While leaking pertinent and personal information on about either is skeezy and wrong, there is something supremely fucked up about outing a queer celebrity.*
Outing a person is not the same as fuzzy pictures of last night’s orgy or bad shots of lovers after a date. Outing a person is NOT the same as someone’s secret love child or affairs on set. Outing a famous celebrity is fucked up because not only is coming out a completely personal and sometimes time-sensitive subject, it has a lot to do with safety. Not just physical safety. Mental, emotional—if you can name it, coming out might have some effect on it.
It takes a special kind of jackass to out a celebrity and then try to justify that shit. Not only do you risk the chance of ruining this person’s career (unfortunately), you put them in a dangerous situation. Suddenly their bodies, minds, experiences, and decisions are no longer relevant. They do not have time to adjust to the sudden intrusion and opposition from all sides—how does their agent spin this, how does their manager work with this, how will their family react, what about the project they’re working on? They don’t know their fans—what if one reacts badly? Are they safe? Do they need more security?
Queer celebrities don’t owe you shit. They don’t owe you their safety, health, or their career. Painting them as hypocrites or liars because they’d rather consider themselves before your time table is fucked up and wrong. I’d be fucking damned if I’d ever surrender my livelihood because some fucktwit with a fucked up sense of Justice and Right decides to tell the whole world things I am not ready to tell myself.
There is nothing wrong with being in closet, especially when it comes to safety. Queer people deserve time, context, and confidence. They deserve to pick and choose people, places, times—-all that shit.
(*It should be noted that it’s fucked up to out ANYBODY, but seeing as I’m taking this from the Ellen Page affair, I’m using celebrities.)
Since I’m a single officer in the Marine barracks and I’ve got the highest security clearance you can get, I also serve at the White House in close quarters with President Bush and President Obama at social events. Very seldom was the president ever alone, but one time the president had said, ‘Go and get the vice president,’ and all the straphangers went, and the president went in the Blue Room and was just standing there waiting for Biden. And there was no Secret Service around or anything, and I went, ‘Fuck it, I’m going to go and talk to the president about “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” ’ He was looking out south—there’s an incredible view down past the Washington Monument to the Jefferson. And I just stepped in and said, ‘Sir?’ and he turned around and walks to me and I just started: ‘You know, sir, I want to let you know that there are a number of us that work very close to you who appreciate very much what you’re doing on “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”—more than you probably realize.’ And he was shaking my hand, he looks up and it’s like… he got it. I said, ‘I want to thank you for this.’ And he goes, ‘No, I want to thank you. Thank you for your service, and thank you for your courage.’