Atlantis Alumni

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Outing Redux

The debate about "outing" is back in the news. A staff member for one of the most viciously anti-gay Republican presidential candidates was recently "outed" by a newspaper. This 18 year old male was known to have been present at demonstrations against a gay rights ordinance holding a sign that read something like "go back into the closet." Details can be found on many of the gay and lesbian blogs and web sites, so I won't go into that here.

I would like to say that "outing" someone who is actively working against the interests of the gay community is fair play in my book. After all, you can only be outed if you've already compromised your little secret somehow, by going to a gay bar, or visiting a gay chat room, etc. Those opposed to outing cite a person's "right to privacy." Richard Mohr, a professor and author, has noted that privacy has to do with things like a person's physical space, e.g., their home, and not some secret that they expect the rest of us to keep for them even though we never agreed in advance not to disclose it. In other words, someone who is closeted, i.e., operates to some degree in the gay world but is not open about it, has no right to expect others to go along with their charade, especially since in doing so those of us who are not closeted are thereby at least partially forced back into the closet ourselves. Why should those of us who are open about our sexuality be forced to cooperate with those who continue to want to have it both ways?

Photo: a quiet moment on the Cherry Grove dock.


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