All over the news and social media outlets this week are stories of the big photo-hacking iCloud leak of alleged images of celebrities in the nude. Celebrities such as Rihanna, Jennifer Lawrence, Kim Kardashian, Ariana Grande, Kirsten Dunst, Mary Kate Olson, and Liam Payne, among others. Some of these celebrities have confirmed the authenticity of the images (while threatening lawsuits), others have denied them claiming the images were Photoshopped.
The image of Liam Payne, singer in the boyband One Direction, apparently was of him in the nude with a nude man. Payne cries foul and in more than one tweet, exclaimed that he isn’t gay and would not have been in that “weird picture.”
Granted, Liam Payne is not the first nor will be the last celebrity to be rumored to be gay. A recent Huffington Post post lists 38 recent examples, from Vin Diesel to Tom Cruise.
What troubles me was Payne’s recent response. He could’ve simply denied that the image was really him.
The LGBTQ movement has made such great strides in recent months and years. It’s time to state clearly and unequivocally that a exclaimed statement such as “I’m not gay!” is homophobic. Let’s not pretend that it isn’t.