This is the video of actress Ellen Page coming out at a recent Human Rights Campaign event.
It’s a wonderful speech, and it’s got me thinking about the whole
idea of coming out.
1. I’ve always found it unfair that only gay people are expected
to come out, as if they’re
required to make a public confession.
Straight people never have to come out as straight; their
straightness is assumed. I think that from now on every
straight person should be legally commanded to stand up in
front of their friends and family and say, “I should’ve
told all of you this a long time ago, but I’m straight. Whew.
Please don’t hate me.”
2. In movies, books and plays, a character’s coming out is often an agonizing experience.
And yes, in real life, when a gay person comes out,
they can sometimes be shunned or assaulted or worse.
The current situation in Nigeria and Uganda defies belief.
But I hate always associating a person’s coming out with
anxiety and tragedy.
That’s why I wrote the movie In&Out as a comedy.
I wanted it to be gay-positive, life-affirming and romantic.
I wanted to use coming out as an increasingly common
social ritual, like a first date or a wedding.It’s a celebration.
3. As so many activists have noted, the more gay people who come out,
the better. This normalizes gay lives.That’s why it’s helpful
when celebrities come out; I’ve always felt that true equality
requires not just gay Nobel prizewinners, but also gay reality
stars, gay supermodels and gay penguins.
4. Of course, some gay people are never satisfied.
Whenever a gay celebrity comes out, they insist that
the ultimate test will be an openly gay male action hero.
5. Whenever a particularly good-looking male star arrives
on the scene, two groups will immediately announce that
he’s gay, especially online. These groups are gay men
and straight men. The gay men somehow imagine that even
if Hugh Jackman was gay, they’d have a chance with him.
The straight men get nervous around good-looking,
well-built men: they don’t like the competition.
Here’s a scene from In&Out on this topic,
featuring the sublime Joan Cusack,
who was nominated for an Oscar: