News | Television

'Entertainment Weekly' On 'The New Art Of Coming Out'

From the New York Observer to Entertainment Weekly, it seems mainstream media is taking a new look at the changing ways people "come out."

As EW argues, coming out is no longer such a big deal. The "news" about someone's sexuality, in their example Jim Parsons, is so "matter-of-fact" and common place that it fails to raise an eyebrow.

More from that cover article's teaser:

Even if it’s accomplished in a subordinate clause or a passing reference, coming out casually is, in its way, as activist as DeGeneres’ Time cover, although few of these actors would probably choose to label themselves as such.

The current vibe for discussing one’s sexuality is almost defiantly mellow: This is part of who I am, I don’t consider it a big deal or a crisis, and if you do, that’s not my problem. It may sound like a shrug, but it shouldn’t be mistaken for indifference.

By daring anyone to overreact, the newest generation of gay public figures is making a clear statement that there is a “new normal” — and it consists of being plainspoken, clear, and truthful about who you are.

And it's only been 43 years since the Stonewall Rebellion.

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  1. 43 years...but we sure ain't at the Promised Land just yet, my friends.

    Posted by: redball | Jun 21, 2012 7:26:12 PM

  2. I'll be so glad when this group of egomaniacs have all gone by. They have all participated in greater and lesser ways in destroying homosexuality. They will always represent the self-indulgents, who thought they possessed miraculous parenting skills, with no obvious evidence. At least ELLEN wasn't so selfish to have had children. Aging will be their biggest life lesson this group. For me, being gay always meant being me. There were no role models. It was great, and empowering.

    Posted by: Gary | Jun 21, 2012 7:42:11 PM

  3. Wow, Gary -- what's with the bitter? I have personally never wanted children, but I see absolutely nothing wrong with couples who DO want them HAVING them. And I'm not sure what studies you've read, but the overwhelming majority of psychological/psychiatric professionals say having two parents of the same sex does NOT harm a child in any way.

    Posted by: Jack | Jun 21, 2012 7:55:57 PM

  4. Stonewall had nothing to do with gay celebrities. Geez...

    Posted by: Beebs | Jun 21, 2012 7:56:46 PM

  5. ???Gary??? Do you know these people personally, or are you psyhoanalyzing from afar? All of them are doing their jobs, and doing them WELL. However they are TV actors (largely) and there is still room to grow in the movie side of the industry. (Come out Daniel Craig- Please!)

    Posted by: karl | Jun 21, 2012 7:58:38 PM

  6. @Gary-
    They're only as ego-maniacal as the rest of Hollywood, and some (like the guy from Modern Family top left) doesn't shove his name in my face (I don't even know it). Don't really see how having kids is selfish... and there are so many stereotypical role models for gays(Elton John, Cher, Madonna [not necessarily gay but stereotypical role models nonetheless]) that it's ridiculous to say that no gays should or did have any. I think that they're not so much destroying homosexuality as releasing it from it's societal prism of conformism and rigid dichotomy.

    Posted by: Bryan | Jun 21, 2012 8:03:08 PM

  7. Gary/Alan/Rick = Debbie Downer

    Posted by: EYEROLL | Jun 21, 2012 8:09:24 PM

  8. Anderson Cooper's refusal to come out remains preposterous. He tells the world all manner of private details about himself except this one MAJOR matter that is, what, just too shameful to mention?

    I also wish older celebs would take the opportunity NOW to come out before they die. It will greatly enhance how they are remembered and viewed in the future -- as well as right now. I happened to see a tabloid cover a couple days ago referring to certain celebrities' "sad final days" (a favorite, repeating theme for tabloid covers); and one of the celebrities this time was Jim Nabors. If he's in sufficient shape, why the hell NOT come out? (And I hope he proves the tabloid wrong by living another couple decades.)

    Same goes for:

    Barry Manilow
    Richard Simmons
    Rip Taylor
    Ann B. Davis
    Queen Latifah
    George Maharis
    (dare I say?) John Travolta (hope he comes out *of* Scientology, too)

    And did I mention Barry Manilow? Younger readers here may not realize that he was a **HUGE** star and public figure at one time. His coming out definitely would be helpful in further educating and changing the hearts of the older demographic that is the overwhelming source of societal homophobia and opposition to marriage equality.

    Yes, I know that "everybody knows" with several of these people. But when "everybody knows" and the public figure in question refuses to confirm, that's actually very harmful, because it models for the world that being gay is something shameful -- too shameful to talk openly about, even in just a casual mention. Ugh!!!!!!!

    Posted by: his guy | Jun 21, 2012 8:09:59 PM

  9. They are all entertainment figures, which is fine but no real role model unless perhaps those that drive policies, economies, in thought & purpose... everyday gay (unless rated by beauty, youth or money) is still 2nd class, even worse they seek to empower by media as it's the only "successful" model they have

    Posted by: Gordon | Jun 21, 2012 8:10:56 PM

  10. Jack: That "NOT" harm a child in any way?. That's the cliche on that subject these days. No harm from the neighbors and bullys? Of course not. Bitter has always been a component. Ask Betty Davis. They can't handle it today. It's all sweetness and light, and the steamroller of collective opinion. Karl: Why are you such a cheerleader for these people's success? They aren't in it for the cause. They are glad to be working actors, They aren't thinking about you.

    Posted by: Gary | Jun 21, 2012 8:13:52 PM

  11. If you stay closeted you are saying beingI gay is shameful. I dont give a flying BLANK how you rationalize it. You are leading a lie because you believe gay is wrong.

    Posted by: Cortish | Jun 21, 2012 8:26:53 PM

  12. Anyone who answers to a troll like Gary is trying to derail the conversation and participate in troll activity. Shame on anyone who feeds the trolls.

    Posted by: Tiko | Jun 21, 2012 8:28:13 PM

  13. Why do some of you respond to posters you KNOW are trolling when we could do what they hate... And that's ignore them. Post a positive post regarding the story.

    Posted by: USC Trojan Fan | Jun 21, 2012 8:29:33 PM

  14. I thought George Maharis was out?

    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | Jun 21, 2012 8:31:48 PM

  15. Guys, the troll and those who respond to the troll are usually the same person.

    Secondly, celebrities coming out does indeed change minds and inspire. How vapid you must be to think every 13 year old boy in rural america is as exposed to gays as much as you are. They see a succesful entertainer and feel inspired.

    Posted by: ThisIn | Jun 21, 2012 8:32:33 PM

  16. Gary, go mix your GOProud boyfriends another batch of Appletinis

    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | Jun 21, 2012 8:33:08 PM

  17. In a time when people tell us to stay in the closet and demand we GO BACK IN THE CLOSET...when legislations are mandating we stay closeted, how exactly are you contributing to help others, and more importantly help yourself, by staying closeted.

    You're part of the problem. Not only are you NOT helping, you're enforcing the notion that gay = wrong.

    We all have a duty and purpose in this life..that's to contribute for a greater cause and HELP others. You can help more than one group or people at one time and right KIDS, gay youth, gay children need HELP. They need a voice. I pity the self involved public figure who doesn't take their responsibility to help with some seriousness.

    Open that closet door. It helps others, us, and YOU.

    Posted by: Dynex | Jun 21, 2012 8:38:56 PM

  18. Even straight celebrities who keep their relationships "private" are STILL caught by the paps kissing or having PDA with their straight celebrity partner. They won't deny being straight.

    The idea you would deny being who you are except for the most secluded environment, and deny being seen out and about with your same sex the hell does any fool stand for being with someone like that? I'm you're essentially in a relationship with someone who is ASHAMED of it. Don't ever tell yourself otherwise either.

    Posted by: Real Talk | Jun 21, 2012 8:41:07 PM

  19. When the recent story about the Southern Baptist Church hit and some of the black folks interviewed claimed gays don't deserve the rights of identifiable made me think, we are identifiable. Those of us brave enough to hold our partners hand, or have a picture of our significant other on our work desk, or introduce them as our husband/boyfriend are making ourselves identifiable, and are bringing a sense of awareness AND normalcy by doing so. We are challenging the bigotry by being ourselves. Those of you who remain hidden are not only giving bigots what they want but you live right up to their argument of "why should we change laws for people who aren't even identifiable and can just be hidden?"
    It's because we exist. And those of us well adjusted exist proudly and freely.

    Posted by: Steve Jonasen | Jun 21, 2012 8:44:15 PM

  20. Can you imagine being so insecure about who you are that you pay taxes, work, live in America, in 2012...and STILL pretend to be something you're not just to make other people more comfortable around you? I mean, how do you even live in your own skin. That you sold yourself out, not just to anyone, but people who live their own lives as they please but dictate you alter yours for THEIR comfort levels......AND YOU DID (closet cases)

    That's what I would call a tragic existence. Sincerely.

    Posted by: SoccerEnthusiast | Jun 21, 2012 8:46:26 PM

  21. Everyone is so certain about what I am. What is this troll crap? I don't even know what it means. It obviously comes from someone who can't deal, or defend their views. Republican - no way. So your tired wit is lost DAVID. Thank you HISGUY for an excellent comment. I've emailed Anderson for years about his closet, I have no respect for the snob. BRYAN: Cher and Madonna weren't gay males. Elton John is gross. These actors are in it for themselves. Neil P. Harris screams for attention. It's too often we see actors and we wish they were gay.

    Posted by: Gary | Jun 21, 2012 8:51:44 PM

  22. Actually, celebrities coming out does change minds..and powerfully so.

    My family was very uncomfortable to the idea of gay and being gay. I also relocated because of their discomfort, and me refusing to be a "cookie cutter" version of myself and not mention my boyfriends to make them feel special. It wasn't until last year when I went back home and my mother AND father approached me and said they have come around because as my mother put it "We watched Ricky Martin on CNN and the Today show, he was so open and honest about his struggle and how welcoming his mom was. We wanted to be the same" My mom went to Barnes & Noble and BOUGHT his book, read it, clearly soul searched and it changed her entire approach and helped heal our relationship. Ricky flippin' Martin. A singer she's been a fan of for a long while helped her get out of her mental safety net and inspire change with my Dad as well. That's a true story and proof that celebrities can and do make a difference for their fans either coming around or at the very least...making them THINK. Since each gay celebrity comes with fans, imagine if each made at the very least a dozen of their fans 'think' and they then inspired others around them to 'think'
    You have to be very small minded to believe it doesn't make a difference. I and my family are living proof it does and can.

    Posted by: Michael | Jun 21, 2012 8:52:00 PM

  23. I was 16 when Ellen came out on her show. I remember watching it with my grandma and both her and I laughing during that hilarious episode. I didn't have any gay/lesbian influences around me in Nebraska but I did see a women just come out on her own prime time television show. It empowered me. It gave me a sense of wonder. 2 years later, I was openly myself, and the first person I had a conversation with about it was my grandma. And the first thing she referenced was that night we watched the Ellen show together. Today I'm a working writer for shows and attribute so much to that one eventful night.

    Posted by: WriterBlockGal | Jun 21, 2012 8:55:55 PM

  24. In some ways, I really believe celebrities or those in the public eye make far more of an impact on change and bringing to attention our injustices and our stories, far more so than an elected official. Whereas an elected official is influential in bringing about change in a legislative way, a celebrity can and HAS brought about change in households and kitchen tables.
    I was very surprised and thrilled to see so many of my friends suppport Carrie Underwood's support of same sex marriage.

    Posted by: Roxer | Jun 21, 2012 9:00:50 PM

  25. Re: Gary:
    I disagree with his assertion that it is selfish to have children. But to the extent that he distinguishes between having children via the (eonomically inefficient) process of artificial insemination (NPH, Elton) as distinct from adoption, I think Gary makes a valid point. Arguably it is selfish to spend a fortune on AI when so many abandoned children need guardians or parents.

    Posted by: tcw | Jun 21, 2012 9:01:47 PM

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