A Grand Outing

Tonight, Bill Maher is set to out any number of gay Republicans who a) are out, socially in DC, and b) have supported anti-gay measures or anti-gay bosses.

Outing is one of those things that’s greatly divisive to the gay community. But I have found that those who oppose any kind of outing tend to fall into two groups:

  1. Those who don’t understand there’s a difference between personal outing and journalistic outing
  2. Those who understand, but fail to understand the difference between privacy and secrecy.

I’m continually surprised at the gay men I know and know of, who are against any kind of outing. But see, I’ve already lost any argument I would make along these lines: By continuing to use the term ‘outing’ in the journalistic sense, I’m already admitting there’s a tacit shame to being gay.

Instead, journalistic outing is merely investigative journalism, resulting in context-relevant reporting. That’s it. And that’s all that Michael Signorile ever did, and it’s all that Bill Maher is doing—or rather will be doing tonight on his show.

When people outed Andrew Sullivan as a BDSM barebacking queen who cruises internet hookup sites in search of anonymous encounters yet publically labels those who do the same as self-loathing and who make us all look bad, well, in my opinion, the real news story is his hypocrisy, not the fact of his behavior. He crawled on the backs of those who were not ashamed of themselves in order to feel better about himself.

Same with Mehlman. Same with Dan Gurley, another ‘barebacker’ who helped push abstinence-only sex-education. Same with Ted “Tina” Haggard (“Feeling Haggard? Smoke Crystal Meth!” —props to Skittles).

And these are also the criteria Maher says he’ll be using tonight on his show.

I hope the liberals and progressives who are against investigative, objective journalism can just keep their mouths shut and let the right imply cohesiveness from it, because I honestly don’t remember any libs getting bent out of shape when Strom Thurmond was exposed as having an affair (and child!) with a black servant.

The GGG (Gay Gordon Gekko’s) over at GayPatriot care more about their wallets than about their rights, so they must be foaming at the mouth over this one.

We’ll see how it plays out. The Repubs in power(ish!) have too much going on to really make it a huge issue, so it’ll be interesting to see if there’s actually a fair debate on it rather than the typical Rapid Rabid Response.

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