January 13th, 2016
(written by lawrence krubner, however indented passages are often quotes). You can contact lawrence at: email@example.com
At some point, some historian will write a good history of the events that lead up to the legalization of gay marriage. They can start with the changes in the culture that began in the late 1800s. The trial of Oscar Wilde might be a good starting point. Then there was the cultural influence of Weimar Germany, which impacted all Western nations. Then there was the cultural revolution of the 1960s.
However, in a more immediate way, there was the willingness of people to come out of the closet, and in particular, those who were in positions of influence. This trend took off at the end of the 1990s and it allowed the normalization of the idea of gay marriage. Because of the cultural currency, celebrities in the film and television industries had the biggest impact. Ellen DeGeneres deserves special mention. So does Angelina Jolie, who was outspoken from early in her career:
After breaking up with her first husband, actor Jonny Lee Miller, Jolie began dating model Jenny Shimizu, whom she met on the set of their film Foxfire. In fact, the relationship was so serious that Jolie told Girlfriends magazine in 1997: “I would probably have married Jenny Shimizu if I hadn’t married my husband. I fell in love with her the first second I saw her.” Shimizu claimed in 2005 that her relationship with Jolie had lasted many years and continued even while Jolie was romantically involved with other people…
In an interview with Elle magazine, Angelina Jolie revealed: “Honestly, I like everything. Boyish girls, girlish boys, the heavy and the skinny. Which is a problem when I’m walking down the street.”
When Barbara Walters asked Angelina in 2003 if she was bisexual, Jolie responded: “Of course. If I fell in love with a woman tomorrow, would I feel that it’s okay to want to kiss and touch her? If I fell in love with her? Absolutely! Yes!”
Jane magazine readers voted Angelina Jolie as the sexiest female actor. To which Jolie responded: “They’re right to think that about me, because I’m the person most likely to sleep with my female fans. I genuinely love other women. And I think they know that.”