“Outing” Revisited

Way back in March of 1998, I wrote a long article/essay/diatribe on the subject of “outing” people. Reading it today, I realize it wasn’t as much about “outing” people as it was about complaining about prevalence of opportunistic gay people who stay in the closet to prey on people who are out while avoiding the stigma of being gay, rather than about the action of “outing” itself.

The subject of “outing” has come up recently in the local gay community, surrounding the issue of Prop 68, the city’s human rights ordinance. It seems that there is some evidence that one of the city-county councilors who voted against the measure is gay or has a history of gay behavior, and none-other than State Rep. Julia Carson herself threatened publicly to “out” him as a hypocrite because he didn’t support it.

The suggestion has caused huge debate within the gay community; see bilerico.com for some of the discussion on the issue. It even has the religious right’s panties in a bunch; Micah Clark from the AFA sent out an email to his kool-aid drinkers where he was all in a tizzy about it.

Here’s my take: If you truly believe there’s nothing wrong with being gay, then revealing someone as gay shouldn’t be wrong, should it? If there’s nothing wrong with me having blue eyes, then why would you be hesitant/bothered/ashamed to talk about my blue eyes with other people? You don’t see black people running around worried about whether to reveal other black people as black, do you?

I thought not.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Kay

    Certainly wish I would have known/read your thoughts about opportunistic gay folk’s way back when…1998. As is too often the case, my partner and I learned of the phenomenon the hard way; mind boggling firsthand experience. Consequently, here we are some 3 years later still trying to recover from the damage! Keep writing Steph.

  2. bilerico

    Thanks for the link, Steph. I had an interesting conversation tonight about this tempest in a teapot. I’ll email you about it soon.

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