Sunday, April 19, 2020

The "Politically Correct" Weapon by Renato Floris

Admitting that I care very little about the sexuality of others, I will for the record clarify my position on Rudolph Valentino's sexuality.

I state that my position is not governed by prejudices of any kind. For many years, I worked in the world of entertainment and yes, ever since as an adolescent in 1958, when I tiptoed into that world. On my contract, "Child actor" was written and that qualification is what Tracy Ryan Terhune and David Bret find so laughable. Perhaps their reaction is due to the fact that their adolescences consisted of deadly boredom and as we know, envy is always the worst motive.

Well in the entertainment world, it is rare for someone to feel they ever needed to hide their sexual orientation and this is a positive thing when one realizes the many areas where such freedom is not allowed or accepted.

In my years in the entertainment world, (going on to act professionally in theater and then work in video and television) I have had many friends with sexual orientations different from mine. This fact never influenced or invalidated our friendships. I confess that many times I declined sexual advances which were not homogeneous with my sexuality but this never generated conflict.

In my many years of analyzing the character of Rudolph Valentino, I have been able to form an image of who he was which I consider quite precise and reliable; therefore I want to share my thoughts on this.

Let's jump to that fateful February 26, 2009, when Evelyn, invited by the University of Turin, delivered her lecture on Rodolfo Valentino's sexuality.

Evelyn, as an excellent researcher of historical "cold cases", found that there is no direct evidence of a homosexual or bisexual Valentino, a theory purported by Valentino biographer Emily Leider. From Evelyn's research, it was revealed that some self-appointed Valentino biographers contributed their fantasies to create the most beautiful man, Valentino.. into a gay icon, certainly a fate denied to Danny de Vito, Fernandel, Luis Guzmán, Marty Feldman or Clint Howard, just to name a few.

Valentino's beauty and charm are the reasons he was promoted to Gay Icon.

And this without taking into account the personal history of Rudy who, at the "venerable" age of 15 years, tells a friend how he likes to have fun with female artists of the variety shows and street prostitutes... he had so much fun with them he contracted a venereal disease, it is not known if it was gonorrhea or syphilis but this is of little importance.

It seems to me that a fifteen-year-old boy fascinated by those charming and available girls, professional or not, doesn't have enough credential to become a gay icon.

And today as I was writing this, something happened to me.. a paper appeared as if fallen from heaven. Perhaps it was sent to me by the spirit of Rudy asking for ransom? It was a print-out of a post dated October 29, 2003 by Emily Leider, where she states that Valentino was not "incapable of being bisexual"... This is truly what we Italians refer to as a “Jesuit” statement...double talk.

Ms. Leider writes verbatim: “I realize that I am not likely to persuade anyone who believes that Valentino was incapable of bisexuality to my point of view but my conviction that he (VALENTINO) had a relationship with André Daven is based on more than they shared fishing trip. Jacques Hébertot's letters and telegrams to Valentino are a prime source. Another indication that Daven had homosexual relationships comes from a book on the Swedish Ballet which mentions Daven's relationship (after he had ceased to be close to Valentino) with Rolf de Maré who was openly gay.”

So following her logic, anyone with a working relationship with a gay person must be gay by default? This is really a prejudice of a disheartening banality.

Jacques Hébertot who, among other things, personally declared to Jeanne De Recqueville that Valentino was not gay, which Robert Florey confirmed. Leider, whose intellectual honesty I do not question, also develops a bold theory by writing that Daven, after having ceased his "relationship" with Valentino, and we now know the actual reason for that from a letter Valentino wrote to Hébertot, had an emotional relationship with Rolf de Maré who was openly gay. Madame Leider ignores the fact Daven was an employee of de Maré as he partially took over from Hébertot in the managment of the Theatre des Champes Elysées.

Rolf de Maré was a Swedish entrepreneur and art collector who in 1920 founded, in Paris, with his life partner the Swedish dancer and actor Jean Börlin, the Ballets Suédois at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées. De Maré and Börlin had a great and lasting relationship without the need for Daven's intrusions.

That André Daven who, in those same years, had an intense relationship with Yvonne Legeay which was followed by the great love of his life, Daniela Parola who he took as a wife and stayed with her until separated by death. I kindly invite Ms. Leider to review her claims, and if she can give me clear proof and documentation that she is right, I will accept her theory.

Now it is given that Evelyn was unaware of what David Bret's response would be to her examination of his undocumented tall tale boasting Valentino's homosexuality.. and she was unconscious as to what his reaction would be to her proving his anecdotes were only "witty inventions".

The result for her has been and is more than ten years of continuous attack by David Bret who, taking advantage of the climate of "political correctness" about the subject of homophobia... portrayed Evelyn everywhere as a liar and flawed homophobic and he did so precisely by invoking political correctness. This was and is an unspeakable crime.

To this we must add that Evelyn was accused of unfair play by David Bret and Cindy Martin who pretend that an author can not criticize a fellow author... This despite the fact Bret was precisely doing this and still is in a terrible way to Evelyn. I think it should be a respectful exchange of fair play between honest authors but this would require a degree of intellectual correctness on all sides.

Evelyn has always demonstrated intellectual honestly while those who preach about a gay Valentino and with no documentation, demonstrate very little of that honesty.

In closing; if I declare Pope Francis is not Muslim this doesn't mean I'm Islamophobic. I simply state that the Pope is not Muslim and that's all... but this is exactly what happened to Evelyn when she said there is no evidence Valentino was homosexual which does not mean she's homophobic.

Political correctness is an important achievement of our culture but it can become a weapon, a double-edged sword if used in a way misrepresenting the reality of the facts, therefore we must pay a lot of attention when some people misuse political correctness in targeting a scapegoat.

Think people think and I wish a happy intellectual honesty to you all!