Rick Mercer is a very successful CBC comedian. He is also openly gay. He also says that all gay people who are in the public eye should be open about their homosexuality. “I know gay cops, soldiers, athletes, cabinet ministers.” Mercer says gay teenagers need them as role models because gay teens are being bullied and some take their own lives.
One of the signal victories of the past few decades has been to free gay people from the burden of secrecy. Should they now be placed under an obligation of openess?
Mr. Mercer may be right that if all gay athletes, soldiers, politicians etc., were able to make their sexual orientation known far and wide, it would reduce the power of stereotype and spread tolerance. It might weaken the the position of the bullies, or at least give strength and comfort to vulnerable teens.
Mr. Mercer seems to be saying that it falls to successful gay adults to protect vulnerable gay teens from the problems associated with being different.
Should all gay people in public life come out?
What do you think?