A Duty to Come Out

Jian Ghomeshi started a debate on Tuesday on Q about whether LGB people have a responsibility to come out and act as role models. The debate was in response to Rick Mercer’s rant last week about the suicide of James Hubley. In his rant, Rick told gay people that they had an obligation to come out so they could be role models for youth. Interestingly, Mercer was chastised for not overtly coming out overtly in his rant. He responded asking how many times does a man have to come out before it sticks. I have never heard Mercer come out. However, I did think he included himself in the group responsible for providing role models.

I agree with Mercer. I have always argued that LGB adults have an obligation to be role models. We need to be out publicly. The more public our role, the more people we come into contact with, the more obligation we have to be out. I understand that for many people there may be a price but the ironic thing is that when you come out and remove the power and the fear things will generally work out fine. There is power in numbers – the more of us who stand up and come out the fewer stigmas there will be over time.

I do not, however, support outing.[1] I think people need to be in a place where they feel comfortable coming out. I just hope they do it sooner rather than later.


[1] That’s not entirely true. I support outing politicians who are gay and who actively do things to harm the LGB community. Particularly those politicians who are engaging in homosexual sex covertly.

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Published in: on November 3, 2011 at 7:34 pm  Leave a Comment  
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