Let’s not be ripping down the closet doors

Posted on August 30, 2011


Hey peeps! I’m back! I stayed at a house on Lake Winnepesaukee in New Hampshire for a week and had a blast. Guess what?? I jet-skied for the first time. It was a proud moment for me, because I am usually a scaredy-cat when it comes to adventurous, daring things. For example, I’ve never been on a roller-coaster. Ever. For real.

This is you right now (shocked)

Oh, come on. Admit it. You’ve missed my incessant use of pointless pictures.

Anyway, my vacation is over. So back to business.

Don Lemon. I like his last name.

In May, Don Lemon, a CNN news anchor, came out in his memoir “Transparent”. In this NPR clip, he discusses his new role and responsibilities as a gay public figure and how LGBT media matters for all Americans.

This reminds me of an issue that a columnist at the Daily Campus (the University of Connecticut’s newspaper) wrote an article on. He discussed pressure put on popular public figures rumored to be gay to come out. On the one hand, if a liked public figure comes out, it may lead to more acceptance toward gays and lesbians. But on the other hand, is it fair to pressure these people? Despite the fact that they are public figures, they do deserve a degree of privacy. They should have the freedom to come out when they feel comfortable doing so.

The author of this column argues that it is better to allow gay public figures to come out on their own terms.

“This disingenuous approach of using bad conscience over responsibility to try to force famous people out of the closet has had mixed results. For every Amber Heard who decided she was “part of the problem” by not coming out, there’s a Johnny Weir who wrote in his autobiography, “The massive backlash against me in the gay media and community only made me dig my ‘closeted’ heels in further.”

Too many of those who champion for equal rights, protections and freedoms for the LGBT community are some of the same people who’ve become the gay Gestapo and are using their columns and blogs as guns to the heads of those who, for whatever reasons, haven’t made the decision to come out of the closet. “The closet” isn’t some hollow of disgrace and embarrassment, and trying to expedite an extremely personal and affecting experience like coming out isn’t noble. It’s none of our business”

Don Lemon feels free now that he has publicly come out and believes that it will have positive consequences. No doubt, public figures coming out helps the LGBT cause. Many public figures are well-liked and respected. If those public figures who are gay come out, then peoples overall attitudes may change.

But at the same time, I agree with the author; we should not pressure public figures who are rumored to be gay to come out. They will do so when it is right for them.