Princess Diana's Butler Is Gay. Who Cares?

The problem is hypocrisy, not sexuality: columnist
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 26, 2008 1:20 PM CST
Paul Burrell, Princess Diana's former butler, looks at a long, formal dinner dress in oyster duchesse satin, with a bolero jacket by Victor Edelstein that belonged to the Princess of Wales, in New York...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – A British tabloid had a field day this weekend outing Princess Diana's butler Paul Burrell, who has parlayed his notoriety into hosting a TV show on etiquette called "American Princess." But for one columnist, the allegations that Diana's married-with-children confidant trawls saunas for sex demonstrate a sea change in public perception: Increasingly, being gay isn't shameful, but lying about it is.

Philip Hensher, writing in the Independent, feigns surprise that a man whose career consisted of "expertly choosing what cocktail dress she was going to put on" was in the closet. But from Larry Craig to Burrell, recent outing stories all have a similar tenor: moral revulsion not for the sexuality but the deception. It's quite right to disdain them, Hensher writes, for lacking the "ordinary bravery" of millions of out gay men and women.