Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Coming Out Socially

Today and tomorrow are designated as National Coming Out Day in the USA (today) and the UK (tomorrow). If there’s one thing that proved my belief that people in the public eye don’t have to come out to the media to be described as “out publicly” it was the Rio 2016 Olympics and Paralympics.

As I described in thisOlympic Alphabet article as soon as the list of known lgbt Rio Olympians was published many others asked to added. The new names were all openly lgbt but hadn’t made a big media event out of it. Most of them were out only on social media.
When I was researching for the initial list I “discovered” 10 former Olympians who were also out on social media in July alone. That’s how many I often identify in one year!

I’ve said several times that coming out is a personal thing. Do it however you want, as long as you feel comfortable about it. Social media has increased the ease with which some people can express their sexuality and gender. Just a few words on Twitter of Facebook is all they need.

My friends at Outsports, Jim and Cyd, wrote about the issue of determining if someone is out publicly or not in this article.

Perhaps it is time to stop saying “out publicly” and just say “out”.

Since Coming Out Day last year there has been the expected celebrity outings who have declared their sexuality and gender in the media. Here are just a few.

Gus Kenworthy, US Olympic and world champion skier,
Tofik Dibi, Dutch Green Party MP,
Eliot Sumner, Sting’s daughter,
Jill Soloway, creator of award-winning series “Transparent”,
Amandla Stenberg, “The Hunger Games” actor,
David Mundell, Secretary of State for Scotland,
Lilly Wachowksi, director of “The Matrix”,
Harris Wofford, US senator,
Javier Raya, Spanish Olympic figure skater,
David Rodriguez, Mr Spain (not Mr Gay Spain),
Nicholas Chamberlain, Anglican Bishop of Grantham, and
Lord Ivar Mountbatten, cousin of Queen Elizabeth II.

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