As for Penn, I can agree about James Franco, but not the marriage part (Yuck. Guess I am not a good gay guy. I can't stand that woman)
Anyway, I agree about the double standard thing. In England and elsewhere it seems an actor--even a prominent one--being out is not a big deal. They play gay, straight, etc without much comment from the public in England, for example.
But in the US it's another matter altogether. We have a culture that is seriously obsessed with masculinity in a very narrow sense of the term. I have always thought the biggest problem that some straight people have with gay men is that they see us being like women (ie, not masculine) and that is something they refuse to accept or identify with. I couldn't count the number of times I have heard a straight guy say he'd not have guessed someone was gay because the person did not display stereoptypical mannerisms. I try to explain that such mannerisms are surface, learned, acquired behaviors that really have nothing to do with one's sexual preference [or whatever term you might "prefer"
]. It's a big deal, in this country, to know or not know whether someone (especially a male) is gay. People can watch an actor like James Gandofini play a killer and think nothing of it, but if he plays gay....oh my God, what is happening?!... Maybe if we had an openly gay president it would help...Not likely in my lifetime..
Well, sorry for the rant. Keep the great reviews and comments coming!