Are LGBT Folk Obligated to "Come Out"?

Yes
20% (1 vote)
No
80% (4 votes)
I don't know
0% (0 votes)
Total votes: 5

Comments

lordmomofenixed's picture

Why I voted No

because everyone has the freedom of speech and of silence. Sure, it probably is not a good idea to stay in the closet for psychological reasons, but I don't believe it is a necessity for any person to come out. Although in many cases... I wish most cute guys would just admit they are gay. that would be very beneficial.

a psychotic pencilist, moe

Perhaps We Should Leave's picture

I agree

I'm actually deeply frustrated by anyone who claims that anyone is 'obligated' to do anything; free agency is what I consider the most important thing for humanity, and depriving someone of their choice to come out- or not come out- in their own time is deeply rude.

* * *

The woods are lovely, dark, and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
and miles to go before I sleep,
and miles to go before I sleep.

jeff's picture

Well...

I ignored the loaded word of obligated.

Of course coming out is loaded, too. To whom? Some people call accepting themselves coming out, some only tell a small handful of people, some tell the world.

There are clearly no examples where some insular, isolated, secretive life is healthy.

I also can't find any thinking where perpetual closetedness doesn't have some linkage to shame. The upside of being black is you don't get to choose whether to tell anyone, so LGBT people are in a unique position to choose that no other minority typically is afforded.

That said, surely, anyone has the right to live a shameful, insular, isolated, secretive life, but to what end?

---
"You don't know you're beautiful." - Harry Styles

Perhaps We Should Leave's picture

I suppose...

I should have used a less loaded word.

My personal opinion is that people have a choice to do anything, even if it brings them harm. If it is due to shame, so be it; they're ashamed. If it's due to a fear for their safety, so be it; they're afraid for their safety.

My issue is with those who claim that it's necessary for people to come out to everyone. That applies to when they're not unsafe, as well- some people like to keep it private. Same thing for trans*folk; we're not obligated to tell people who we are unless we want to, so why should gay folks? If someone wishes to keep their personal life to themselves, they have a right.

* * *

The woods are lovely, dark, and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
and miles to go before I sleep,
and miles to go before I sleep.

jeff's picture

Well...

I think you are misinterpreting the intent and solely reading it as a demand. If something will help someone feel better about themselves, less afraid, with less shame, it is natural to encourage that as a goal state.

In your recent journal, someone asked if you are telling your shrink or therapist these things, or taking your meds, or somesuch, and that's because there is a natural desire for people to want other people to feel better. That wasn't a "Girl, you're fucked up," it was a "I hope you're on a path to not always feeling badly like this."

But no one is really saying anyone has to. So, you are seemingly misstating the intent as a demand, and then providing a counter-argument to a case no one else is making.

No one has to do anything, but if their lives would potentially improve if they did, then sure, they should, even if it involves short-term shit to get to long-term contentment. And I'm allowed to think you should do something, but that has no effect on whether you actually will. If you don't come out to your dad, I'm not going to e-mail him since I think it's the right thing for you. It is all on each individual to decide what to do.

You can always find cases or invent anecdotes where this wouldn't improve their lives, but that doesn't disprove it being true for the other 98%. If a cancer drug only worked 98% of the time, but 2% couldn't take it, we wouldn't scrap it until we found one that worked for everyone. We'd help 98% and then figure out how we could then help the 2%.

---
"You don't know you're beautiful." - Harry Styles

Perhaps We Should Leave's picture

I think you misunderstand...

My intent isn't to say people shouldn't come out. My intent is to say that people should have the choice.

http://www.gaystarnews.com/article/celebrities-have-duty-come-out111012

This sort of attitude is that which bothers me, and it's not just celebrities that get this treatment. I see it a lot, especially among some younger gays who came out very early in life like I did.

You're allowed to think someone should do something, of course. I feel that people should come out. But I don't support an idea of duty or obligation.

* * *

The woods are lovely, dark, and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
and miles to go before I sleep,
and miles to go before I sleep.

jeff's picture

Well...

They are making a different point, though. They are saying there would be positive repercussions if closeted celebrities, who are already out in their every day lives, came out publicly. That is undeniable. But what other position would advocacy journalism have?

They aren't talking about what a bunch of closeted unknown people should do.

Even though they have a website, and an opinion, it does nothing to remove the choice of even those individuals to come out, so I don't see what their opinion matters.

I tend to quote Wayne Dyer, who I think is paraphrasing his mentor, when he says "What you think of me is none of my business."

I have friends who are somewhat-known actors who are closeted professionally. I've e-mailed actors to interview in Oasis, who I know are gay, and who point blank told me they aren't out professionally (since they know I wouldn't out them). That's all fine.

---
"You don't know you're beautiful." - Harry Styles

Perhaps We Should Leave's picture

As I say...

I've heard this sentiment expressed about regular people, as well.

However, what people think and say do matter- there is such a thing as peer pressure, and for people who aren't celebrities, sometimes it's harder to handle.

I don't think I'm getting anywhere with this, though, so I'll just call an end to this now. I can agree to disagree.

* * *

The woods are lovely, dark, and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
and miles to go before I sleep,
and miles to go before I sleep.

jeff's picture

Yeah...

I don't think we're disagreeing, more that you've heard it said and dislike it, and I've heard it said and just write it off as their opinion and don't care.

---
"You don't know you're beautiful." - Harry Styles

Perhaps We Should Leave's picture

Huh

Fair enough.

* * *

The woods are lovely, dark, and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
and miles to go before I sleep,
and miles to go before I sleep.