What's the Difference Between 'Overcompensating' and Just Being, Well, Straight?

Last week I wearily conceded that yes, in fact, the boys from Gossip Girl might actually be straight. Though the teen soap itself is gay as Christmas, the actors on the show are constantly "spotted" romancing ladies and stealing kisses in public places. (And, um, fellating beer bottles.) Though! Maybe they're just "overcompensating"? The Daily News and Daily Intel seem to think so, specifically about young Conner Paolo, who plays newly gay Upper East Sider Erik van der Woodsen on the show.

"Spotted: Actor Who Plays Gay Overcompensating by Kissing Girls In Public," hisses Intel's headline for an event wrap-up. Paolo was apparently sucking face on the red carpet with some dizzy dame (pictured above) named April Alice, behavior that looked like "flaunted heterosexuality" to the Daily News. And, yeah, I don't know. I'm all for silly gay rumors, because they're amusing and fun and just might be true sometimes. But when a seventeen-year-old is making out with his girlfriend, is it really "overcompensating" or is he just, you know, a seventeen-year-old straight boy?

Yes, it was on the red carpet, and that's a bit of a "look at meeeee" PDA in a way that doesn't seem exactly organic, but he's definitely not the first celebrity to kiss someone in front of cameras. Maybe it's kind of a giddy thrill, you know? Maybe that's all it is. The idea that an actor who, whether he's gay or straight in real life, plays gay on TV must be grandly trying to shake off that image at any possible opportunity is a bit... I don't know, rude in some way. I'm probably being totally hypocritical and will double back on myself next week, but right now it just seems a bit like piling-on and over-analyzing the hormonal bumblings of a teenager. So, there.

But, on the other hand, we received a tip that Paolo's costar, Ed Westwick, was at a basement gay bar recently hitting on some mens. So, hah! Game on!!

Update: A Facebook-roving tipster tells us that the girlfriend's name is, in fact, Alice. And they had the photos (from Facebook, natch) to prove it:

What's the Difference Between 'Overcompensating' and Just Being, Well, Straight?


[Image via Splash]