[THE DAILY BEAST] Did you ever have any experiences with homophobia? Bearing witness to it?
In an all-male boarding school, in the olden days, it was seen as being something that “just happened” since there were no girls, so you had a bit of an experience. But there was incredible homophobia at my school, to the point where two boys who were caught doing something were literally chased down the street.
I was 18. Two boys who were just discovered in bed together doing something, and it was shocking. I was just finishing an essay in the school dining hall at breakfast, and I looked out the window and heard a commotion, a pair of feet scampering by, and then a horde just charging after shouting, “Wankers! Faggots!” and I thought, “What the fuck is going on?” I asked these kids coming back from the house who were breathless from the hunt, “What are you doing, you insane idiots? What the fuck?” They explained it, and I said, “And you’re a Sikh, you’re Jewish, and you’re from Kenya. Do you want to just sit down and talk about the strife that your people have suffered because of your religion, race, creed, or color? I mean, fuck me! You’ve really got to wake up to the fact that the world is full of disgusting prejudice because we are all different from one another. You have to learn acceptance at this school, and you have to go into the world as a better person, and you have to try and embrace the fact that people are different rather than defining yourself by not being like them. Who cares that they’re gay? You have to coexist.
… being in awe of his talent, his skill as an actor and the variety of roles that he chooses for himself. But simply the act of being interested in Benedict Cumberbatch, his back catalogue of movies and characters, the interviews he gives, and researching his person more and more, also means ‘ being in favour ‘ of his person.
This is not ‘ love ‘. To fall in love with a person, you have to be in real, immediate, touch with them, to have conversations (regardless how short they are) with them, to get to know them from a first hand perspective. And ‘ first hand perspective ‘ does not mean encountering them fleetingly in person in a ‘ meet and greet ‘ situation.
But you can take a liking to an actor. And that liking can include his character, liking the way he dealt with certain events in his life, and - yes - also include taking a liking to certain bodily features.
Which means, in my case, becoming a bit obsessive about searching for, and cherishing photos with him. When Mr. Cumberbatch is posing for the photographers (at a red carpet event or similar occasions), he either gives them a relaxed, natural smile - or shows his affection for his wife, for that matter - - - OR he is really posing, giving them a certain solemn posture, a look of steel, an image of strength, confidence and - - - beauty (that is not to say that his silly, or natural ‘ non-poses ‘ in front of a camera, cannot be as beautiful, if not even more beautiful).
I think I may like certain bodily features of Benedict more than others, because they subconsciously remind me of some of the bodily features my own (late) father had when I was a child and still full of confidence in him, when my father meant love and security to me, even some kind of warmth.
Which automatically answers the question whether I imagine myself “ In Bed With Ben “ - no, I don’t. Which is why I rarely read Benedict Cumberbatch RPF, but don’t have anything against Sherlock BBC (or some other fanons’) FPF.
So, to me, being a fan of Benedict Cumberbatch, means liking his work, liking his character - - - and even liking his forearms, his hands, or his cheekbones - - - but most of all, it means, having respect for him, and respecting him, and respecting those he cares for.
For, being a fan of Benedict Cumberbatch does NOT imply being a fan of, say Adam Ackland, or James Rhodes, or Rob Rinder, or even Sophie Hunter. But it means that you are either totally indifferent to these people, and aren’t interested in the things they do, or you respect them, for the simple fact that Benedict Cumberbatch is friends with them.
Heaping hate on them just for the simple fact that they, in your eyes, took ‘ your ‘ celebrity away from you, is an absolute NO-NO.
So, yes, ‘ there are all sorts around here ‘, and I embrace all kinds of Benedict Cumberbatch fans, but certain behaviours are neither respectful, nor follow the simple procedures of how two people should behave towards each other, regarding following the rules of simple etiquette, of politeness.
After all, being a fan means being in favour of something, and not being against something.
“I’ve walked about with Benedict in public and (the attention he gets) is full-on. He’s so gracious and has learnt how to manage it, but I get really protective and want to hide him. The fact that he has become this ginormous sex symbol is a bit of a surprise to him. He’s a nice sex symbol to have. He’s bright as a button and funny; he’s not just a six-pack.”
- interview with Louise Brealey, Stylist Magazine - 01/07/14