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(And yes, someone has already called Spencer a “Small Fry,” har har.) The Internet reaction took an even darker turn when “Stephen Fry disgusting” reportedly trended on Twitter for a brief time following the announcement.In the media, the couple’s age gap has been treated less like a scandal and more like a spectacle, with headlines predictably highlighting Spencer’s youth.Sure, these Hollywood May-December relationships are surrounded by plenty of hubbub about “trophy wives” and “gold-digging,” but no one thinks that Clint Eastwood is a pedophile just because he married a much younger woman.However much we gossip about heterosexual couples with large age gaps, we at least refrain from calling them sex offenders.His partner is 16 years his senior and he has heard it all.Without missing a beat in our phone conversation, Bratton can perfectly mirror the sort of pop-Freudianism that outsiders bring to bear on his situation: “They look at me and [according to them] I have daddy issues and [my partner] is a pedophile.The news of Fry’s engagement, on the other hand, has done nothing but stoke the flames of a particularly virulent brand of homophobia that sees male homosexuality as a synonym for pedophilia and pederasty.University of California at Davis psychology professor Gregory M.

If it’s not obvious by now, the outsized reaction to Fry and Spencer’s age gap is deeply homophobic.

In the 90s, it kept gay men out of leadership roles in the Boy Scouts of America.

Today, it continues to circulate freely on the far Right.

In fact, one popular lesbian blogger jokingly suggested that the equivalent rule for same-sex couples should be “one-third your age plus ten years.”Even using that generous formula, Fry and Spencer’s age difference still seems quite large but it’s certainly not unheard of nor is it unacceptable.

June Thomas at Slate has a better guideline: “As long as everyone involved in a relationship is a responsible, mature adult, arithmetic should play no role in deciding a couple’s compatibility.” Sure, a 30-year age difference is nothing to sneeze at and, like any couple with that size gap, Fry and Spencer will have to do some extra work to make their lives coalesce across their generational divide.

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