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Ghost screenwriter Bruce Joel Rubin on coming out: 'I've never not been gay'

Ghost screenwriter Bruce Joel Rubin on coming out: 'I've never not been gay'

Bruce Joel Rubin Ghost movie screenwriter coming out gay
Pablo Cuadra/Getty Images

Rubin has opened up in his just-published memoir, It’s Only a Movie.

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Bruce Joel Rubin, the screenwriter of such acclaimed films as Ghost and Jacob’s Ladder, has come out as gay in his newly published memoir, and says he’s always been gay even though happily married to a woman for more than 50 years.

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“I’ve never not been gay,” Rubin, 81, recently toldThe Guardian. “I am fully gay, and I always knew it.” He’s come out to the world in his memoir, It’s Only a Movie.

“I don’t like that I was closeted for so long,” he said in the interview. “But it would just have confused people.” He came out now, he said, because “I didn’t want to leave this world with any secrets.”

Rubin revealed that he met his future wife, Blanche, shortly after hearing the Jefferson Airplane song “Somebody to Love.” “He blurted out everything: that he was gay but had enjoyed what little sex he’d had with women, and that he had petitioned God to find him a partner,” The Guardian reports. “They married two years later.”

“Clearly, I held back my sexuality,” he told the outlet. “My sexual life was always very internalized. Of course, one wants orgasmic life, but I had orgasms with Blanche. She and I had a good sex life.” He said they “had a conjoined relationship with a guy I liked in our ashram. She had a private moment with him, and so did I. Also, I had a few other things along the way, which I didn’t write about because they might embarrass people. It’s not like I’ve been dead to that world. But I’m happily gay. And I’ll tell you something you’ll find out: when you hit your 80s and you think your libido is gone, it comes flying back. So big! Male beauty for me is overwhelmingly powerful. Just seeing someone in the supermarket, I feel this explosive joy.”

He also said he was drawn to BDSM sex but thought he would be ostracized because of it. “There were no clubs I knew about, no way to announce that part of my sexuality,” he said. “I had no idea there were so many people who were invested in the same ride.”

He noted that a key scene of Ghost is a love scene between two women — the spirit of Sam, Patrick Swayze’s character who is murdered, enters the body of medium Oda Mae, played by Whoopi Goldberg, and Oda Mae caresses Sam’s lover, Molly (Demi Moore). “What I tried to emphasize was that even though it was Oda Mae’s hands, it felt like Sam,” he said. I didn’t think of it as lesbianism, but I knew there would be people who would go, ‘Hmm.’”

He added that he believes his gay sexuality made him a writer. “Being ‘other’ is what led me to be a writer,” he said. “I had to step out of the mainstream of life and look at it from a different angle. Finding yourself on the fringe of human experience is a gift rather than a torment. A movie like Ghost reached hundreds of millions of people, and it’s my little hidden lifestyle that gave me a voice to speak to them.”

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Trudy Ring

Trudy Ring is The Advocate’s senior politics editor and copy chief. She has been a reporter and editor for daily newspapers and LGBTQ+ weeklies/monthlies, trade magazines, and reference books. She is a political junkie who thinks even the wonkiest details are fascinating, and she always loves to see political candidates who are groundbreaking in some way. She enjoys writing about other topics as well, including religion (she’s interested in what people believe and why), literature, theater, and film. Trudy is a proud “old movie weirdo” and loves the Hollywood films of the 1930s and ’40s above all others. Other interests include classic rock music (Bruce Springsteen rules!) and history. Oh, and she was a Jeopardy! contestant back in 1998 and won two games. Not up there with Amy Schneider, but Trudy still takes pride in this achievement.
Trudy Ring is The Advocate’s senior politics editor and copy chief. She has been a reporter and editor for daily newspapers and LGBTQ+ weeklies/monthlies, trade magazines, and reference books. She is a political junkie who thinks even the wonkiest details are fascinating, and she always loves to see political candidates who are groundbreaking in some way. She enjoys writing about other topics as well, including religion (she’s interested in what people believe and why), literature, theater, and film. Trudy is a proud “old movie weirdo” and loves the Hollywood films of the 1930s and ’40s above all others. Other interests include classic rock music (Bruce Springsteen rules!) and history. Oh, and she was a Jeopardy! contestant back in 1998 and won two games. Not up there with Amy Schneider, but Trudy still takes pride in this achievement.