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Is there a responsibility to come out?

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Geneviev
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Is there a responsibility to come out?

Postby Geneviev » Wed Jan 20, 2021 9:52 pm

When I was reading old news articles, I came across a quote from TV news anchor Rachel Maddow. In 2011, she said that "if you’re gay you have a responsibility to come out". A quick Google search finds multiple articles also saying that coming out is a responsibility: athletes, celebrities, anchors, it feels like everyone in the public eye is being told that they have a responsibility to come out. Why? People seem to assume that if more people who are visible to the public come out, that homophobia, transphobia, and so on will somehow end. While that doesn't seem to be the case, given that those problems still exist after a lot of celebrities came out, I see a more serious problem with this assumption. It's supposedly only targeted towards people who are famous and wouldn't be as vulnerable to discrimination, but people who aren't in that same situation are also assumed to be able to come out. That assumption is dangerous, considering that people who still depend on their parents may not be able to come out safely.

Given the problem of safety, is there a responsibility to come out? Do only celebrities have that responsibility or does everyone share it? What do you think about this relatively old quote, NSG?

Personally, I don't believe that there is a responsibility to come out. Too many people, famous or not, can't safely come out and their safety comes before political concerns. A better way to combat bias would be to educate people on the facts, which would be more effective and less likely to risk anyone's safety or mental health. Essentially, coming out should be a personal choice only.
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Rusozak
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Postby Rusozak » Wed Jan 20, 2021 9:55 pm

I believe the only responsibility is to your sexual partner. It's not anyone else's business.
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Zaviana
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Postby Zaviana » Wed Jan 20, 2021 9:57 pm

I agree, if your gay, there's is not reason to come out, it's you who decides your privacy.
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Kowani
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Postby Kowani » Wed Jan 20, 2021 9:59 pm

nah
your responsibility to come out exists solely to yourself, and then perhaps your partner-if you feel safe to do so
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The Black Forrest
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Postby The Black Forrest » Wed Jan 20, 2021 10:01 pm

Responsibility? Nah.

It’s the person’s choice and unfortunately with today’s people; you have to be safe about it.
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Farnhamia
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Postby Farnhamia » Wed Jan 20, 2021 10:03 pm

What Maddow said ...

1. Gay people — generally speaking — have a responsibility to our own community and to future generations of gay people to come out, if and when we feel that we can.

2. We should all get to decide for ourselves the “if and when we feel that we can” part of that.

3. Closeted people should reasonably expect to be outed by other gay people if (and only if) they prey on the gay community in public, but are secretly gay themselves.
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Major-Tom
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Postby Major-Tom » Wed Jan 20, 2021 10:20 pm

It is up to the person who may or may not want to come out. I can't speak for the LGBTs out there, but I imagine it is a very difficult thing to do, depending on culture, family, friends, y'know everything about their respective lives.

It isn't their responsibility, it's their choice to come out or not.
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Iwassoclose
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Postby Iwassoclose » Wed Jan 20, 2021 10:42 pm

used to be a big thing in the past where other gay and people in the left would try and get famous gay people to out themselves to be examples and role models

as for me, your responsibility is to yourself. if you dont want to, then thats that.

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Disgraces
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Postby Disgraces » Wed Jan 20, 2021 10:47 pm

No, there isn't.

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Infected Mushroom
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Postby Infected Mushroom » Wed Jan 20, 2021 10:50 pm

There isn’t. There’s no statutory basis compelling the announcement of such information. In the event that one were legislated, the constitutionality thereof would be in highly murky waters.

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USS Monitor
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Postby USS Monitor » Wed Jan 20, 2021 11:28 pm

Generally no. Sometimes people have reasons not to come out. Some people just like their privacy, or they may not be ready to handle a bunch of homophobic bullshit. People are not obligated to announce their sexuality to the whole world.

However, there are some particular situations where I think you do have a responsibility to come out. For example, if you're married to someone of the wrong sex because you got married before you came to terms with your sexuality, you need to talk to them about it. Basically, if you're close to someone and your sexuality has important implications for your relationship with that person, then you should tell them.

But you don't need to share it with every Joe Schmoe on the street.
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The New California Republic
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Postby The New California Republic » Thu Jan 21, 2021 4:25 am

The responsibility is to yourself, if it stops you from living a lie.
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Esheaun Stroakuss
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Postby Esheaun Stroakuss » Thu Jan 21, 2021 4:29 am

If coming out endangers you or others, don't. Do what is safest for you.

Also it's none of anyone's business.
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The Slightly Madlands
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Postby The Slightly Madlands » Thu Jan 21, 2021 4:29 am

I've never felt so. I think it's imporatant to live authentically and openly both for yourself and in solidarity with others, but I additonally think that these things are down to the individual, you have no loyalty to any group just because of your orientation.

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Cultural Posadism
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Postby Cultural Posadism » Thu Jan 21, 2021 4:50 am

Ideally, coming out wouldn't be a responsibility nor a necessity. As in, it wouldn't be necessary to go through the experience of having to explain your own identity to loved ones, classmates, coworkers, etc., due to your identity being within a misunderstood and not-yet-normalized minority. I do find it kinda neat that some younger people, at least in my region, have foregone coming out or even having a specific label for their sexual orientation, and instead just experience their fluid sexuality with nonchalance.

That being said, at this point coming out is still necessary in some circumstances. If you have loved ones who have previously expressed prejudices and ignorance towards the community you belong to, coming out is a way to see if you can get everyone on the same page or if you're better off cutting them off from your life. And then there's trans people, who kind of have no choice but to ultimately come out because beginning to live their identity openly usually entails some very visible changes that, I imagine, would be very hard to just go through among your loved ones without explanation.
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Cultural Posadism
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Postby Cultural Posadism » Thu Jan 21, 2021 4:50 am

Esheaun Stroakuss wrote:If coming out endangers you or others, don't. Do what is safest for you.

Also it's none of anyone's business.

Also the underlined here, yes.
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Dumb Ideologies
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Postby Dumb Ideologies » Thu Jan 21, 2021 5:04 am

If other people want to be coming out but are not feeling the courage to do so, that is a personal emotional matter for them to come to terms with themselves one way or the other as part of their personal growth.

Myself and other alleged members of the LGBT alphabet soup have no meaningful obligation to perform free performance and emotional work on their behalf by overidentifying with a particular personal characteristic and conspicuously incorporating it into our public persona.

Nothing healthy comes from blaming other people you share a particular characteristic with for your personal and interpersonal issues and demanding work from them.
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Ethel mermania
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Postby Ethel mermania » Thu Jan 21, 2021 5:18 am

While Rachel is not the brightest bulb in the light box, she is "hopefully " talking about adults and not kids.
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Whether long term,, you are happier out or in, is a different conversation.
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Postby Zul-ar » Thu Jan 21, 2021 6:01 am

I understand what these public figures mean- as a person with influence and some importance, coming out can help normalize LGBTQ+ people. But that doesn't mean you should have to do it, or feel like you should have to.

Your responsibility to be honest about your sexual, romantic and gender orientation is only to yourself and your significant other.
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Geneviev
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Postby Geneviev » Thu Jan 21, 2021 9:45 am

Zul-ar wrote:I understand what these public figures mean- as a person with influence and some importance, coming out can help normalize LGBTQ+ people. But that doesn't mean you should have to do it, or feel like you should have to.

Your responsibility to be honest about your sexual, romantic and gender orientation is only to yourself and your significant other.

A lot of public figures have already come out, but that hasn't really normalized anything either. I don't think that's how it works. Other than that, I do agree with you.
Last edited by Geneviev on Thu Jan 21, 2021 9:45 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Ethel mermania
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Postby Ethel mermania » Thu Jan 21, 2021 9:53 am

Geneviev wrote:
Zul-ar wrote:I understand what these public figures mean- as a person with influence and some importance, coming out can help normalize LGBTQ+ people. But that doesn't mean you should have to do it, or feel like you should have to.

Your responsibility to be honest about your sexual, romantic and gender orientation is only to yourself and your significant other.

A lot of public figures have already come out, but that hasn't really normalized anything either. I don't think that's how it works. Other than that, I do agree with you.

Thats not quite correct, folks coming out has helped normalize gay folks in society and societies acceptance of gays as well. In 1961 it was illegal to be in a Sodomous relationship in 49 out of the 50 states. If you were outed back then, there would have been a pretty decent chance of you being fired with grounds, if not assaulted. So public folks coming out as gay has helped the gay rights movement in general.

My issue with Rachel's statement is that as usual she says things without thinking because they sound good. It takes no account for the circumstances in someone's life.

Again whether you are happier in or out is a very different question, but its not what Rachel is talking about.
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Postby Ifreann » Thu Jan 21, 2021 10:01 am

Rusozak wrote:I believe the only responsibility is to your sexual partner. It's not anyone else's business.

I think if you're having sex with a person, they can make a pretty good guess about your sexual orientation.
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Zul-ar
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Postby Zul-ar » Thu Jan 21, 2021 10:11 am

Ifreann wrote:
Rusozak wrote:I believe the only responsibility is to your sexual partner. It's not anyone else's business.

I think if you're having sex with a person, they can make a pretty good guess about your sexual orientation.

Not really. Closeted homosexual and asexual people often get into heterosexual relationships by repressing their sexuality. Those people should be honest with their partners.
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New RandyLand
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Postby New RandyLand » Thu Jan 21, 2021 10:13 am

Although people are becoming more accepting of LGBT people, I believe that it's really more of a personal matter. People aren't responsible to tell others of their sexual orientation.

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Cordel One
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Postby Cordel One » Thu Jan 21, 2021 10:14 am

Not unless you want to, it's not really anyonw else's business.
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