Joanna Schroeder takes Gawker to task for attempting to out not just one, but two celebrities in one article.
When I was in high school, I worked at Red Lobster. It turned out to be an okay job, if you don’t mind smelling like hot butter and shrimp scampi after work.
The most important moment of my “career” at the RL was when a cute, sweet, muscular young host was hired and I was assigned to train him. His name was Brian, and I was incensed that the jerk never looked twice at me. I mean, hello, I was 17 and had long blonde hair. Isn’t that all you need?
And so I decided he was gay. And I told a few people I was just sure Brian was gay. Finally I cornered our one “out” gay server, Mike, and I asked him point-blank, “Is Brian gay or what? You can tell me.”
Mike looked at me squarely and said, “First, I don’t know if he’s gay. Second, I wouldn’t out him even if I knew. Third, this is not your business. Shut the hell up. Fourth, you’re not so cute that just because an 18-year-old boy doesn’t drop dead in front of you means he’s gay. Could you be more arrogant?”
My eyes watered. Matt was right. What the fuck was I thinking? This was a small, conservative town. And I thought that because I was good friends with the gay guys in my high school that I somehow had some right to talk about someone’s sexuality. I was sick with myself.
I never did that again.
I’m glad I learned that lesson at 17, when I was still able to claim stupidity and teenage obnoxiousness as my excuse. But seriously, what the hell is wrong with the media right now? Do I need to corner the media at large in the break room and tell them to pull it together and stop trying to out people?
The stories of Richard Gere and the hamster were scandalous twenty years ago… Haven’t we progressed as a society since then? Didn’t we learn something about not making a joke out of homosexuality back when Matthew Shepard was brutally tormented and murdered in a hate crime? Shouldn’t we all, as a society, have grown up and realized that someone’s sexuality is their own frickin’ business? Beyond that, shouldn’t we have all learned that sexuality is sacred? That it is a part of who we are, and it is a major part of how society sees us? So much so, that it can cost a person his or her life?
We must ask ourselves why we care whether or not Anderson Cooper is gay. Ladies and gentlemen, chances are pretty good that he wasn’t going to date you anyway! So shut up about it already.
And now Gawker has implied that Robin Roberts got her interview with President Obama because she is supposedly a lesbian. Here’s how Gawker makes this make sense (hot tip – it still doesn’t):
Last night, Politico published a breakdown of how ABC’s Robin Roberts scored the President Obama gay marriage interview yesterday and, through several producers and media analysts, offered up these non-media-related credentials: Black. Christian. 50-year-old. Sports fan. Female.
The only part the report omitted was the near-open secret that Roberts is a lesbian.
Hmm, I wonder why Politico didn’t offer that up? Oh, wait, because Robin Roberts hasn’t publicly said that she is a lesbian. And, being as I don’t know Robin Roberts and she hasn’t told me that she is gay, I would go the same route as Politico and shut the hell up about speculations regarding her sexuality.
Gawker took another step beyond attempting to out Roberts by then trying to out Drudge Report’s Matt Drudge after he removed his link to their story about Roberts’ alleged lesbianism. And Gawker is so super proud of their outing Drudge, that they actually made flashing updates so you’d be sure not to miss the big outing of Drudge at the bottom of their big outing of Robin Roberts story.
Ugh, it all grosses me out. You got the big scoop, Gawker! President Obama talked to Robin Roberts about gay marriage because she is thought to be a lesbian! But wait… Maybe it’s more that Roberts is a friendly with the Obamas? Nah. Or maybe that she’s one of the top names in television news? No way! It’s definitely because she’s thought to be a lesbian! Because really, how did a Black woman (who isn’t Oprah) land such a great interview!? It can’t be that she’s a competent journalist–Oh sorry, I mean, “lady reporter.”
Now, I’d be willing to listen to arguments from the LGBTQ community that when celebrities remain in the closet, it sends a message to young LGBTQ people that being out is bad, that gayness is bad, and if you want to be a success that you have to stay in the closet. That seems like a valid reason to want celebrities to come out of the closet. Being a heterosexual woman, I cannot attest to what a young gay person experiences in seeing their role models remain closeted. So ultimately, I won’t take a stand on this particular angle.
But I can say confidently that Gawker’s outing-attempt twofer is sitting in my gut like a rock.
What do you think? Does your sexuality become fair game when you enter the public eye? Did Matt Drudge have it coming to him, after all the times he’s scooped others at their own expense? Is Gawker just saying what everyone else is thinking?
Is there ever a reason to attempt to out someone without their consent?