Out All the Hypocrites

There is much debate in the gay community on the subject of “outing”; that is, disclosing someone’s homosexuality without his consent. As with most debates, there are two extreme positions and a middle position.

On one extreme are those who think anyone is fair game, and no one has any business keeping his true sexuality under wraps. The other extreme believes it’s a very personal matter, and “outing” is absolutely wrong. Besides which, many of these absolutists find the practice counter-productive in their quest for gay rights. There is, however, a growing in-between position that says “outing” is justified if the person being exposed is a hypocrite. For example, if a crusading moralist or an anti-gay marriage congressman is leading a secret gay life, it’s OK to make that public.

I would be in favor of that middle position if we could apply it across the board. In other words, if we’re going to “out” hypocrites, let’s go all the way. If a congressman opposes school choice for his poorer constituents while sending his own kids to private schools, let’s “out” him. If a politician or celebrity complains our taxes aren’t high enough while he hires the most aggressive accountants to minimize his own taxes, or takes questionable deductions to do the same, by all means, let’s “out” him. Minimum wage? Illegal immigration? Does their public stand match their private actions when it comes to their own domestic help? If not, “out” ’em.

What about those who want to legislate diversity in our schools and clubs and organizations and work places? Great, but let’s check out their offices and club memberships and circles of acquaintance and make sure they don’t need to be “outed” as well. Let’s take a close look at our rich members of Congress (and there are a lot of them) who speak out about a middle class crisis, and let’s be sure they (and their family business entities) treat all their employees with the same generosity they would demand of others (salary, benefits, health care, etc.). Otherwise, “out” they go!

Let’s make sure 2nd Amendment opponents (or their bodyguards) don’t own guns. Let’s be certain those who complain about executives’ wages apply the same standards to themselves. Let’s change the rules to make every law Congress passes apply to its members as well. If not, “out,” “out,” “out.”

Let’s “out” the Hollywood star who lectures us on the environment while living in multiple homes, flying in private jets and riding around in limousines, or the athlete who rails against government neglect of the poor while lending his name to $100-plus basketball shoes marketed at that same audience.

Most people keep more than their sexuality in the closet. So, if we’re going to open that door to root out hypocrisy, let’s open them all.