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Monday, March 10, 2008

This Is Going to End Badly

posted by on March 10 at 11:12 AM

If you knew a straight couple that had been together eight months—eight months—and they were talking about getting married and having children, would you take them seriously? No, you wouldn’t. So please don’t feel obligated to take this couple seriously just because they’re gay.


Jaason Simmons, who starred on Baywatch for three years, has come out of the closet. Good for him. He’s got a boyfriend! Good for him. They’re adopting—or they’ve adopted, or one of them adopted (it’s hard to tell)—an 8-year-old Ugandan boy. And they’re getting married. At eight months. Which strikes me as just a bit premature. Via Towleroad:

Simmons has appeared in Australian New Idea magazine with his boyfriend of eight months, Irish actor John O’Callaghan, and his adopted six year-old Ugandon son saying that they want to get married. The couple plan to wed in Canada as same-sex unions are not legally recognized in California where they both live.”

Said Simmons: “We’re doing it for our family and for my soon-to-be son. Although you don’t want to typecast yourself, you have to take responsibility and ownership and move humanity forward, out of bigotry. Our son needs to see we can stand in front of family and loved ones who are going to support our union through the good times and bad.”

Eight months. These men have been been together—excuse me, they’ve been dating—for eight months. And they’re getting married and adopting a child together. Does anyone believe that if Simmons were straight—if he were, say, a female pop star, and Miss Simmons was marrying a man she’d only known for eight months, and if Miss Simmons were already pregnant or talking about adoption—that Miss Simmons would be taken seriously?

Straight people? Please don’t take premature/immature commitments—marriage, family, children—any more seriously when gay people make them. You’re not obligated to make up for the centuries when our relationships weren’t taken seriously by smiling and nodding when someone introduces you to a “life partner” he met eight months ago. You would laugh in the face of a straight friend or relative who introduced you to a fiancé of eight month’s acquaintance. You should treat your gay friends and relatives the same way. We want to be treated equally. That means we should be treated with equal contempt when we engage in equally stupid behavior.

And gay people? While it’s nice to see another semi-famous actor come out of the closet—particularly one that looks like Simmons—Simmons’s premature commitment to this man, and their willingness to involve a child in this premature commitment, isn’t something to celebrate. Not yet, anyway. If they’re still together ten years from now, or two years from now, great, let’s have a party. But the odds are stacked against Simmons and O’Callaghan—not because they’re gay, kids, but because they’re foolish. They’ve only been together for eight months. Rather than end anti-gay bigotry as we know it, odds are that anti-gay bigots will be pointing to Simmons and O’Callaghan as an example of the instability of gay relationships when their marriage—like Britney’s and Pamela Anderson’s and J Lo’s, et al.—predictably ends in divorce.

RSS icon Comments


Hey! But my ex-husband and I got married after two months! Everything worked out. I think you're wrong.

Posted by Mr. Poe | March 10, 2008 11:29 AM

My parents married after eight months of dating and they're still together forty years later. It can happen.

Smiling and nodding when introduced to a fiance, as opposed to laughing in faces, is just a common courtesy sown to one's friends and relatives.

There are a lot of other criteria that we all use to judge whether a relationship will work out. I've known couples who are totally, completely wrong for each other who have been together for years.

Posted by Ty | March 10, 2008 11:31 AM

Oh, Dan. Why are you raining on their parade? They're young and in love.

Posted by Michigan Matt (soon to be Baltimatt) | March 10, 2008 11:31 AM

Not that I'm going to read the whole thing, but your quick blurb made it appear he's marrying a guy who had previously adopted an 8 year old Ugandan child.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but it's not like they say'd: "Well, here we are at eight months, let's go get married and find ourselves a kid...."

Posted by NapoleonXIV | March 10, 2008 11:34 AM

"John O’Callaghan, and his adopted six year-old Ugandon son"

Article seems to indicate son was adopted prior to their getting together.... did I miss something?

Posted by mirror | March 10, 2008 11:35 AM

Dan - get out of their love life.

I bet there are no stats on a longer engagement, so to speak, that indeed makes the relationship last longer.

You are becoming a bit of a harpie and a bit frumpy..... as well

Remember, LOVE?

Posted by Angel | March 10, 2008 11:35 AM

Dan, this is why I love you. (In a purely platonic way, of course.) Your ability to take idiots to hand in matters of love with practical advice that spans gay and straight has always won my respect.

Posted by Marty | March 10, 2008 11:37 AM

Just because YOU weren't sure for 10 know not everyone is afraid to open themselves up early in a relationship.

Posted by muggims | March 10, 2008 11:38 AM

I know a few straight couples who got married and then had a baby after eight months. (I'm part of one of 'em).

Posted by Banna | March 10, 2008 11:39 AM

Oh, lighten up on Dan, folks. So he doesn't think that rushing into marriage after only eight months is a good what? It's not unreasonable to think people shouldn't take life-altering decisions like marriage a bit more seriously.

@2 - yes, it can happen, but in my experience that's the exception, not the rule.

Posted by Hernandez | March 10, 2008 11:41 AM

Frankly, if you can tolerate someone for eight months, and their kid, it must be love....

Posted by NapoleonXIV | March 10, 2008 11:42 AM

Reality is so...frumpy sometimes. Starter marriages should never involve children, right Dan? If 2A Jason really cared about his BF and the kid, he would not speak to a tabloid reporter or authorize them to print photos of his family. People in love do stupid things

Posted by jackseattle | March 10, 2008 11:45 AM

Aw, don't be such a Debbie Downer, Dan.

And marriage is an important decision, but we've got divorces for a reason. At worst, these people fuck up their lives for a little while and everyone's inconvenienced. I'm always much more worried about couples who want children.

They're harder to "do over."

Posted by Gloria | March 10, 2008 11:45 AM

People have been calling my boyfriend of 11 months my "husband." And, yes, I'm a male.

Isn't there some sort of gay-to-straight dating time ratio? If you're gay, 9 months in a relationship is like 3 years in a straight one, or something like that. Its kind of like dog years.

And besides, Jaaaaaason is, like, totally in love. TBH, he did come out for the guy.

Posted by TheMisanthrope | March 10, 2008 11:51 AM

8 months is quick, but not completely beyond the pale. Especially for people in their thirties with ticking clocks. Happens all the time.

Although the phrase "Soul Mate" is a bit of a red flag.

Posted by flamingbanjo | March 10, 2008 12:04 PM

I'm curious Dan, what is the correct minimum amount of time before a couple can decide to marry?

Posted by Henrietta | March 10, 2008 12:05 PM


Jaaaaaason's eggs are almost done dropping, especially at 38. Soon, he'll be an infertile granny. :-/

Posted by TheMisanthrope | March 10, 2008 12:10 PM

I fail to see the difference between being "married" and "not being married." What kind of abracabrara happens that changes anything?

There is no such thing as marriage; there are only relationships: some permanent, some not, some monagamous, some not, some with children, some not, some legally recognized, some not.

Nothing changes when the guy in the black dress snaps the book closed and tells you to kiss. You still have the same relationship you've always had.

Posted by Cat in Chicago | March 10, 2008 12:10 PM

I think 8 months is enough time. If you truly feel a connection, why stretch it out? Look at Dharma & Greg, they turned out fine.

Posted by Carly D. | March 10, 2008 12:14 PM

See, if you had said 8 weeks, I would be totally with you Dan. But if a straight couple I knew got engaged after 8 months, I'd think it was quick, sure, but I wouldn't laugh in their faces either. I wouldn't even strongly urge them to slow down. 8 months is pushing it, but it's not totally insane.

Posted by arduous | March 10, 2008 12:22 PM
If you knew a straight couple that had been together eight months—eight months—and they were talking about getting married and having children, would you take them seriously?

Ummm, what? Breeders in their late thirties get married at the drop of a hat. Time's'a'wastin'!

Posted by Big Sven | March 10, 2008 12:28 PM

well, you know a trend is over when C-list celebrities start doing it...Madonna and Angelina will have to retaliate by adopting Eskimo babies.

Posted by michael strangeways | March 10, 2008 12:28 PM

Agree with arduous @20. 8 months is pushing it, but not ridiculous, for a couple, gay or straight (this coming from the person who knew her husband for 11 years before marrying him). Maybe what you're reacting to, Dan, is the "we're soooo in luuurve" vibe they are giving off, which is annoying no matter how long you've been together.

Posted by Julie | March 10, 2008 12:38 PM

Did we learn nothing from Ellen and Anne, or Bob and Rod Paris-Jackson?

Or perhaps we should look at it another way, Dan. Messy Celebrity Divorces might mean The Gays have finally fully arrived in pop culture.

Posted by Andy Niable | March 10, 2008 12:54 PM

I suppose these two guys haven't crossed Savage's Committed Partner Threshold.

This is the kind of blanket-statement silliness we usually read from Mudede. Le sigh.

Posted by doctiloquus | March 10, 2008 12:58 PM

Hey, my ex-husband moved in with his current girlfriend after three weeks of dating, and 3 and a half months later they're still going strong! See, these things can work out.

Posted by CoriR | March 10, 2008 1:14 PM

Please correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't Dan get on the baby train about 10 months after meeting Terry? (My apologies if my memories of "The Kid" are fuzzy).

I think anyone who goes on at length about their "super-extreme soul mate for life" is courting delicious irony, regardless of the length of the relationship.

Posted by Karla | March 10, 2008 1:20 PM

I think Jaaaason's looking for an Advocate cover to resucitate his flaccid career...but then, aren't we all?

And Dan ought to be happy for them; if they ever get "The Kid" turned into a Broadway musical, they can hire this yutz to star in the Sydney road company.

Posted by michaael straangeways | March 10, 2008 1:23 PM

Dan, it seems you're awfully young to make the transition to bitter old queen, but it's your life, so whatever. And Dan? I don't think anyone (except you?) takes Hollywood "marriages" seriously, gay or straight.

BTW, my partner and I met in a sleazy bar, he moved in the next week, and we've been together 22 years and have four kids. No marriage, though (too lazy to make the long trip north to Canada).

Posted by LA LA | March 10, 2008 1:46 PM

In Hollywood, eight months is a long time.

Posted by Will in Seattle | March 10, 2008 1:59 PM

Huh. See, I'm on the verge of proposing to my boyfriend after dating exactly eight months, so I'm not sure what the problem is here.

You date someone, you fall in love, you start talking about long-term and kids and you get engaged.

The rules don't say you have to get married immediately, right? I mean, can't I be engaged to my boyfriend for a year or so while we figure out wedding and housing and whatnot?

Maybe I'm blinded by romance, but I honestly don't see what the problem is here.

Posted by el ganador | March 10, 2008 2:05 PM

This is all so impulsive and sudden, especially for two gay guys.

If only there were some way to slow the process down, maybe by banning gay marriage?

Or maybe we could outlaw adoption.....

Posted by NapoleonXIV | March 10, 2008 2:27 PM

My brother and sister-in-law were engaged after less than a month of meeting via blind date. That was something like 20 years ago, and she's an absolutely terrific addition to our family.

Although, I gotta say, when I came home one night and my mom told me he proposed, I went a little bit ballistic and said "is he out of his fucking MIND?! They barely KNOW each other" and so on.

So yeah, I was wrong. Once. Twenty years ago. But I haven't made a habit of it.

Posted by Wolf | March 10, 2008 2:39 PM

Meh. He's from Tasmania, Australia's Appalachia. You should just be relieved he's not marrying his 12 year old brother.

Posted by banjoboy | March 10, 2008 2:54 PM

Jesus, Dan. Eight months is kinda short, but not crazy short. I moved in with my boyfriend after about 2 months, and we've been together for over 20 years.

Mind you, we're not celebrities, we didn't adopt kids, and we didn't do a publicity tour. The odds are against them, and they'll look like morons if they break up in a year. The whole celebrity-adopting-african-babies phenomena (gay or straight) is extremely off-putting. It almost seems like designer pets. Like there is a shortage of kids in the US that need an adoptive parent? WTF?

Posted by SDA in SEA | March 10, 2008 3:36 PM

Dan...I agree with you that this is premature...Jaason first has to get a divorce from me before he can get married to Johbby his soulmate...

Posted by Romi Simmons | March 10, 2008 5:03 PM

Dan...I agree with you that this is premature...Jaason first has to get a divorce from me before he can get married to Johbby his soulmate...

Posted by Romi Simmons | March 10, 2008 5:04 PM

I can't take him seriously because he's got two A's in "Jaason," and because he was on Baywatch.

Posted by Gitai | March 10, 2008 5:40 PM

We will never be truly equal until a gay Ugandan couple is free to adopt an eight year old Australian kid.

Posted by NapoleonXIV | March 10, 2008 7:54 PM

My husband and I were engaged after three days, married after 3 months(we lived 3,000 miles apart), and spent less than 8 days together before we married. That was two children and 27 years ago. I(we) still think it was incredibly rash, and the best decision either of us ever made!

Posted by allium122 | March 10, 2008 8:33 PM

Passing judgement may be your job, but it doesn't mean you're always spot-on when you do so. 8 months isn't Britney short (first or second marriage), and the kid has nothing to do with it. I guess if I agreed with you all the time, I'd get bored with your commentary.

Posted by dw | March 11, 2008 7:20 AM

Unfortunately, John and Jaason have only known each other for 3.5 months. This is a publicity stunt to revive dying careers.

Posted by Dude | March 11, 2008 8:46 AM

why is 8 months not enough??? if my average relationship lasts between 3 weeks and 3 months I'd say 8 months is enough o 'marry' or something...

Posted by banana | March 11, 2008 10:18 AM


it probably depends on your own collection of anecdotes from friends/acquaintances/etc., but ticking them off just now - a lot more of them 'met sleazy' e.g. got together in a short time and stayed together for a long time - than the other way round. people who drag their feet about it seem to be unsure; it's harder still to say with gays because most everywhere there are no legal options for showing commitment that would be officially recognized (and officially dissolved).

wonder what the stats are.

people who are quiet about it are no less screwed in the statistics, though, i think. our attention is just naturally drawn to those who are brave about it.

Posted by skeptical | March 12, 2008 9:15 AM

Danny-pooh... you are very wrong and it isn't any of your business. Shame on you for raining on their relationship.

I moved in with my soul mate eight months after I met him and lived happily ever after (until he died 12 years later).

Drop the scolding grandma posturing, please. You think too much and ya get all twisty and judgemental. Do some yoga or something...

Posted by Jeff Miller | March 13, 2008 10:47 PM

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