesterday. I don’t usually write posts about this aspect of my fangirling experience, but it seemed like something I needed to do. Not really sure what the photos mean, and still not sure whether it will affect my feelings.

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        • Sue if it is any consolation to you I was sooo distracted yesterday by it and comments alluding to it that I dreamt about the event and getting really upset with him that he went without telling me!! I know !! I love your point how this affects YOU as a fan girl because that is what I was thinking as well. So kudos to you for writing such a thoughtful and thought provoking post!!

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    • I go back and forth thinking “is he — is he not”. I haven’t yet decided if, or how much, the question affects my fangirling experience. It’s not about homophobia, of course. It’s about whether it affects my crush, my feelings. I like your workaround. Makes a lot of sense. He definitely looks convincing on screen in romantic encounters, for the most part.

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      • I was thinking about why this doesn’t really work for me last night (“crushing on the characters”) and while I definitely have fantasies about some of the characters (lately, in particular, Thorin Oakenshield), it doesn’t really work for me as a modus of fangirling. I don’t have crushes on them, I think in part because I identify with many of them so strongly. N&S got me not because I fell in love with Mr Thornton, but because I saw myself in him. On a deep level, too, I am probably more interested in how he creates or sees the characters than I am in the characters themselves as objects of infatuation.

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        • 🙂 ” I am probably more interested in how he creates or sees the characters” me too. By the way, he said he prefers to play the parts of characters far from his own personality (except J Standring perhaps).

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        • That’s interesting. I do have crushes on some of the characters, but probably only because of how they were created by RA. While I could see myself still rewatching my favourites, I’m not sure if I would still follow his career/life so closely if the crush on the man himself faded away. So while it strikes me as a good idea, I’m not sure that just crushing on the characters would fully do it for me.

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          • I think eventually one hits a limit on rewatches, too, unless (e.g.) you’re very involve in the fanfic community and you develop a whole headcanon to go with it.

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  2. Sue, well thank you for addressing this openly on your blog. You must have ESP because I too thought about this yesterday and last night.
    I don’t know. My assumption is he has now moved to London. I thought maybe he was put at the table and photographed at random esp with the Dan guy in the middle pic. But yeah I wrestle with the same thing I mean I am happy for him period I joke a lot about my dreams of him and I, but if Rachel and I do get to meet him at the SD I know I’ll be a bloody emotional mess: omg you’re Richard Armitage!!
    I got upset yesterday at that possibility that he is or maybe bi because it would destroy my sexual fantasies but if he is happy it won’t change that he’s a great guy humble and honest and hopefully happy!

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    • I’m sure a lot of us were thinking about this yesterday. I wonder if he is 100% in London, though. He probably still owns his New York pad. And I’m sure he has a group of friends (not necessarily lovers) from living there. I would definitely be overcome with emotion if I were to meet him too, regardless. There is just something about him…

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      • Sue yeah I sort of figured he had moved full time back to London with the Stranger taking up 5-6 months of his time, the play now and his dad and brother/family there and friends there that is his TRUE home. But again don’t know.
        And yeah I have a whole scenario played out in my head. We are going 2 nights to see the play and hopefully do SD both nights. One scenario all is cool and we get group pic and signatures and the other scenario I am a blubbering idiot and need Rachel and hopefully our other fandom group to hold me up.
        I just felt comforted maybe that you and I were clicking on the right cylinder re those pics and Kelly’s comment today about not jumping to conclusions about the pics has really calmed me down. It shouldn’t be a big deal. I’m happy he looks healthy and fit. We don’t have all the details but yeah I was down yesterday.

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        • Seeing the play and the Armitage should be fun, even if you need to be held up so you don’t fall down. 😁

          Well, I think we have to remind ourselves that we really have no idea at all what is really going on in his life and be content with that. I try, anyway.

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          • Sue, yes and I agree with you that we have no idea which is probably better in the long run. I will say the discussion here today has been extremely stimulating and it is nice to have an opinion and chat about it as adults.

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  3. Definitely for me, part of my crush on Richard came from falling in love with a character from a book and I definitely transfered my affections to him because, unlike the book character, he’s real and still alive! Lol
    I love John Thornton and John Porter and John Standring. Richard is handsome and sweet and i adore him-he’s a proper soft guy and that totally floats my boat.
    So what I’m getting at is yes, I would be a bit sad if he’s gay but I would be sad if he was married! Would it stop me crushing? Hard to say because he is nether of those things at present to my knowledge. However, like most fangirls ultimately I would like for him to be happy, he sparkles when he’s happy and thats all that I would wish for that lovely man.

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    • Rachel, I think that what you said is really nicely put. I love Daniel Miller my first love and how I came into all of this fandom last year and John Standring and of course Proctor and Raymond (I’m probably in the minority on him) but yeah I think the illusions of Richard the man being available and straight definitely float my boat too and if he were married or he came out (not like LP was forced out in March) if that were the case I would be crushed physically but it wouldn’t change how I feel for him as a man who I think is down to earth, sometimes a bit naïve, a tad ignorant but has a soft heart. What I didn’t like was the overt speculation (not by you lovely) about these pics when there is no official status.

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    • Richard always said that people love his characters, not him, but there is also something about the man himself. But I do love Thornton and Sir Guy. I’m sure Richard is not much like either of them!

      I do like the idea that he is potentially “available”, but you never know what is going to affect your crush really until it happens. And as you say, I like it when he looks happy and healthy and comfortable in his own skin.

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      • To me, that’s deflection on his part — I never believed he honestly thought that was true. I do totally believe that it bemuses and perhaps sometimes bothers him that people are infatuated with him (among other reactions he may have).

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  4. I can honestly say on a principled level that I don’t care either way and that after all these years, it has no impact on my fantasies about the actor, but I didn’t get that far when I saw this photo because YUCK PETE BUTTIGIEG. Politics are a much more serious turn on / off for me, I think because of where I live — in a state that “swung” for Trump last time by about 29,000 votes. It’s not so much that I think Buttigieg has a snowball’s chance in hell of being the Democratic nominee as that I really have issues with facile politics. In the end the whole “Armitage leads with the feelings” and its pitfalls is a much serious of axis of attraction for me than photos with any guy. (That said, I don’t think these photos are great evidence of anything in that regard. I won’t get into it because I got heartily sick of that discussion over the years.)

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    • It’s not that I haven’t thought about it before, but I’ve never come to a conclusion as to whether it does/will affect my fangirling experience. I don’t know much about Pete Buttigieg and didn’t actually know he was hoping to become the Democratic nominee. Armitage does lead with the feelings, though, for sure. I always cringe just a bit when he gives us a bit of a homily, even when he’s quoting someone.

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      • I was forced to think about it a lot in 2013-4 (or maybe it would be more accurate to say — when I started broaching the topic of thinking about it, the response was so vehemently negative that I was forced to think about it in ways I hadn’t planned to, and then finally decided to keep what I ended up thinking under wraps). I appreciated the honesty of this post and since you’ve now kind of inspired me twice maybe it’s time for me to publish the “manifesto” I formulated recently and get on with my blogging life.

        I just think anyone who would would say that people in the US (no matter their political situation) “hate half the country” are spending too much time listening to the media and not enough time in actual communities *doing* politics.

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        • Do you mean the response was negative in that people didn’t think one should speculate, or didn’t think he was gay, or were upset that he might be gay, or??

          Thanks. I’m thinking that by jumping in again, blogging regularly will feel natural again. In terms of honesty, it’s funny… I had an easier time talking about this than about the other thing I was thinking about… that I really like the way the fit of the trousers he is wearing totally accentuate his right thigh! (blushes)

          Yes, you may be right on that in terms of politics.

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              • At the time it was really awful (others can verify this) but in retrospect of course it’s interesting to think about in the context of what our societies are experiencing these days with changing attitudes toward sexual orientation. I think what was most troubling, though, was the way that we saw a discussion emerge in which it was clear that people (in many different positions) were not only wedded to whichever fantasy they had about him, but were insistent (in destructive ways) that their fantasy also be real. To me, the most important level of analysis for this topic involves understanding that *whether or not a fantasy corresponds with reality*, all of what fans think is fantasy and that’s the attraction of it. When people start insisting that because their fantasy may overlap in some way with reality, their fantasy itself must be real, conversations get dangerous.

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    • Well said Servetus! I shall add if you agree , that the fans can read your excellent articles: “Heterosexual utopias” ,”The ship that dare not speak its name” .
      As for me, from the beginning, only his prowess as an actor led me to follow his career. No crush fantasies on my part. Definitly, I am vaccinated against this type of disease. That’s why I have always been wondering about the definition of a fan.

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      • I think beyond “a devoted or interested follower of a person, thing, place, etc.” there are really too many boundaries to the definition of fan. (That said, a lot of people would say I am not a fan of Armitage’s because they would insist that the definition include unreservedly positive feelings and statements.) I personally definitely had and still have a crush, but i think he has had plenty of fans over the years who didn’t / don’t.

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        • Exactement.
          Il y a quelques années, j’avais envoyé sur votre blog un court paragraphe qui comparait mon vécu à celui d’une personne qui passait du premier coup foudre,…, à la routine du compagnonnage, où l’on accepte les différences de chacun et où les aspérités s’émoussent… Aujourd’hui, j’aimerais l’avoir gardé pour le présenter à nouveau , dans ce contexte.

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        • I too have feelings and make statements that are not unreservedly positive… but I think if you asked my family or close friends they would call me a fan… and perhaps even the longer form of “fanatic”!

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          • You are right. J’ai eu besoin de l’aide d’un couple d’origine anglaise pour finaliser la réservation pour UV (mon adresse mail posait problème). En ma présence, au téléphone avec le théâtre HP, la dame anglaise m’a présentée comme une vrai fan. (Elle voulait expliquer pourquoi je réservais plusieurs soirées). J’en suis restée interloquée.

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            • Squirrel, maybe she was just asking out of curiosity…. I would think they are thrilled that you want to see the production a few times.. did you think her asking was too invasive for you? Or she thought of you as a fan and that wrinkled you?

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              • Non, ce couple me connait depuis des années. Nous nous apprécions beaucoup. J’ai rencontré toute la famille, y compris les grands parents. Je les ai suivis depuis la période où ils projetaient de s’installer dans le village. Ils sont venus me voir plusieurs fois pour recueillir des conseils. J’ai téléphoné à leur place pour débrouiller des situations complexes. Ils m’envoient leurs clients (anglais, hollandais, allemands…) Nous nous apprécions beaucoup,
                Là, ils me rendaient la pareille. Mais devant l’étonnement de l’interlocuteur anglais qui s’interrogeait sur le nombre de soirées réservées par une étrangère, elle voulait juste justifier mon choix en me qualifiant de VRAI fan. Ce terme, répété plusieurs fois avec insistance par cette femme, m’a envoyé l’image exacte de ce que je rends.
                Je pense leur faire un cadeau , pour ce service rendu bénévolement. Le monsieur m’a dit d’aller manger un “fish ans ships” mais pas d'”eel in jelly”…

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          • yes — intense interest doesn’t also mean constant approval. I was intensely interested in Martin Luther for over 30 years. Definitely doesn’t mean I loved everything about him. But I would regularly have these conversations in social situations where people would ask me how that could possibly be — since in many ways he was such a distasteful individual. I would just say that I assumed that people who study genocide don’t do it because they love it (at least not most of it). The word “fascination” goes back to a Latin word for bewitchment, which certainly wasn’t always a positive experience.

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      • Oh that’s so interesting that you don’t have crush fantasies about him and instead “only his prowess as an actor led me to follow his career”! But I would not say “only”, as I think that is just as sufficient a reason as anything else and I would certainly call that being a fan.

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        • 🙂 Servetus “think beyond “a devoted or interested follower of a person, thing, place, etc.” there are really too many boundaries to the definition of fan”.
          No doubt, probably, there are as many definitions as the number of concerned human beeings whether they are fans or not.

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      • It is just a picture, but I find myself curious about other peoples’ lives in general, not just his. But really the main question I was thinking about was not what does the photo mean, but whether it would change my crush feelings if I knew for a certainty that he was gay. Which we don’t know and won’t know unless he decides that it is our business to know. Which is fine.

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        • I think we should be happy with whoever makes him happy. He’s coming off a difficult year with the death of his mum and he’s been a work-a-holic for years. Even if this guy was just someone he was sitting next to or just met or whatever.

          It’s just a picture. And there are pictures galore with me with female friend and male friends and that’s all we are. It bothers me that every time he’s photographed with anyone, people automatically assume he’s a couple. Just really uncalled for.

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        • I don’t think anyone’s mentioned that this is a rare genre of picture — in fact we typically already know who he is going to be pictured with in photos from Getty Images: usually either people he’s working / worked with or other celebrities. It’s also not a candid or a photo that makes its way to us sub rosa (like the pictures of him with Pace’s family in NZ). So the photo itself is anomalous in terms of our evidence basis so far: a photo of him with someone who isn’t a professional colleague but also isn’t a candid and/or stolen. I think that adds a wrinkle to it, particularly for anyone who wants to believe he’s gay and in a (committed) relationship.

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          • Yes, that’s true. (Although the photo I posted of them in the crowd listening to Neil Patrick Harris is candid, though at the same event with the Getty photos.) So yes, I think it’s a bit of a departure in that, whoever Gibb is to him, RA has full knowledge that these pictures will become part of the public record. So is he making a statement? Or is this just someone at the table or in a work connection that he thinks it is normal to be photographed with?

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  5. I have always been too innocent for this kind of thing b/c I would have never jumped to that conclusion from those pics! I say that in a lighthearted manner, directed at myself, b/c I always seem to miss the clues when it comes to celebrities and their ‘on the down low’ love interests. supposing this man is romantically attached to Richard, my first reaction was ‘good for him, he’s got himself a hottie!’ 😀

    I commend you on bringing this topic up though b/c it is something that I think we’ve all considered at one time or another but have only talked about behind closed doors, if we’ve even broached the topic out loud at all. I struggled with this idea during the whole Lee Pace speculation and I came to the conclusion that although I didn’t actually think Richard was gay, if it turned out that he was it would affect my fangirl feelings for him in a big way. I wouldn’t quit him completely b/c of it but it would change the enjoyment on an aesthetic level. I can find gay men attractive but I’m not attracted to them, if that makes sense? there isn’t something pulling me to them if I know that they’re gay. even if I’m not imagining myself with them, there is still that base pheromone thing. a lot of my celebrity crushes are happily married and I like that they are, so I’m not imagining myself with them but I’m still conscious of the fact that they are a man and I am a woman, there is still some semblance of a pull there b/c of that. so although I would love to see Richard in a romantic relationship, whether that is male or female, it will detach me from him on certain levels if it’s with a man.

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    • I like this comment so much because of your remark about the photos — it increasingly bugs me that all relationships have to be classified in a box of sexual vs nonsexual, and then with the orientation pasted on top of that. Despite all the Pace discussion, there was never a photo of them together shared publicly where they looked anywhere near as friendly to each other as the guys in this photo do. Just speaking on the level of considering evidence, a photo alone, out of context means nothing except what the viewer wants it to mean.

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      • I sometimes wonder what would happen if I were a celebrity. My friend at work and I, as I said, are usually close in pictures. We even went away overnight together once and didn’t tell anyone at work. Imagine the conclusions that could be erroneously drawn from photos from that trip!

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        • Indeed. When I was teaching philosophy last winter (which I might do again) it was a severe struggle to get students to realize that things could be true without the evidence for them being all that great, and also that there could be a lot of evidence for something without it ultimately being true, and that we have to think not only about evidence in itself but about why we see it in a particular way. (And this came up again in public history yesterday when we were talking about the tendency of museums on controversial topics to take refuge in facts and whether that’s a problem or not — the students being convinced that that is the way to go and their instructor being convinced that it’s insufficient as an approach).

          In the end I think a lot of this comes from people’s desire for him to be happy (something I share; I also want him to be happy). If their version of happiness involves a committed relationship with the romantic partner of one’s choice (and they aren’t troubled by, or even celebrate, same sex attraction), then they will want to see this picture as evidence of that. That’s not a desire of mine, so I see a picture like this and shrug and my second reaction, after being annoyed about the platitude, is “he was at a charity event with some people he was comfortable with and looks really relaxed” and wonder how much he drank.

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    • Kelly thank you for saying all of this! My comment reply to you must have been sucked into thin air since I don’t see it but I concur with what you are saying. That pull in effect I think is spot on. But the positive things I have
      gotten from the fandom are coming out of my shell and finding some wonderful friends that I have things in common with outside of Richarding 😘❤️👏

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    • Who knows what the photos mean, though. All the my show is two guys at a dinner together, leaning in because the photographer told them to. And yes he is pretty cute with his chiselled cheekbones.

      I’ve thought about it during the Lee Pace speculation as well. But those pictures to me looked like friends and co-workers, but who knows. Lee May have been the reason Richard moved to New York. Or not.

      “Base pheromone thong” is a good way to put it. There is something about the possibility of mutual attraction.

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      • Even apart from that — I would argue that while many people feel it’s important for the crush to at least potentially be able to respond, it is not necessary (and arguably that’s particularly true in the case of the celebrity as they usually don’t even know we exist). I have always had a lot of fantasies about things that were never going to happen (and in fact, it was good that they weren’t going to happen!) and so the possibility that I could have a devastating crush on a gay actor isn’t all that bothersome for me. When I was 8 I had a fantasy that someday I could walk into the bakery in the small town near my grandparents’ house and order all the things and eat them all, too. I have sexual fantasies and/or turn-ons that I would never want to realize with a real person (and I suspect many others do, too). I am not troubled by that and I don’t understand why others should be, either (which gets to my next point). I know the difference between fantasy and reality and I suspect most people do.

        My own suspicion (and this is a hypothesis, so I’m not saying it describes anyone’s actual reaction and everyone is free to fangirl as suits her best; everyone is going to draw the line on some things differently) is that the problem for some fans may really lie in the realm of the circumstance of unattainability. Fans, especially female fans, get made fun of because we develop crushes on people who we may never even meet apart from a screen or the pages of a magazine. That’s criticized as if it’s negative or even pathological — the implication is that women should abandon our fantasies and get on with real life. (I hear this so often, that someone’s in love with a star as a way of escaping having a real relationship, and I’m always annoyed. Why is an fantasy relationship inherently and automatically worse than *any* real one? It’s just not logical.) So if that’s a mechanism of shame, the subset of women who develop severe crushes on gay celebrities is an exacerbated version of it because not only can the celebrity not respond just for logistical reasons, he wouldn’t choose to, even if he could: “You’re infatuated with him, but if you met him he would think you’re ridiculous / disgusting because he isn’t even interested in women.” (There’s a similar version of shaming that goes on around physically unattractive fans that might be roughly equivalent: “you’re infatuated with him, but if you met him he would think you’re hideous / disgusting because you’re so ______ [fill in the negative adjective]”). For me: I personally don’t really want to internalize shame that comes from other people; I have enough of my own shame issues to deal with.

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        • 🙂
          Pour en revenir au concept de boîtes, j’ajouterai qu’il explose dans la vie de tous les jours.
          A l’heure actuelle, les codes vestimentaires et les codes comportementaux sont multiples, ceci au bénéfice du bien-être, de la liberté de chacun et du bon vivre ensemble.
          Entre les personnes qui adoptent un style convenu (professionnel, religieux, ethnique, rétro, avant gardiste…) et ceux qui adoptent les styles ambivalents mélangeant les styles et les genres… toutes ces personnes se côtoient , se retrouvent à faire la queue chez le médecin par exemple…
          Décider de sa propre relation à autrui, en la basant sur ces concepts de boîtes est une absurdité. “L’habit ne fait pas le moine” dit le dicton. S’arrêter aux apparences et aux clichés réduit gravement la qualité de vos relations à autrui, votre ouverture d’esprit à la diversité et par la même si vous êtes le médecin à la qualité de votre intervention.

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          • Squirrel, all true. For me some that were jumping to conclusions that he is in a “long distance relationship” based off of a few pictures where he looks relaxed and happy is what got my goat. If he is happy with man or woman or both good for him. For now I will continue to dream he’s happy with me! hahahahahaha!!!! you have been vaccinated against this but I haven’t!!!

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          • I had to laugh because I saw “boîtes” and thought “that must be related to ‘boire’ ” and so I concluded it must mean “drinks” and then I was confused as heck. Yeah, looked it up, drinks is “boissons.” Seriously need a refresher course on my French!

            I’ve actually started dressing all in black for class for this reason. Black shirt, black jeans, black shoes.

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              • Fascinating: I knew about the relationship of the circumflex with the missing “s” — they taught us that in grad school in “Graduating Reading Knowledge of French” because a lot of times those words have some kind of cognate in English (even if it’s a “false friend), e.g., hôtel – hostel. I didn’t think about it in this case, though!

                When I started blogging a lot of people thought I was somehow relating myself to Severus Snape. General cultural knowledge of Michel de Servet is low in the Anglophone world.

                Liked by 1 person

                • Les études (basiques) en histoire sont autocentrées dans le pays où elles sont enseignées. Je n’ai pas l’honneur de connaître Michel de Servet. Sa mort est bien triste et cruelle.Il ne faisait pas bon de dévier de la pensée communément admise, dans ces temps là. Cela interroge sur les pratiques actuelles dans notre monde dit “moderne et civilisé”.

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                  • There are a lot of things that fascinated me about the historical Servetus, but the decisive one in picking the name is this: after he escaped from the Inquisition in 1553, instead of going somewhere obscure and disappearing, he went *straight* to Geneva. That’s the kind of thing I’d do.

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                    • – Locked up in a damp prison, sick and deprived of all help, Servetus wrote to his judges: “I beg you to please abstain from these great dilations. You see that Calvin for pleasure pleases me here in the prison lice eat me alive, my pants are torn and have nothing to change my doublet or shirt that a wicked. ”
                      – Thorin Oakenshield: “If this is to end in fire, then we will all burn together.”
                      – PROCTOR, laughs insanely, then: A fire, a fire is burning! I hear the boot of Lucifer, I see his filthy face! And it is my face, and yours, Danforth! For them that quail to bring men out of ignorance, as I have quailed, and as you quail now when you know in all your black hearts that this be fraud—God damns our kind especially, and we will burn, we will burn together! (III.596-601)

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                    • Excellently well observed. My self-association with so many of Armitage’s characters is anything other than arbitrary. You could add to this list Servetus the blogger’s dogged determination to try to keep her father at home as long as possible — even if he’s not cooperating.

                      Liked by 1 person

            • Black is a beautiful color. May I call you: “Professor Servetus” or “Professor Severus Snape” or “Professor Minerva McGonagall” or “Mrs Keating”; they wore black clothes too.

              Liked by 1 person

        • The idea that the crush might be able to respond has usually been important to me, but during the period when I was binge-watching “How I Met Your Mother”, I developed a little crush on Neil Patrick Harris knowing full well that he was gay. Especially after I saw him sing and dance. So I can understand the possibility of feeling that way (although I usually like to hold onto the possibility of reciprocity no matter how unrealistic). And I agree with you on the fantasies that one would never want to have happen in real life.

          I actually think that, in many cases, crushes and fantasies fulfil some function that allows us to deal with real life as it actually is. So maybe we shouldn’t be made fun of but instead should be congratulated for finding something that helps us to have and accept those real experiences and real relationships!

          I think in terms of unattainability, it’s easier to “convince” oneself that “if he only knew me he would feel the same about me” when the person is not gay. Even though in any case, understanding that this is a fantasy and not reality means that one must know that it 99.99% won’t happen. But that doesn’t mean we can’t have that crush and it doesn’t mean we should be shamed for it, regardless of who we are or who he is. (Not that I’ve experienced that shaming myself… just incredulity from people I’m close to that the crush is so enduring.)

          Liked by 2 people

          • Ambiguity in the gender of the androgynous person intrigues and is often the cause of a renewed interest when I am confronted with it. I call it: (grand)motherhood fantasy protection.

            Liked by 4 people

          • I always say to people who tell me this, imagine a woman who always gets involved in real life with “bad boys” who abuse and exploit her. Is any fantasy really worse than that experience of reality? Even if for some reason the person in her fantasy abuses her, isn’t that a better alternative to a real life relationship in which she is abused?

            I struggle with the question of whether an overlap with reality makes a fantasy easier or not. I’m not sure it’s true for me, or at least not in every case. It might relate to the intensity of the crush. For example, I have a horrible time with historical novels so often because what I know about reality makes them implausible. But that doesn’t seem to apply to my experience of having a crush in the least.

            Liked by 1 person

            • About reality and fiction:
              As far as the fantasy of the fans is concerned, the fiction of some can appear to others as a reality. It’s a question of consciousness. Consciousness also has its biases. each person has his subjective opinions, his affects which can influence him. Does every fan have all his free will to make his choices, his decisions or his judgments knowingly, I doubt it. Especially if the reality is to be demonstrated by A + B, with irrefutable evidence

              Liked by 1 person

  6. This is the first chance I have had to read through all the comments properly as they are published overnight here and I have been out most of the day. Thank you for your post Sue, there is much food for thought here wrt my own fangirling experience. As one who went through the RA/LP saga, I’m still not sure exactly where I sit with all this. Many of the comments have something in them that I recognise within myself. The respect and thoughtfulness is a nice change from the feeling I used to get back in 2013-14, which was that of being beaten about the head by a very vocal group who were convinced Richard and Lee were in a relationship. I took the coward’s way out, and kept my head below the parapet!
    I think Guylty’s onto something, crushing on the chaRActers. After all, we “know” them better than Richard in so many ways – their anger, their pain…..what they’re like when they’re asleep, making love.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Welcome and thanks for commenting. I’m happy that the post is generating so much discussion. It is nice to read and reflect on other peoples’ ideas and maybe learn from how they deal with their own feelings. Yes, Guylty may be on to something. And you’re right that we have seen them in all kinds of moods and activities.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I think most of those people are either no longer present in the fandom or else way backed off — but I know it was especially intense on tumblr. I also think that there was a subset of that group of fans who were heavily disappointed when their “support” for a potential relationship did not lead to them coming out as a couple and many seem to have fallen away. Well, Pace is out as “queer” now, anyway, in a way that seems to have resulted from a media maneuver, but it’s interesting how many of that group of fans have transferred their frustrations with RichLee and its failure to respond to their demands to Pace’s current lover (whom most of them despise with an energy that I rarely saw them attach to Armitage). So it may just be a sort of mode of being a fan that those people were living out.

      Liked by 1 person

      • There were believers who left crying victim, even though they had been the loudest, while those on the other side of the fence seemed to just disappear quietly imho. They’d had enough. Never having been in a fandom in any way before, I was staggered by the vitriol – I was blacklisting left, right and centre. What I found interesting is that there were gay bloggers who asked the believers to stop fetishizing the men. It was all about the fans themselves, not RA and LP, something I think you might refer to in your last comment? So it may just be a sort of mode of being a fan that those people were living out.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I always thought that it wasn’t a problem if there were a semi-private or semi-public fetishizing going on — after all, in a way that is what fandom is / superfans do. I just thought that the belief that what they did mattered was so off track — i.e., that if they badgered everyone into sharing their beliefs about the ship, that would somehow have real world consequences — that it was sort of politically disturbing. I mean, if you want to support LGBT people in reality there are lots of ways to do it, but the idea that what you say about a celebrity couple on line makes a white of difference to those people’s real lives and struggles? Nah. I wrote a lot of posts about this at the time but they fell on deaf ears. And yeah; it was all about the fans (independently of what exactly Pace and Armitage’s relationship was about), and the significant number of trolls who were egging people on.

          Liked by 1 person

  7. Really interesting blog and debate. To me Richard Armitage the person is as much a fantasy figure as his characters. For some reason, in this respect, his allure increased with the possibility that he might be gay. I loved the Pace period and felt bereft when it ended ( imagined relationship or not). I don’t think it is just the attraction of the unattainable. Squirrel’s comment ‘Ambiguity in the gender of the androgynous person intrigues’ is closer. RA’s elusiveness attracts me as a fantasy, as well as e.g. the disdain and contempt of his other characters.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. I have seen many pictures of Richard with other men and women over the years and I never tend to jump to conclusions over them but when I saw these, for the first time ever I thought, “that’s his partner!” Something about the body language and the look, not just on Richard but also on Jim made me think that. I haven’t read all the reactions here but I’m with Armidreamer that I think Richard the person is a fantasy figure and we only get to see bits and pieces of him, never the whole picture. So any fantasy I might have is based on that. Also, my fantasies over who he is are more emotional than sexual anyhow. So, for me, no I don’t care one whit whether he’s gay or not, that will not affect my love for him. I just want him to be happy and he really looked happy in those pics. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Oh, my, I so enjoyed reading your fangirl approach to this finding. I felt like a kid again – I haven’t paid attention to any actors like that for a really long time. I agree with you on the suit, shirt, and tie – a very eye-appealing combination. I’m sure time will reveal the truth about your suspicions. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Pingback: Manifestos are dangerous | Me + Richard Armitage

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