Recently, Gawker made headlines when they outed a married straight man (who happens to have some money and power) as an undercover butt-lover. I will not repeat any other part of that story. Honestly, I refused to read it and haven't Googled it so I can't even name the poor chap. But Wonkette did and had a rather eloquent response. While I appreciate their points, I am forced to disagree with their reasoning.
When people like that inflict actual harm on the lives of LGBT people — voting against our rights, pushing “ex-gay” therapy on minors, riling up the far right from the offices of the Family Research Council or the American Family Association — and you find out about how they are sucking dick or getting assfucked on the side, GO FOR IT. Kick them the fuck out of the closet and hold them accountable for their actions, public and private.
The funny thing about shame? It doesn't get you what you want. It doesn't help gay rights. It doesn't do anything good except cause shame. Publicly. And while that may make you feel better, how does seeing someone shamed for their sexuality, whether or not they attack the rights of others, make someone struggling with theirs feel?
Didn't think about that, now did ya?
How many teens and young adults deal with the same damn thing? They feel forced to play a role simply to keep their lives from falling apart. True, those poor souls aren't trying to rewrite the Constitution to make bigotry the law of the land but the insults slung at the forced-out-of the-closet hypocrites can still affect them.
They harm those who don't fight against equality.
When you use sexuality to shame someone, you create an environment where anyone can be shamed. And don't give me that "public figure" bullshit; no one has the right to out anyone else without their goddamned consent. It's a rule, y'all, and one that should be respected no matter how reprehensible the target (which Gawker's was so not, by the way) may be.
Shame has no place in a healthy sex life.
Remember that rant I wrote about Cersie Lannister and her Walk of Penitence? Recall what my issue was? Yes, that's it. She was shamed because she enjoyed her sexuality; she was herself, unrestrained, while keeping it private. When you shame a public official for hiding their sexuality, no matter how much everyone may believe, with every fiber of their beings, that they deserve that public lashing, you are attacking who they are. You are making being gay something worth mocking. And while you may know the difference between making fun of some jerk senator who fights same sex marriage rights while seducing truckers at seedy bars at three in the morning and non-jerk high school boys who who defend and demand their treated like everyone else, those same teenage boys may not see the difference. They might only see that the call for a public burning stems from them hiding their sexuality for fear they would be ostracized. Just like those boys who hide out of fear.
Words. Have. Power.
Use them wisely.
Don't Shame Gay
There's enough ugly in the world, much of it created by the very people Wonkette wants outed. But by doing what they endorse, you're only adding to it by using gay as a dirty word, even as you're saying "don't say gay" cause it's mean and stuff. Stop with the pointless vendettas; they only widen that wedge between us. Instead, continue to foster understanding and acceptance and maybe, just maybe, those closeted homos who play homophobe will realize that being gay isn't something to be ashamed of. And *shocker* might fight on the right side of history.
Y'know that saying about flies and vinegar and honey. Try it. It freaking works.
It can happen. But for it to happen, LGBT supporters need to stop using opponents gay to publicly shame to make it so. So get on that, m'kay? And don't make me tell you again.