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March 22, 2005
You're Out!

You're Out!

"Outing" someone gay but closeted has always been a tricky subject for me. For one thing, not being gay (well, lesbian), I'm not ideally qualified to understand the repercussions.

It's also tricky for others, it would seem.

It's sort of like those frightened, delusional women aiding in the fight to get us all back in the kitchen with no shoes on, you know? Today they're just pathetic, but 40 years ago, they were real ammunition in the fight against women's rights.

But. People, even if female (or gay/lesbian) have a right not to believe that women (or gays/lesbians) are "as good as" men (or heterosexuals). They have a right to their beliefs and they have a right to work for those beliefs. Of course, the bottom line is that they feel inadequate, and they assume all women feel as they do, so they're making gross (in multiples senses) generalizations from practically no data, but they're entitled to their ignorance, too. It's a free country.

But do they have the right to pretend they're someone they're not, while they do? If Jerry Falwell or Pat Robertson was suddenly "outed" as a woman, wouldn't his anti-female rants sound just a bit different? After all...he's disguised as a man, taking advantage of the advantages offered to a man, but it's a lie.

That's essentially what "closeted" politicians who fight against gay rights are doing, isn't it? They're lying. Taking advantage of the social "norm" and fighting off any suspicions about themselves by being among the attack dogs chasing those who, with more courage or less hypocrisy, stood up and admitted who they are.

These politicians aren't saying, "my sexuality is private" because in the Bush Administration's "ownership society" our bodies and our privacy are the things they don't allow us to own. No, they're just saying it's wrong and deserves no legal protection.

I guess I disapprove of "outing" most people against their will. It's merely an invasion of privacy to "out" a businessman or an actor. But someone actively working to repress gay&lesbian rights? I dunno...maybe I do approve of "outing" them.

Posted by AnneZook at 01:35 PM