Something to Be

First he called Pat Robertson the devil. Then he used Huffington Post to call for an end to same-sex marriage bans. Rob Thomas is an ally -- one who didn't sleep with Tom Cruise, but loves that you think he might have.

BY Ross von Metzke

June 12 2009 12:00 AM ET

ROB THOMAS MARISOL X390 (GETTY) | ADVOCATE.COM

Something people seem to have a hard time grasping.Well, if you think about the absurdness and the arbitrariness of the argument... I have friends who are conservative and, when they started talking about the idea of teachers being able to say that they're gay… being able to be openly gay teachers, there was an uproar. They're scared of some sort of gay osmosis happening to them -- they don't want a gay teacher teaching their kids because their kids will be gay. But they don't realize that the teacher's already gay. They're just talking about being able to be openly gay. So it's not some sort of a gay osmosis. If your kid is gay, it's already happened -- it's done.

I always think, "don't ask, don't tell" doesn't just apply to the military -- it applies everywhere. And it's even in our language. We have this idea of tolerance in our community. That's the wrong message to teach. Tolerating something means that in spite of the fact that something is wrong, you'll tolerate it. I'll tolerate that you're gay. I'll tolerate that you're black. I'll tolerate that you're latino. I think we need to teach acceptance and the difference between loving someone for who they are and tolerating them. Even in our vernacular, we teach that. "I'm OK that you're gay." Well, "Fuck you. Of course you are. Why wouldn't you be?" "I'm OK that you're black." "Well good for you, you've validated me. I'm so happy for you." [ Laughs ] It's so embedded in our culture, unfortunately, we still have a lot further to go with people.

Like many celebrities, you've been the subject of gay rumors -- there was, of course, the Tom Cruise rumor. Were you shocked when you read that?Oh come on, that was fucking great.

It was pretty brilliant.Are you kidding me? It could have been me and Screech from Saved by the Bell . But Tom Cruise is a pretty big star. I ran into him a couple of years ago at some NASCAR event and, after everything, it was so surreal. I said, "Hey, hey, come here. You're my boyfriend."

So if the tabloids gave you the opportunity to hook yourself up with someone, who would it be?OK, hold on, let me think. It wouldn't be Tom Cruise -- no offense to him, but… Maybe Snatch -era Brad Pitt. My wife has a crazy crush on Michael Pitt, and I get that one -- he's a cute guy. My wife and I are pretty good at going back and forth on her girl crushes and my guy crushes.

Do you each have a list?Yeah, it's always when you're watching the movies. She's like, "Well, I think he's hot," and I'll say, "Well, I don't get it." We were actually talking about this, certain guys -- remember Val Kilmer during Top Gun . He was this gorgeous guy and then, something happened to him. Not just getting older, but completely becoming this different human being. Same thing happened with Jason Patric -- like in Lost Boys , who was better looking than Jason Patric? And then, boom -- this crazy switch over.

We're starting to notice it happening with Brad Pitt -- he's arguably one of the best-looking men on the face of the earth and, little by little he's starting to make this transformation.

Yeah, well, doesn't he have something like eight kids now? That'll do it to you.[ Laughs ] Yeah, you're right -- God, eight kids.

What do you make of the celebrities who seem to get deeply offended by the gay rumors?I think you definitely have resentment in your heart if those kinds of things bother you. It's telling of their point of view. It would mean when they meet a person who is gay, they think there's something wrong with it -- wrong enough that they don't want it to be them. I'd understand it if somebody said, "Hey, you're a child molester." But if you're Pat Robertson, you don't know the difference. Gay and bestiality and child molestation is all the same, which is why I think he's the devil. But I think it does say something about you, and I think it means you have a certain amount of intolerance, even if you keep it down low and you don't talk about it. You're definitely saying there's something wrong with being gay.

I'm half gay on my mother's side, Ross… I don't know if you know that about me.

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