According to IMDb, “Ian Somerhalder is furious he was slammed as homophobic when he decided his famous gay kiss in The Rules of Attraction would be his last. The 26-year-old hunk nearly lost a lot of friends as a result of the public reaction to his remark, although he insists his words had been spectacularly misconstrued.”
It’s not me who can’t handle it, it’s the audience. It was completely unjustified – fans and outraged men saying that I was making anti-gay remarks. I wasn’t and those very close to me who are gay were visibly upset. I’d never make a disrespectful remark about anyone, especially in public, about one’s sexual preference.”
I think by “famous gay kiss”, IMDb means “kiss no one ever heard of in a movie no one saw”, so I’m not really sure what the big deal is. But having grown up about 5 minutes from where Ian grew up, I can tell you that it takes a lot less than kissing a guy for people in Louisiana to call you gay. It’s never filled with any venom or actual prejudice, it’s just fun to see if you can make your friends cry. Even watching a basketball game will get someone to tell you that you only do it cause you enjoy staring at all the sweaty black men. As if watching the NBA has always been unquestionably queer. And good luck if you want to order a vanilla soy latte. That’ll get you called homo for at least 30 minutes, long after you’ve thrown the latte in the trash.
There’s also this very NSFW picture from that shoot, which I’m going to label Exhibit A as to why the parents of most female models want to kill themselves, and usually just tell people that their daughter died years ago.