Is “Out” on Its Way Out?
When will we know that gay rights is finally on the downhill part of its battle?
When “coming out” is no longer a Thing.Â When a gay person doesn’t feel responsible to declare their sexuality like a pricey purchase at Customs.Â When there doesn’t need to be aÂ holiday devoted to being honest about who you are.Â When coming out becomes passe.
The Week just did a story on the waningÂ conceptÂ of “outing” and I think they’re right that there’s at least progress.. The fact that the occasional celebrity will admit to not being heterosexual is no longer worthy of a magazine cover. We have interviews with award-winning actors mentioning their orientation only in passing, comic-book superhero couples getting married, and finally, finally, some public figures thinking that it might be time to support gay marriage.
But too many middle-schoolers (or those who never left mentally) still call strange things “gay,” too few people think that you could be an athlete or a romantic lead without being heterosexual, and too many gay people have to diplomatically ration what they say about themselves.
Life shouldn’t mean acting like a foreign ambassador in an unfriendly land. It’s hard enough to grow up and come to terms with sexuality, let alone to navigate that while making a public proclamation about it. And your talent shouldn’t have a damn thing to do with who you happen to want to come home to.
I never had to come out. Why should anybody else?