The nature of the evidence doesn’t matter, the source of your juicy gossip. Whether it’s airtight or speculation or friend-of-a-friend conjecture. But let’s be real: You know that it’s true. And regardless of what anyone’s told you, or what you’ve read, you know that it’s true because it just feels true, and it feels like shit.
And weird as it is to say this, I think it’s OK to talk about it. I’m not talking about the part that’s about them. We can’t know anything about that—how it unraveled and why—but I think we can talk about the part that’s about us.
So let’s start here: They were together. I can vouch for that, because I saw them together, and if you’re one of the nine gazillion other people who happened to see the two of them in the same room in the last four months or so, you’d know it, too. They were dating and they were in love. And despite their lack of public comment on the matter, they weren’t hiding it from anyone. They dated openly. I am not exactly a theatrical girl-about-town. I don’t work in theater. My friends are not actors. I don’t live in the theater district. But for most of the autumn, Gavin Creel and Jonathan Groff were the loveliest nonsecret in NYC, and that’s to say nothing of the National Equality March, and all the stories and photos that emerged from that weekend.
And they were awesome. It goes without saying that they were nice to look at, and there was something so romantic and charming and meant-to-be about them. (If you could have seen the way they looked at each other…) But it was more than that, too. With Jonathan’s career on the very brink, and Gavin’s activism in brilliant full swing, they were poised to become one of the most high-profile gay couples in this business we call show. You could see it coming. They stood next to each other and it nearly buzzed around their heads; it had the potential to be utterly barrier-shattering and world-changing.
Which is why their rumored breakup sucks so much. They were really cute, for sure, but they were also important. And let’s face it: we were rooting for them, for the seemingly magical thing they had going. We love them so much individually. All the better, then, to know that these two very sweet, very handsome, very talented people found each other. And they were symbolic, too. If that kind of romantic rightness could exist for them, maybe it exists for all of us.
Now we’re left with Sad Gavin, who’s clearly in a lot of pain. But of course, Sad Gavin is Real Gavin, and his candor, as always, has been oddly soothing. It gives shape to our own disappointment, but mostly, it lets us offer our support in the safest ways possible. You can send hugs on Twitter, after all, with very little presumption or intrusion. It’s also a pretty moving reminder that shit can happen, relationships can end, your show can ship you across an ocean, and you can be sad about it. You can be devastated, in fact. And you won’t die. You’ll still do eight shows a week. You’ll still post photos of your dog on Twitter. You’ll still sing like you’re bulletproof, like it never even happened. And at some point, it’ll be OK. If that’s all we ever know about what happened between him and Jonathan, that’s OK, too. Because that’s the part worth remembering, the part that, more than anything, is worth saying out loud.