I read several articles this morning about NPR censoring a review of the new movie Outrage, a documentary about closeted gay politicians who vote against gay rights legislation. Dick Meyer, NPR’s executive director of digital content, said: “NPR has a long-held policy of trying to respect the privacy of public figures and of not airing or publishing rumors, allegations and reports about their private lives unless there is a compelling reason to do so.”
I’m not sure how I feel about outing anyone – even a hypocrital closeted politician who’s most likely voting against gay rights legislation because he thinks it’ll make him appear “straight” to everyone around him. I tossed this question into my Twitter update stream: Is it ever okay to out someone, even if that person is a closeted gay politician voting against gay rights legislation? The answers were mixed:
Robocub: I think anytime a closet case *actively* works against the gay community at large, then it’s perfectly acceptable to out them.
matropolis: TOUGH QUESTION! Tough tough tough…I don’t know. I am conflicted on that…
SyrLinus: IMO, no. The minute is done for one, then it is done for all. It should be up to the person to do so; it is their life.
heysonnie: ABSOLUTELY! David Dreier was our Rep for years, would never even meet with us to talk about any LGBT-related issues.
suebob: That is one of the few cases where I would say yes. Because their extraordinary power affects others.
mrpunkjess: Tough question. Although I’d argue it doesn’t matter if they are. It matters how they are voting.
MtSkullcrusher: YES. Hypocrisy is NOT okay.
blogdiva: only when it is a closeted gay politician pushing anti-gay legislation. outing is called for in these cases
AlexaRPD: I think it is absolutely okay to out the hypocrite.
Phreddy: I don’t think it’s ever okay.
pazenlavida: only in that situation.
empoor: would say not, in most cases. It’s very personal, isn’t it? Coming out shouldn’t be humiliating and pressured.
LaBarceloneta: I’m not sure the short-term gains would outweigh the Karmic debt incurred.
beyrownqueero: i think in that case, it is totally okay to out someone
belledame222: I go back and forth, but increasingly, in ONLY those cases (people actively causing harm to out queer folk), i lean toward yes.
GrrrlRomeo: If you were an out gay kid in high school being harrassed by someone you knew to be a closet gay, would you out them?
taterunino: Sometimes a polly will vote the way they feel their constituency would have them vote, rather than by their conscience.
Blacktating: No, it is never right to out someone. Let people come out on their own terms in their own time.
EvelienSnel: Q: Is it [OK] to out someone, even if [he] is a closeted gay politician voting against gay ? — No, better to educate him!
SeanWG: I’d say that we’re obligated to out people like that.
jamaisneutral: I’m not a big fan of outing, but politicians voting anti-gay measures? Yes. Definitely.
My Facebook friends had a lot to say, too.
Even after hearing responses from others, I’m still undecided. When is it ok (if ever) to out someone? I know someone who is a closet case. Outing him would erase a ton of my troubles. I’ve been a member of the LGBTQ community for almost 13 years and standard protocol dictates that you never out someone – not even for personal reasons.