Fashion Men | Jason Wu | Michelle Obama | News

Who Outed Jason Wu?

Jezebel reports that fashion designer Jason Wu, who designed Michelle Obama's inaugural gown, has been alleging that the New York Times outed him to his family in this profile published over the weekend:

Wu"Minutes before Jason Wu was to become famous as the 26-year-old designer of Michelle Obama’s inaugural gown, he ordered a pepperoni and mushroom pizza from Domino’s at his apartment in Midtown, then sat down with his boyfriend, Gustavo Rangel, and a neighbor to watch the festivities on television."

Dan Savage notes: "Reporters these days operate under the assumption that men with boyfriends—particularly men in New York City, particularly male fashion designers—are out of the closet. So the New York Times really shouldn't be faulted for 'outing' designer Jason Wu to his extended family, Jezebel. Wu outed himself to and through the New York Times. The lesson here: If you're making a secret of your homosexuality it's your responsibility to keep it secret. It's not the New York Times' responsibility."

And it's not Amanda Lepore's responsibility either.

The Spotlight Finds Jason Wu [nyt]
Did The New York Times Out Obama Designer Jason Wu? [jezebel]
Please Make a Note of It [slog]

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  1. I am 100% in agreement with Mr. Savage.

    Posted by: Chan | Jan 27, 2009 4:29:16 PM

  2. Lady, please.

    Posted by: Mike | Jan 27, 2009 4:32:51 PM

  3. Jason ought to be embarrassed to think he was outed at all, when clearly, seeing any photo of him would have been all anyone needed. His family knew full well before now.

    Posted by: Critifur | Jan 27, 2009 4:34:33 PM

  4. "The lesson here: If you're making a secret of your homosexuality it's your responsibility to keep it secret. It's not the New York Times' responsibility."

    Here! Here!

    Posted by: Sean | Jan 27, 2009 4:35:36 PM

  5. I'll have to reread the fine print and see if "gay" was actually used, but Advocate ran a story on Jason in last month's issue. Perhaps he believed that none of his extended family would pick up a copy?

    Posted by: late | Jan 27, 2009 4:40:47 PM

  6. Uh, Jason... really? Seriously? They "outed" you?

    Posted by: tim | Jan 27, 2009 4:43:15 PM

  7. Please. Name one well-known fashion designer who isn't gay.

    And no, Tommy Hilfiger doesn't count as fashion. And don't even try to claim Calvin Klein.

    Posted by: Paul R | Jan 27, 2009 4:43:37 PM

  8. Just make a lot of money, Jason. Your family will adore you. I've seen it happen before.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Jan 27, 2009 4:44:22 PM

  9. Jason Wu was profiled in the January issue of The Advocate as a "gay designer." I don't think it was a secret.

    Posted by: Here Media | Jan 27, 2009 4:44:41 PM

  10. The Inaugural dress was such a frothy horror that we'd prefer he not be gay. If only that wad of frock had stayed in the closet we could be alittle less harsh on Mr. Wu.

    Posted by: Klench | Jan 27, 2009 4:45:17 PM

  11. Domino’s??? WTF?

    Posted by: Matthew | Jan 27, 2009 4:45:33 PM

  12. Oh he's a fool. Anyone he comes into contact with knows he's gay.

    Posted by: TANK | Jan 27, 2009 4:48:13 PM

  13. Oh geez, without that first paragraph, this paragraph and his own quote would have outed him for sure.


    Shortly before 5 p.m., Mr. Rangel, who manages the company’s finances, was waiting to take Mr. Wu to a celebratory dinner when Alison Pill, an actress who appears in “Milk,” arrived at the studio. She had come for a fitting of an emerald dress she plans to wear to the Screen Actors Guild Awards on Sunday.

    “When I saw the movie,” Mr. Wu told her, “I cried.”


    By the way, the green dress that Alison Pill wore was hideous. Guess Mr. Wu is a one-dress wonder. Actually, IMO, Michelle Obama's dress wasn't really that stunning either.

    Posted by: Jack | Jan 27, 2009 4:50:00 PM

  14. what a stupid bitch.

    Posted by: ian | Jan 27, 2009 4:50:58 PM

  15. The more people out, the better anyway. I don't think people should have to worry much about protecting another's closet. If you want to be closeted, do not participate in gay activities like having a boyfriend. Others should not have to lie to protect someone's closet.

    Posted by: Jesse | Jan 27, 2009 4:54:33 PM

  16. See, all this time, his family thought he was designing women's gowns to pick up chicks.

    Posted by: crispy | Jan 27, 2009 4:56:16 PM

  17. This nonsense about the New York Times is distracting us from the real issue: pillorying Michelle Obama for wearing a dress designed by a self-hating closet case!

    It's clear she wrapped herself in that threadbare duvet deliberately, to support Internalized Homophobia. That's right, INTERNALIZED HOMOPHOBIA!

    The good news is that since she already has the feathers, we'll only need to bring tar.

    Posted by: Bryan | Jan 27, 2009 4:56:24 PM

  18. I'm sure "Jezebel" is far more upset by the NYT "Outing" than Jason Wu or his parents.

    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | Jan 27, 2009 5:01:47 PM

  19. re:Wu. perhaps through the sobs & tears over "Milk", you didn't hear the big message - WE MUST COME OUT; no matter who, what or where we live - if we are to stand up for ourselves. Your interview in the Advocate was appropriate for a gay readership - and common sense would indicate that you were comfortable being identified as gay/GLBT friendly.

    It's unfortunate that even at a time where gay people have such opportunities for visible demonstrations of strength and integrity, we continue to be our own worst enemies and saboteurs.

    Posted by: resurrect | Jan 27, 2009 5:04:22 PM

  20. OK this might be the first time this has happened since I started reading this blog, but EVERY comment here CRACKED ME UP!!! You boys are FUNNY! Poor Jason, the dress really wasn't very good, was it?

    Posted by: JR | Jan 27, 2009 5:07:01 PM

  21. BRYAN: That's the most ridiculous comment I've ever read. I'm sure Michelle Obama had no idea who Jason Wu was, IF he was gay, and IF he was closeted.

    It does not matter. Jason's life is his own and we should stop trying to use him as a symbol or a spokesperson. He'll come out on his own -- well, he's got less work to do on that front now. I'm sure he's learned a lesson on PR and how to be more media savvy.

    Jason's dress, as worn by Mrs. Obama, was absolutely stunning. When she danced with Barack to "At Last," I got goosebumps. It was this clean white, angelic vision of hope and a sparkling future, which I think this country needed. A clean slate. And Jason's design captured that optimism magically.

    Posted by: JTlvr | Jan 27, 2009 5:07:24 PM

  22. What I think is wrong is that he really thinks his family is stupid? They know, they might just not want to talk about it.

    Posted by: Travis | Jan 27, 2009 5:15:21 PM

  23. Can we anoint Mr. Savage as our gay spokesman...PLEASE???

    Posted by: Bruce | Jan 27, 2009 5:18:06 PM

  24. I don't know that it's as simple as that. The seeming outing occurs when NYT story refers to his "boyfriend". If Jason identified and or introduced his friend to the reporter as such, then so be it--he outed himself. If the NYT reporter chose to identify the friend as the b/f without any specific clarification or definition of the relationship by that person or by Mr. Wu, (e.g. roommate, friend, b/f, or no clarification at all) then it is THEY who exceeded their bounds. The issue isn't whether Mr Wu should or shouldn't out himself, but rather what role the NYT played ...

    Posted by: AtlantaJoe | Jan 27, 2009 5:20:20 PM

  25. But some families from traditional cultures will literally disown gay family members.

    I use to date an Indian America Muslim and he was afraid of his family finding out about us because he would have been forever disowned by his family.

    I had a Vietnamese American friend who came from a Catholic family who also believes that he would be literally forever disowned by his family if they knew he was gay.

    Posted by: Josh | Jan 27, 2009 5:22:47 PM

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