Today is National Coming Out Day in the UK, I understand that National Coming Out Day was actually yesterday in the US; apparently an International Coming Out Day is hard or something.
I am gay.
That doesn’t really count as coming out though, if I am anything it’s openly gay. In fact a friend once joked that I manage to include a reference to my sexuality in every blog post or e-mail I write, and that every Twitter post of mine ends in “still gay”.
Maybe he’s right, but if it is, it’s probably subconsciously deliberate.
I confidently predict that there will be no surprise coming out statements this year from anybody in the public eye. Not even from those who don’t exactly do a good job of hiding it, yet deny it every time they are asked. You know who they are.
I think that’s quite sad.
I strongly believe that is the duty of those in the public eye to be open about their sexuality.
Firstly from a positive point of view, everybody needs role models. A young man or woman coming terms to their own sexuality will be able to do much easier knowing that there are public figures they respect who are comfortable with their own sexuality and open about it.
And from a negative point of view, every public figure who’s denying their sexuality is reinforcing the idea that you should not be comfortable with it and that being open about your sexuality will cause you problems.
Many celebrities, for example, claim that the reason they haven’t come out is because they’re afraid of what it will do to their careers. This is not only ironic, since they’re just perpetuating the problem, but clearly nonsense since there are a number of extremely well known and loved figures who are openly gay.
So this is why I’m open about it.
I want to make sure that any new members of our community who are coming to terms with their own sexuality can be assured that this is not going to cause them a problem.