POLL: Is It Okay To Out Sally Ride And Other Public Figures?
See which Batman our readers found most sexy here.
This week, an obituary for Sally Ride revealed that the first American woman in outer space was also a lesbian.
The Sally Ride Science organization effectively outed the 61-year-old astronaut in the obit by mentioning her partner of 27 years, Tam O'Shaughnessy.
Meanwhile in other outing news, a gay evangelical man named Azariah Southworth outed Christian Atlantic Monthly writer Jonathan Merritt after Merritt wrote a column opposing the pro-gay boycott of Chick Fil-A.
In his blog post outing Merritt, Southworth wrote:
Exposing this truth of Jonathan’s sexual orientation is not an easy decision for me. I take no pleasure in doing this. As I type this my stomach is turning because I know of the backlash he will receive. I have thought about what all of this will mean for him and for me. I base my reasoning in the importance of living an authentic and honest life...
Transparency is required of anyone who chooses to lead discussions on a large public platform. In order for those discussions to be successful and effective the identities of the leaders must be made known especially when those identities effect how the conversation is constructed.
And earlier in the post, Southworth says:
True change in the “culture wars” may come through genuine fellowship and conversations but if there is not complete honesty and transparency when we come to the table than we are simply building a foundation which will soon deteriorate.
But Southworth is taking a resolute position here, but is he right--does the public need to know the sexual orientation of everyone in the so-called "culture wars" in order for society to progress towards greater LGBT equality?
Or is it never okay to out anybody, not even when they're dead. After all, we have no idea if Ms. Ride consented to her being posthumously outed or not.
It makes you wonder, especially when some celebrities like Anderson Cooper live otherwise openly gay lives while never publicly disclosing their sexual identity to the media, whether outing people in our increasingly accepting society is even as important as it once was.
So we're curious, is it okay to out people? And if so, what kinds of people need to be outed? You can select more than one answer in our poll below and sound off in the comments section to share your thoughts.