In Re Outing | Letters | Chicago Reader

In Re Outing 

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To the editors:

I am writing in response to Julie Kruse's letter to the editor (Fri. July 26) in which she defends the practice of "Outing" (publicly revealing a person as Lesbian or Gay).

I agree when Kruse asserts that homophobia is what keeps us in the closet. I agree that Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual people should come out whenever and wherever they feel it is safe to do so.

However, Kruse makes several naive assumptions. Yes, in an ideal world, reporting that one is Lesbian, Gay or Bisexual would be no different than reporting that one was a Virgo rather than a Libra. However, in our far-from-ideal present, jobs are lost, families are split, and people are killed if they aren't careful about when and where they choose to come out.

Also, surely Kruse can't believe that upon being "Outed" a person's homophobia and self-hatred will simply dissolve, leaving a person who is proud of his or her identity! The more likely response includes panic, then denial and self-deception, and finally a retreat even more deeply into the closet.

Finally, "Outing" instills within closeted people a fear of what appears to them to be a hostile Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual community, making them even less likely to ever build a positive non-straight self-image.

So much for "heading in the right direction"!

Christopher Rasmussen

Carol Stream


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