Despite the fact that what passes for news in America and what passes for reality on reality TV are one and the same thing these days, news stories about the foibles of mankind don’t generally interest me. From headlines alone I already know Lindsay Lohan is a drugged out alcoholic bitch with light fingers. And I know what Anthony Weiner’s penis looks like draped in underwear, though I haven’t a clue as to why those pictures surfaced. America may be fascinated with the antics of a six-year-old fat piece of future white trash being dressed up like a 16-year-old whore to win dubiously titled ‘beauty’ contests, but I really don’t need to make Honey Boo Boo part of my life. Other than as a reminder of why so many of my countrymen buy into the claim that FOX news is actually news. Generally, if a story is about a ‘personality’ instead of a newsworthy event, I ignore it as much as humanly possible. Unless, of course, it involves hot naked male flesh.
That doesn’t mean I’m not aware of those stories; articles about global warming and civil unrest always take a backseat to scandals and long-winded descriptions of who wore what to the latest round of entertainment industry awards. So I knew about the strange case of Manti Te’o once it began to surface. Being not the least bit interested in college sports or dead girlfriends, I just never bothered to delve deeper into the story. Now that it has taken on a gay angle – which always holds some promise of hot naked male flesh – my interest in the tale has taken off. Even though one of the two Pacific Islanders involved in the story is ugly enough to make a freight train take a dirt road. Besides, watching the talking heads on FOX try to pronounce Manti Te’o is almost as enjoyable as watching them try to correctly pronounce Quatar.
For those of you unfamiliar with the story, let me fill you in on the basics. Te’o, who is a linebacker for Notre Dame’s football team, met a girl on-line, fell in love, bragged to all of his buddies about his new girlfriend – whom he had never met in person – and then elicited tons of sympathy when shortly after the death of his grandmother, his girlfriend died too. No problemo. If a touri who spent a week in Thailand getting his rocks off with a bar boy can claim he now has a boyfriend, a semi-athletic Samoan can claim girlfriend rights with an internet friend too.
Three months later, the ‘girlfriend’ resurfaced, alive once again. Which sounds suspiciously like the life cycle of Thai water buffaloes. Te’o quickly – at least for a Samoan – figured out he’d been scammed and that his now no longer dead girlfriend really wasn’t. Exactly why he felt the need to report this to his coaches, or why Notre Dame began an investigation into the matter, and why they all felt the need to bring in the press I’m a bit fuzzy on. Other than that Penn State recently discovered how detrimental sweeping a scandal under the rug can be. Regardless, the media went crazy for the story because the choice between reporting on the Fiscal Cliff or a football player’s no longer dead fake girlfriend was an obvious one. It’s just a shame he hadn’t shot her, or the story would have really had legs.
The story, which at best should have lasted for a single 24-hour news cycle, became the lead news for the pundits at FOX, who spotting a new newsworthy member of a minority wrapped up in a scandal, couldn’t control themselves. They began to dump on Te’o in a big way, accusing him of fabricating the entire tale in order to gain the public’s sympathy which in turn increased ticket sales at Notre Dame’s games and furthered Te’o’s ambitions in winning the Hiesman Trophy (not that either of those things actually happened). Bill O’Reilly even foamed at the mouth while condemning Te’o for perpetrating such a hoax. Or for having a name Bill could not pronounce. Maybe Manti Te’o will be his next word of the day. Bill thought Te’o’s actions were almost as bad as Hillary Clinton faking a brain tumour to get out of appearing before the congressional committee investigating the Benghazi attack. Like the Muslim terrorist story ever stood a chance . . .
Despite Te’o’s story showing up on FOX’s list of talking points daily, that should have been the end to a story that should never have captured the national media’s interest in the first place. It didn’t mine. Until the most recent chapter. It turns out the once dead girlfriend was in fact a hoax. And it turns out the once dead girlfriend was in fact a dude. So Te’o never had a fake internet girlfriend, he had a fake internet boyfriend. Even if he didn’t realize his chick had a dick. Evidently Te’o has never heard about webcams.
The press decided to call the not dead girlfriend who really was a guy a hoaxster. His name is Ronaiah Tuiasosopo. And yes, all Samoans have cool names. I would just like to interject that considering how well Tuiasosopo pulled his faked internet ID off, all of the hydras who post on the gay Thailand forums should immediately cease and desist out of shame. Or at least email Tuiasosopo for some tips on how to do it right.
Hoax aside, at its heart this is a story of two men who met on-line and fell in love with each other. Sure, one of them thought he was falling head over heels for pussy, but the emotional bonding between the two guys can not be ignored. And you know there was a good deal of masturbating going on on both sides of that internet connection too. Even without a webcam. Unless you are a member of the press. Even the right-wing haters on FOX are not using the gay label in their follow up coverage. Because, despite what is in their black little hearts – and thanks to their realization that they desperately need to expand their voter base – saying bad things about gay people just isn’t acceptable anymore. Even when they would have a right to. We’ve come a long way baby. At least since November.
More details about the affair are coming to light thanks to a two part interview Tuiasosopo is giving to Dr. Phil. I’d watch the second part except that means I’d have to watch Dr. Phil which is almost as bad as tuning into Oprah. I’d be more inclined to go see Oprah in person then watch her show on TV, just for the free goodies she bribes her studio audience with. If you can consider surrounding yourself with an audience of 500 women whose menstrual cycle just went into synch with Oprah’s free. But then I really don’t need to be the unproud owner of a new Ford Focus. Tuiasosopo, nonetheless, is spilling his guts and getting his 15 minutes of fame. While Te’o, who now knows he fell in love with dick, is finally, not surprisingly, keeping mum.
Now you could try to claim there is nothing gay about their love affair because Te’o didn’t know he was in the middle of a bromance. We also know Te’o is not gay thanks to the hard hitting journalism of Katie Couric who asked him if he was. If you want a demonstration of how not to be convincing when denying you are gay, check the clip out on YouTube. Of course any 22-year-old stud who only has a fake girlfriend that he has never met is probably trying to hide something. But I can tell you from the years I spent living in Hawaii, little gay local boys do not go gay until they hit 28 years of age. Then they explode. Especially the first time. Literally. I haven’t a clue why this phenomenon exists, but have frequently thanked the gods that it does. So despite having fallen in love with a dude, Te’o has another six years to go before he turns gay. I just hope he manages to find a real boyfriend when he does.
Tuiasosopo too is trying to avoid the gay issue. Even though he suspiciously looks like a darker version of Chaz Bono. But that’s more about being a transsexual than about being gay. If you ignore the T in LGBT. And ignore the lack of a P dangling from between Chaz’s legs. Not that either of these Samoan guys are likely to be sprouting that much more than Chaz. There’s a good reason why Samoa is located toward the bottom of the map. Regardless of size, or lack thereof, Tuiasosopo is not quite sure what he is supposed to do with his. After admitting to Dr. Phil that he and Te’o were in a romantic relationship, he admitted he was gay. Then claimed he was confused. And then claimed he was a recovering homosexual. I’m guessing confused was the closest answer to being correct. Though totally fucking whacked might be an even better answer.
TMZ reported that in addition to the Lennay Kekua persona Tuiasosopo used to bond with Te’o, he created yet another female character, like Lennay, to interact with men through her – because instead of feeling guilt about his sexuality, he could then chalk it all up to make-believe. Which most adults call a sexual fantasy. Or fetish. The media said Tuiasosopo did the fake on-line girlfriend thing because he otherwise feared scorn and ridicule from the Samoan community. That sounds like a reasonable excuse. Except for that like with ladyboys in Thailand, men who want to develop their female character in Samoa too are free to do so. Fa’afafine are a normal and accepted part of Samoan culture. Even on-line. And considering the large number of ‘straight’ men who head to Bangkok for ladyboy love, Tuiasosopo could have scored a hell of a lot of more dick using the fake fish scam instead of the catfish scam he went with. Then Te’o could have been happy with a fake fake girlfriend. Like other normal straight guys. At least until he turns 28.
Te’o and Tuiasosopo’s on-line love affair lasted for just over two years before Tuiasosopo pulled his death act. The two spent hours on the phone
having phone sex chatting in addition to their on-line time together. Tuiasosopo now admits that it was really him on the phone with Te’o, even though he’d previously claimed to have used a female cousin to make those calls. Te’o now admits that though he’d previously told his father that he met Lennay in person, he never did. Though he did meet Tuiasosopo. Huh. For two men who like to point to their staunch religious beliefs – they are both Mormon – as justification for why neither can possibly be gay, neither seems capable of telling the truth. Or being believable when they lie. So much for the power of magic underwear.
Like the Republican Party, the Mormon church now says it is okay to be gay. Their twist on the subject, however, is that while it is okay to be a homosexual, you just can’t act on it. And if phone sex doesn’t count, Te’o and Tuiasosopo’s relationship is cool with their faith. Though while both are firm in their belief that God lives on a planet named Kolob, neither thinks he is gay. Yet. Even though both have been in a romantic relationship with another guy for the last two years. That begs the question of just what it is that makes you officially gay?
There are many men who have had sex with a another man who still consider themselves straight. And many men who have had sex with lots of other men who too say they are straight. Then there are the guys who go to Thailand to have sex with ladyboys – which still puts one too many cocks into the equation – who claim to be straight. There are also guys who identify as gay though they have never had sex with another man. That would lead one to believe that it is not the act, but rather how you feel inside that qualifies as being gay. And even if you are confused and do not want to pin a gay badge onto your shirt, if you are romantically involved with another man, you are probably gay.
Tuiasosopo may have been pretending to be a woman, but certainly knew he wasn’t and obviously knew he was – or is – in love with a dude. He may not be ready to admit he is gay, but that day will come. Probably sooner than he expected. Te’o can use the excuse that he thought he was in love with a woman, but there are just too many little signs that make you suspect that was but a convenient illusion. If nothing else, he needs to consider what it is inside him that opened him to a romantic relationship with another guy – whether he really thought the dude was fish or not. Both have probably learned that discovering your sexuality on-line is probably not the best way of doing so. And having that journey played out in the national media is even a worse idea.
With all the airtime to be filled by television newsprograms that aren’t, both Te’o and Tuiasosopo still have ample opportunity to continue the saga of their love affair gone wrong in the public eye. At least until the next vehemently anti-gay Republican gets caught having sex with another man. More allegations, denials, confessions, and excuses are sure to be brought to light before their tale has been totally beat to death. Which can’t come too soon. At least until their sex tape surfaces.
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