I suppose I should ask this question a little more specifically. Let’s say, should everyone come out PUBLICLY. I’ve been thinking about this in regards to Jodie Foster. Sure, the actress feels she’s been out for years – to family, co-workers, almost everyone in the movie business, and close friends. But, is that enough? Does she/ did she need to make a public statement about it?
I have a different take on this – maybe. I think it depends on the person and individual circumstances. Yet, at the same time, I’m going to make a bold statement:
ALL GAY, BLACK AND LATINOS NEED TO COME OUT.
I feel this way because I believe that “gay or homosexual” is still really looked down upon in the black and hispanic communities, to the point of almost being dangerous. So, when Ricky Martin comes out – YES – it means more than when Jodie Foster does.
Latinos do not vote as liberally as African-Americans do either. Sometimes they vote very conservatively because of strict, Catholic beliefs. So, I think it helps if a Latino KNOWS they have an lgbt person in their family. It may help to better inform their voting opinion or at least round out the information they have.
As far as everyone else, I’m not so sure. I think it’s very important for young, gay, kids to have out and strong, adult, role models. However, I think that we have a lot of those now. (Thank god.) So, I am inclined to think that if someone wants their privacy, they simply want their privacy.
I don’t believe in “outing” people or celebrities. I don’t think -ultimately- shaming someone into “coming out” is really a good thing.
Love is such a deeply personal and specific thing. Straight people NEVER have to come out. So, to say that gays must is a double standard of the highest order.
Yet, I do get that with transparency comes more attention to the needs, demands, and unequal rights of the gay and lesbian community.
My mother said to me once, “Do you think you’re brother should be “out” on Facebook?”
I said, “Yes, I think people need to see that a normal and smart teacher can also be gay. It humanizes it. It shows people who think that “gay” is only someone in assless chaps, whoring around the gayborhood, well, it shows that there’s far more to it than that.”
So, there is benefit -GREAT benefit- to people coming out.
However, people need to do this on their own time, in their own way.
I get what Jodie Foster meant when she said that she lived the greater portion of her life, “in the spotlight.” We forget that this is the woman that a crazed man (John Hinckley) shot a president over. Imagine what that would do to one’s psyche and need to protect one’s self.
I think for Jodie and those who are gay and we all know are gay, let’s say – those that never deny it…for those folk I think it’s okay to go back into the closet if only to feel more like a whole human being.
Obviously, I have conflicted feelings on the issue. As always, I’d love to know what you think, in the comments section.
xo, Sweet Mother
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