Advice: Outing vs. Honesty
Submission by Branden Lee, TNG first-time contributor
I never understood why people get so outraged over the “outing” of someone. People react like it’s the most heinous act you can commit against a gay person. Like it’s equal to, or worse than, gay bashing. Many people hate Perez Hilton because he’s “outed” celebrities in the past. I never saw anything wrong with it. It actually makes me take more of an interest in the celebrity. I love discovering which celebrities are secretly gay. I’ve “outed” countless people in the past, but that depends on what your definition of “outing” is.
Yes, I am a gay man. I’ve gone through the journey of self discovery and becoming more comfortable with myself to the point where I can shout I’m gay and I’m proud from the mountain tops. I know what it’s like to be in the closet and not comfortable discussing my sexuality, but that was like in middle school. Maybe it’s because I was publically out of the closet by the end of my freshman year of high school, and came out to my parents over four years ago. I did progress and come out earlier in life than many other gays, but we all go through the same journey. It happens for all of us in different ways, but we all go through the same stages of denial, self-acceptance, and finally get to a point where we can openly discuss our sexual orientation without feeling shame or embarrassment. We all just progress at different rates.
If the person is a celebrity or non-celebrity and have a known same sex romance and it’s common knowledge they’re dating, married, or partnered with this person, despite them not openly discussing their sexuality, it’s still a fact. They’re gay. They know they’re gay. Others know they’re gay. If Perez or any other media outlet discusses that, I don’t see how it’s so “wrong” to discuss them and their life when the outlets are only reporting factual information. Granted there are rumors that every single celebrity is gay, but you can decipher when it’s actually true, most of the time, and when it’s complete bullshit.
I am a celebrity gossip junkie. When I find out that certain celebrities are gay, that makes me take more of an interest in them. There aren’t that many openly gay celebrities out there, and it’s nice knowing that there are famous gays out there who have overcome the adversity and barriers in place that fervently prevent gay entertainers from having main stream success. Granted some are still in the closet, and I’m not sure if the success of closeted gays counts for the success and strives of gays as a whole, but when they come out it will.
I’ve “outed” many gays in the past, but that depends on how you define “outing.” If you can obviously tell someone is gay by the way they walk, talk, dress, or know for a fact they’ve been sexual with someone of the same sex, and you discuss this with your friends who aren’t gay, does that count as “outing” them? Is that such an atrocious act? If you discuss someone you believe is gay with people who tell more people about your presumptions, does that count as “outing” someone?
I would consider my most malicious “outing” to be of a nemesis I had in high school. This nemesis is an obvious homosexual. I could always tell he’s gay and assumed he was out of the closet. Apparently he wasn’t and would try to deny it. I always thought it was really pathetic that he was still in the closet despite being so flaming.
Well my nemesis and a former boy I had been intimate with decided to get my Facebook disabled. I was livid. The guy I had been with confessed all to me before he moved back to the Middle East. He also told me that he was dating the nemesis before he left and that they were official boyfriends, but had since broken up. That somewhat bothered me that they were “boyfriends”. I was with the guy way longer and we weren’t official, but that was by my choosing. I refused to have my first official boyfriend be a secret romance. If we can’t be Facebook official then we couldn’t be official at all. I was hell-bent on revenge.
I told EVERYONE about my nemesis having a relationship with the guy. It wasn’t that much of a shock to most, since he’s obviously gay. It was really annoying when his friends would try to deny it. I knew for a fact that he’d been with a guy. I even shouted it out in a class I had with him, with our teacher in the room.
Things got so bad that we had a mediated session with our “Dean of Students”. It was basically the both of them saying what I was doing was wrong and it’s “not in my determination” to expose or divulge his sexuality. Nemesis even had a girlfriend at the time, and the guy that we both hooked up with sent the girlfriend a message revealing his relationship with her boyfriend, but he put my name on it. So I was getting blamed for it. I didn’t feel remorseful for “outing him”. He’s obviously gay and the fact he had a girlfriend, and that a girl would think it’s possible he was straight, was ridiculous. I felt no sympathy towards the both of them. I was only telling the truth. He’s gay and had a relationship with a guy. It happened. It’s a fact. Should telling the truth be a punishable act?
“Outing” someone does get complicated when you are romantically involved with them. The closet cases I’ve been with are always are extremely paranoid about people finding out and constantly swear me to secrecy. I hate when they tell me to “not tell anyone” including my best friends. I tell my best friends everything, and if I’m going to have an ongoing “relationship” with someone, I’m not going never tell my friends about it. Does that count as “outing” if you tell your best friends about the closet case you started hooking up with?
Even when things do get exposed and someone has been “outed,” it’s still just the revealing of the truth. It happened. They had a gay relationship. They’re gay. It’s a fact. Although the person may not be fully comfortable with their sexuality yet, and are not comfortable discussing it, it’s out there. They did what they did. They feel how they feel. They’re dating/having sex with someone of the same sex, and people know about it. “Outing” a celebrity or discussing their sexual orientation, when it’s not just speculation and there’s actual proof, is just discussing the truth. What’s wrong with revealing the truth?
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