February 15, 2009.
It is sort of frustrating that our community/movement still has to deal with issues we had to worry about over the past 50 or so years. And in the pages of the Windy City Times we have how the more things change the issue is the same.
Does someone deserve to be outed? You I think are right in saying: only if they are being anti-gay. And so we have Tracy Baim and Rev. Irene Monroe giving us two examples to think about.
Baim says also there is a question of how someone who has been “protected” by the LGBT community and media owes it to us to “come out” in our arena, when too many celebrities come out for the publicity — a great change of course — they get from doing it on TV or on the cover of People magazine, etc.
Yet here is a public official who comes out to preempt the bigots from his being “outed” as he is about to head education, which is really bringing our movement up from the very first, to my knowledge, attack we faced, when Mattachine tried to involve itself in a school board issue — and of course children are the first thing bigots scream about — us trying to recruit the children. Yet he does come out, but not in LGBT media. Yet he is a good guy so it is not an issue, and so even if he doesn’t do it, say, in Windy City Times, you can say, “Thanks for coming out of the closet.”
But how do we deal with a Rev. Ted Haggard, as Rev. Monroe covers. He is not out yet. He still preaches one thing and does another. And still, even after being outed because he has acted against our community, in some ways we feel sorry for him — he sure doesn’t fit the word gay. But is he exploiting the issue, trying to have it both ways? And he is only one of many religious bigots who have been outed.
The first person (Rob Huberman, heading the Chicago Public Schools) is a good model that young homosexuals can respect. The second person (Haggard) is the opposite: he is still deceiving himself, his family, his fellow church people, etc. and watching his “story” on TV will only hopefully warn young homosexuals to not follow his example. Maybe both can be used as educational material.