In Touch belongs to the lowest tier of tabloids, but it has reach. Its media kit claims an audience of 7.2 million, which means a population close to that of the state of Virginia will read ludicrous rumors about Kanye West having an affair with "dashing, openly gay" Givenchy designer Riccardo Tisci this week. Are we really so incapable of processing a straight man who likes fashion and has gay friends? This cover story is disgusting—not because homosexuality or Tisci are disgusting, obviously, but because homophobia thrives on the notion that straight people should recoil from gays. In Touch is exploiting that.
On the cover and inside the magazine, the layout invites the eye to read HE'S GAY and KANYE IS GAY before noticing the fig-leaf floating above the claims: "Kim's Worst Fear."
The article cites "a friend" who claims Kim "freaked out" when she read "online commenters" who "speculated" that Kanye was involved with the designer of her Met Gala glove-sleeve gown. Other than the one "friend," every source in this article is an "online commenter," almost all of them unnamed. In other words, In Touch just became the first magazine to give its biggest cover line to the wisdom of unknown strangers who could be joking, high, malicious, ironic, fictitious, or not even sure what "HE'S GAY" means.
When it cites specific sources, the facts are irrelevant to the point of absurdity. From In Touch's print edition:
There are some facts Kim can't deny. Kanye has spent her entire pregnancy living close to Riccardo in the French capital—5600 miles away from his girlfriend. [...] This isn't the first time gay rumors have dogged the rapper. Kanye was parodied as a homosexual fish in a 2009 episode of South Park. The following year he raised eyebrows by taking a flamboyant Yale sophomore named Cassius Clay under his wing to be his stylist. (Kanye reportedly approached Cassius while shopping at Barneys in NYC and told the then-19-year-old, "I like your shoes.")
The whispers got even louder when Bryan Boy, one of the most popular and respected fashion bloggers in the world, linked Kanye to Riccardo in January. "Wait so Kanye West is gay? He and Riccardo Tisci were... lovers?" he tweeted. "And Kim Kardashian is a beard? Why am I the last to know?"
Other Bryan Boy tweets In Touch should consider for cover stories: "Cute!!!!!!!," "!!!," "I need to make 3 million dollars so I can buy a mini apartment," "What does somerhalder look like."
After the Met Gala, the flower-dress controversy took on new meaning for Kim—and for conspiracy minded observers. "Out of jealousy [over Kanye] I think Riccardo dressed Kim in this outfit to make her look ridiculous," wrote one. Riccardo refuted the accusations, calling Kim "the most beautiful pregnant woman I dressed in my career." But Kim, says her friend, was left wondering: "Maybe he resents her and really did want to make her look hideous."
I will admit that I wondered whether that dress was, somehow, a setup. It was such a clever undermine. Given how strenuously Tisci defended Kim, however, I'm more inclined to conspiracy theories involving Anna Wintour pushing Kim in the wrong direction during the fabled Kardashian-Wintour dinner summit.
Kanye West has sex with women. He had sex with a woman on video, then took extensive legal action to block the video's release and fought publicity about the legal action, too. Speaking of legal action, the editor of Star once noted, "People sue over being called gay, not over impregnating someone or sleeping with someone straight. That's why Jennifer Aniston is pregnant all the time." Of course, the strenuousness of those lawsuits is likely tied to the same fear that In Touch is taking advantage of: the fear that even the faintest whiff of a gay association could alter every assumption one has ever had about a straight man's sex life. And if that straight man is one known to act even slightly out of sex and gender norms (say, wearing a skirt, even if he later regrets it), it feeds not just the rumor mill but the homophobes. Remember, last time Kanye West's fashion taste drew high-profile accusations about his sexuality, it was from an open homophobe who called Kanye "half a fag" for wearing "skinny jeans" and "a fucking skirt."
Most Viewed Stories
Connecticut Politician Arrested for Pinching Woman’s Genitals
The Sheer Perfection of Donald Trump’s Golden Shower
The Ultimate Guide to Preparing for the Women’s March
These Photos of Malia and Sasha Obama’s First Visit to the White House Will Make You Really Nostalgic
15 Protest Sign Ideas for the Women’s March on Washington
The Divorced Mom Who Cries After Sex
Pakistani Pop Star Stops Concert When He Spots Sexual Harassment
What Romance Really Means After 10 Years of Marriage
Madame Clairevoyant: Horoscopes for the Week of January 16
I’m Anti-Trump, But I Refuse to March
From Our Partners
powered by PubExchange
Latest News from The CutThe 200-Year Fight for Abortion Access
We tend to take reproductive rights for granted, but from a historical perspective, they were won almost yesterday.Donald Trump’s Retweet Was Supposed to Praise Ivanka Trump, But It Tagged the Wrong User
He found time, however, to check the tweet’s grammar and punctuation.Looks Like Kim Kardashian Is Making a Cameo in Ocean’s Eight
More proof that Kim is getting back to her old self.The Obamas Donated Malia and Sasha’s Old Swing Set to a D.C. Shelter
They first offered it to Donald Trump’s family.The One With Kristen’s Comedy Show
The cast ofVanderpump Rules is never funnier than when they’re not trying to be funny.Women’s March on Washington Drops Anti-Choice Partner After Backlash
The Women’s March on Washington faced criticism after partnering with the anti-choice group New Wave Feminists.Jeff Goldblum and Emilie Livingston’s Baby Announcement Is Impressive
It’s a real balancing act.One of Kentucky’s Last Two Remaining Abortion Providers to Close Down
As of January 27th, there will only be one abortion clinic remaining in the state.Bella Hadid Got Two Incredibly Tiny Tattoos
Done by tiny tattoo expert JonBoy.Noor Salman, Wife of Pulse Nightclub Shooter, Arrested on Obstruction Charges
The widow previously said she knew nothing of Omar Mateen’s plans.
Atif Aslam wasn’t having it.Mariah’s Manager Writes a Message for Her in Lipstick
It’s on a hotel pillow and involves Mariah’s love life.Teen Who Was Abducted the Day She Was Born Reunites With Birth Family
Meanwhile, the man who raised Kamiyah Mobley and thought he was her father says it’s “a shock.”The Worst Thing About Episode One of The Young Pope: Baby Pyramid
Every week, we’ll tell you the worst thing about HBO’s new series The Young Pope.Madame Clairevoyant: Horoscopes for the Week of January 16
The sun moves into Aquarius.The Ultimate Guide to Preparing for the Women’s March
Experts share their best tips.Drake Gave Sasha Obama a Little Shout-out
Who’s a fan of whom here?Taylor Swift’s Home Might Become a Historic Landmark
She’s spent millions on restoring her Beverly Hills place to its 1934 glory.Lady Gaga, Danai Gurira, Charlize Theron, Natalie Portman Signed an Open Letter Supporting Education for Girls
The open letter is from campaigning and advocacy organization ONE.The Divorced Mom Who Cries After Sex
This week’s sex diary.