It’s Up To You To Make Susan Sarandon Gay, I Guess

Feature image via Shutterstock

The first time you watched Thelma and Louise, you probably thought to yourself, “Wow, that sure was the gayest thing I’ve ever seen; too bad the actresses are straight.” Well, like the irrefutability of American democracy, this may just be one more thing you were wrong about. Susan Sarandon — most recently notable for her (groan) Anything’s Better Than Hillary campaign — told PrideSource that, much like pussies in Trump’s America, her sexual orientation is now “up for grabs.”

Is your sexuality more or less rigid these days? Basically, should we be welcoming you to the family?

(Laughs) Well, I’m a serial monogamist, so I haven’t really had a large dating career. I married Chris Sarandon when I was 20, and that went on for quite a while – each of my relationships have. I haven’t exactly been in the midst of a lot of offers of any kind. I’m still not! I don’t know what’s going on! (Laughs) But I think back in the ’60s it just was much more open.

Are you open regarding your sexuality?

Yeah, I’m open. My sexual orientation is up for grabs, I guess you could say. (Laughs)

There are, of course, many ways to turn a person gay. You could make them to scroll through Samira Wiley’s Instagram, for example. You could make them watch one of those shows that recruits kids into the homosexual lifestyle. Steven Universe, Adventure Time, something like that. You could take them to see a live taping of Ellen or gift them a biography about Eleanor Roosevelt or read any comics written by Kate Leth. You could watch the Troubletones perform Rumor Has It/Someone Like You on YouTube a couple of times in a row. Obviously love potions yield dubious results, but there are plenty of simple spells a modern witch could do to effectively grab someone’s sexual orientation. Perhaps you could employ some of those techniques on Susan Sarandon.

You might be wondering why, at this moment in time, you should focus your conversion energies on someone who danced from Bernie to Jill Stein to the idea that “Hey, maybe at least Trump will bring the Revolution” during the 2016 presidential election, an ethical trajectory that seems to indicate she didn’t quite grasp the horrors that would inevitably await everyone who’s not a rich white person living in southern California if Donald Trump actually got elected. And then there’s the thing where she went on Chris Hayes last night and continued to refuse to say she thought a Hillary presidency would be better than a Trump presidency, meaning she probably still doesn’t get it? And the part in the PrideSource interview where she says “to be depressed or to blame me [for Trump’s electoral college win] is not productive,” which, you know, maybe the person shrugging off a Trump revolution shouldn’t also be the person lecturing you about what’s productive.

But hey, look: she’s 70 years old, she’s saying her sexuality is up for grabs; what is that if not a teachable moment? If you turn Susan Sarandon gay, maybe there are a lot of other ways you could wake her up.

Your call, either way. Just thought you should know.

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Heather Hogan

Heather Hogan is an Autostraddle senior editor who lives in New York City with her wife, Stacy, and their cackle of rescued pets. She's a member of the Television Critics Association, GALECA: The Society of LGBTQ Entertainment Critics, and a Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer critic. You can also find her on Twitter and Instagram.

Heather has written 1718 articles for us.


  1. i’m still mad at her about jill stein but please call me when we’re ready to talk about her daughter.

  2. Everything about this confirms how shallow I am because I. Still. Would.

    I’m sorry I’m like this, but have you seen her I’m so sorry.

  3. But is Geena Davis still straight? Asking for a friend who never saw Thelma and Louise but watched A League of Their Own a LOT.

  4. “continued to refuse to say she thought a Hillary presidency would be better than a Trump presidency”

    And that’s something I resoect her for. For refusing to compromise and for standing for what she believes in even if it’s not convenient. Though of course, a Hillary presidency would be better. Too bad only for Americans but who cares.

    By the way, I love wording from linked article “she caused a firestorm by seeming to say a Donald Trump presidency might not be the worst thing in the world”. You’d think we’ve lived in paradise before Trump.

    • I just think it’s naive and gross of her to continue with this way of thinking… I mean, she’s rich and white – the Trump presidency won’t affect her the way that it will affect a majority of not only the country, but the world. And the fact that she still seems to be supportive of Stein demonstrates to me that she is clueless, because Stein has continued to dig herself into a whack-a-doo foxhole supporting anything not related to “mainstream Democratic beliefs”…. it’s absolutely counterproductive.

      • Of course. Does it mean she’s not allowed to have politicial views?

        Every presidency affects people and the world. Usually not in a good way. That’s how it is. I’m tired of listening how disastrous Trump’s presidency will be from the same people who conveniently ignore the fact in 2016 Obama administration dropped bomb every 20 minutes and are like “he was so charming, I’m gonna miss him” in their warm safe houses (that’s more general thought, not specifically referring to you). Trump won’t be different? His presidency will affect negatively a lot of people? Not a surprise.

        Idk, I’m not a fan of Stein (though if I recall correctly she was the only candidate to mention NoDAPL before the election and I appreciated her for that). Susan wrote many times that Stein stands for values she (I mean Susan) believes in – and the fact that she continues to support her after the hate she gets is something I admire. She also spoke out loud things most of the people chose to ignore.

    • But I mean, it’s not just for Americans. And I’m not just talking about military foreign policy. The consequences of Trump reinstating the global gag rule are going to be catastrophic for millions and millions of people — mostly women — worldwide who rely on NGOs for a portion (or all) of their healthcare services. And climate change! We are at peak crisis level for climate change. And deregulation! Republicans are going to follow the money and allow it to pollute the world’s food and water supply without remorse. America’s imperialism, absolutely, Hillary would have continued that foreign policy — but to suggest that only Americans would have benefitted from Hillary’s presidency and only Americans will be harmed by Trump is just very untrue.

      • I didn’t say that only Americans will be harmed by Trump (I’m sorry if it sounded that way) – I’m pretty sure he won’t change America’s foreign policy that much. Everything you said is true though I’d swap “republicans” for politicians, government in general (but that’s just my opinion, I may be cynical).

        I think Hillary’s actual record in foreign policy and wars she supported speak for themselves about who’d benefit from her presidency.

        And thank you for answer!

        • “I’m pretty sure he won’t change America’s foreign policy that much.”

          He’s barely been in office a month and he’s managed to:

          1. Offend a longtime American ally (Australia)
          2. Completely botch a counterterrorism operation in Yemen, killing Americans
          3. Offend China by criticizing their One China policy only to withdraw his criticism when they granted him the trademark he’d been denied for he last 10 years (what a coincidence)
          4. Publicly reject a two-state solution
          5. Russia has a ship doing donuts off the coast of Delaware.

          I’m certain I’m forgetting some other missteps…and I won’t even dig into his appointments…but the suggestion that American foreign policy hasn’t changed is preposterous.

          • Where did I suggest that? I said that his foreign policy won’t change enough to not continue harming people outside the US.

        • I agree Alex, that Susan Sarandon is allowed to have political views and they ought to be judged in context. I wouldn’t have voted like her, but I am not comfortable to see her villainized. I think it would have been more strategic for her to talk about DAPL etc instead of feeding flame wars, but she has a right to her opinion.
          I also think cynicism toward the Democrats is entirely justified, and yet Trump has turned a page in a much more sinister chapter of American history than Clinton would have. Clinton would, under no circumstances, have started a nuclear war. Trump is capable of that. Similarly, I have no love for Al Gore, but he wouldn’t have invaded Iraq. Obama’s drone program was unconscionable, but Bush killed more people. Clinton’s hands aren’t clean, but the Republicans will kill more people and that matters.
          I am still mad at the Democrats, especially since Bill, for advancing a neoliberal agenda that contributed to income inequality and allowed the rise of right wing populism. It’s a complicated issue.

    • It is odd to witness people like Chris Hayes hold Susan Sarandon more accountable for Trump’s win than his own network, MSNBC, which gave Trump months and months of obsessive coverage (even of his empty podium) because the ratings were too good to resist. Sarandon’s mistakes cannot compare to the total failure of professional journalists to do their job and not fall for the charms of a reality TV star.
      She chose the wrong time and wrong tone in which to voice legitimate leftist dissent with the Democratic party, whereas MSNBC and all the other networks gave Trump a free platform to plug steaks and fascism.

  5. I should’ve known that this is an Heather Hogan post. When will this site get rid of her? She was horrible on Afterellen and racist.

      • Have the Russians sent bots as far as even our little corner of the internet? We need some kind of community response to bots. Like, a subscription to teen vogue or a misandrist pin. Anyway, go back to 4chan, bot!

      • You realize, of course, that you just provided HH with a great quote for her portfolio page: “Heather Hogan is problematic.” And, btw, being problematic is one of my favorite things about her.

      • i think you’re missing context here! Heather (if i remember correctly) was calling out transmisogyny from cis lesbians. also, your link does nothing to address the accusation of racism! Like, as white folks, we are all pretty damn racist, but Heather Hogan is pretty much the real deal when it comes to supporting marginalized communities? I’d like to think you’re coming to AS in good faith, but literally EVERY PERSON is problematic bc they are people.

      • Oh, this again. Sorry, but you’re super-late to the troll party on this one – better luck next time.

      • Please refer to the Things I Read that I Love discussion wherein Heather was accused of racism by TERF apologists who clearly had a different agenda than calling out racism.

        Heather rightfully expressed horror at transphobic/biphobic people organizing under the banner of lesbophobia and provided ample evidence of this trend. She was attacked by several commenters, some of whom ended up making explicitly transphobic remarks. Her main critic made nasty comments to other LBQT women, and labeled everyone who disagreed with her as racist/antisemitic. This critic never disavowed the transphobic remarks. She claimed to be concerned about racism but ignored the many people of colour/Jews who disagreed with her.
        Heather isn’t above criticism. But if you use ‘lesbophobia’ without biphobic/transphobic connotations, you would do well to resist the transphobes/biphobes hijacking your term before demonizing her for expressing valid alarm at that trend.

  6. I don’t know, maybe it’s just me but to me that reads as potentially just trying to be cool and not alienate her interviewer and fans. There are some big parts of Sarandon’s context (age, culture) that I don’t share, but to me that just sounds like what people say to seem more cool and accepting, or included. You just use words like “open” or “close relationship” and fill in the blanks with lots of knowing smiles and likable gaiety so your interlocutor feels like a co-conspirator and doesn’t ask the follow-up questions that makes you clarify that you’ve never seriously had an inclinations towards same-sex relationships or attractions. It’s “open”, like I’m quite open to the idea that I might die an Orthodox Jew—I’m a polytheist feminist of 100% North European descent, but I acknowledge that I don’t know what the future will bring so there’s certainly a chance I’ll have a change of heart in my 50s, convert and move to Israel.

    I suppose it could be nervous laughter and trying to hint at something without causing a storm in a teaparty, especially given the roles she has chosen. But it seems like much ado about little. Maybe I’m missing something.

  7. Please stop throwing so much shade on Ms. Sarandon.

    A few facts to ponder:

    The host, Chris Hayes, works for MSNBC.

    MSNBC is owned by Comcast.

    Comcast spends a shit tonne on lobbyists in Washington.

    Comcast donated a shitload of money to the Clinton campaign.

    Comcast is against net neutrality.

    Chris Hayes makes $10 million bucks a year

    That’s around $30 thousand bucks PER DAY.

    He’s not a real journalist anymore.

    He is the guy put there to make you believe that progressives like Sarandon were, and still are, the problem.

    Don’t drink the kool-aid, or you help him actually earn his money.

    • Sorry but you sound like an idiot. She’s a bigot. That’s the only reason why Heather Hogan likes her. I’m starting to think this site isn’t really for all LGBTQ. It’s mainly for white lesbians only with a few WOC token writers If it’s not, this writer would be gone.

      • Returned you have.

        I’m offended and grossed out you think Alaina, Laura, Kaelyn, Cecelia, Mey, Isabel and Kayla are tokens. They’re people, not non-sentient fancy pieces of metal.
        Smart, funny people who are much more literate and articulate than you and me.
        Good at writing and thinking too.

  8. Ok, so I am not a huge Susan Sarandon fan. If we leave her political stance out of it, I still don’t lose my mind over her. With that said, there were a few moments in ‘Shall we dance’ that she made me gulp hard. There was just something about her in that movie that gave me feels. I wasn’t out yet when that movie was in the theater and I remember feeling nervous watching it with my friends.

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