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Open Secrets
Why it is time for those quietly gay and lesbian celebrity folks to come out

by Deborah Levinson  

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"Can some gay Republicans please come forward and tell me how gays are going to be better off with Bush in the White House and the GOP controlling Congress?" THEATH3
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After reading through some of my email today I turned to my better half and said, "Damn, Rex Wockner stole my feature topic."

There it was, right in the Wockner Wire, boldly entitled "Open Closets." Well, at least our titles were different. I was going to, and did, title mine, "Open Secrets."

After thinking about it a bit I decided that this topic is sufficiently important that there is room for more than just Rex to write about it.

I've written about it before, and so has that very same better half. Even Rex was reporting and then adding to San Diego newspaper columnist Nicole Murray-Ramirez's recent statement that he is "...sick of these well-known closet cases helping everyone but their own brothers and sisters."

Murray-Ramirez's list included Richard Simmons, Rosie O'Donnell and Merv Griffin.

There are quite a number of people who are rumored, presumed, known or thought to be gay, lesbian or bisexual.

I divide these folks up into two sub-categories myself.

Those who go out of their way to proclaim their heterosexuality and those who don't feel the need to insult gays, lesbians, their significant others, or the more astute members of the public by doing same.

The latter category is ably represented by people such as David Hyde-Pierce, who has been quoted along the lines of "My life is an open book, I'm just not going to turn the pages for you." Nor does he look for a woman to escort to functions.

Then there was Nathan Lane, who flirted with the proclamation of heterosexuality for a bit, who is storied to have said to his mother, "I'm a thirty-nine year old single guy in the theatre; you do the math."

I've generally been okay with the people who don't feel the need to lie. Even Rosie O'Donnell. (Although there is no longer a hands-off attitude from the tabloid press about her, so it will be interesting to see which way that wind blows.)

Recently however it has struck me that I shouldn't be so quick to say, "It's okay if they don't lie and are open in the personal aspects of their lives."

Because it's not.

Because by not being open they are validating the notion that there is something wrong with being gay or lesbian.

Because by not being open they are adjusting to bigotry instead of confronting bigotry head on.

Because by not being open they are allowing homophobes to define the terms of their lives, and by extension mine.

Enough is enough.

Michelangelo Signorile was and is right.

It is long past the time that these open secrets should be spoken aloud.

The liars should stop lying and the folks who are content to just "keep their personal lives to themselves" should stop facilitating homophobia and take that extra, tiny, step.

Y'all know who you are --- and so do we, so step to it while the ball is still in your courts.

In pride,


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Drop a note to Deborah at gaylesissues@rslevinson.com

copyright 1986-2010 Deborah Levinson