What does it mean to be "Out?"

On another forum I read, two posters hijacked a thread with a discussion of whether or not Sara Gilbert (of “Roseanne” fame) is “out.”

One poster said that she is, because she goes out in public with her family (partner & child), has pictures taken that are printed in the media, and it is generally known that she is gay.

The other poster said that she is not, because she has not made any kind of a public declaration that she is gay (mentioned it in an interview, had pics deliberately released to the media, etc.)

So, help me, dopers…which is it? Does a celebrity have to out themselves to be out, or can they just be out if it is not a secret?

I want to say the latter, because it is generally spoken of as “outing” someone if another person “spills the beans” as it were. IMO, once everyone knows, then you are out, whether you plan it that way or not. Am I right, or am I all wet?

Speculation by other people is just that. When it comes to confirmation of being gay, the only reliable source is that person. Til they say they are, then you don’t know for sure, even if you know for sure, y’know?

She makes no secret of her sexuality. She is generaly known to be gay. I consider her to be out.

I am out. I make no secret of my sexuality. Is your freind saying I’m not out because I don’t tell everyone I’m gay?

I feel that anyone gay that is honest about their relationships is considered to be out. If they are inconvience themselfs are deceptive or lie to make people beleive they are straight they are closeted. Though they may only be closeted to specific people.

Even if you are clearly living a “gay” life like Gilbert? I don’t see why a big declaration like a magazine cover or an album title is necessary. This smacks of “blacker than thou” attitude.

In my hetero estimation, if it’s not a secret, you’re out. You don’t need to make a declaration to anyone about your sexuality any more than I do, and I’m pretty certain no one’s going around saying I’m a closet heterosexual!

If, as boytyperanma says, she makes no secret of her sexuality, then she’s out. OTOH, if you’re Tom Cruise (only using you as an example, Tommy boy, don’t sue)… then you’re still in the damn closet even though everyone freaking KNOWS you’re gay. If you deny it til the day you die, have you ever really come out? “Out” means “out of the closet.” How can you be out if you never admit you’re gay? You’re not. You’re still in hiding, still in denial.

Someone like Sara doesn’t need to rent billboards that announce I"M GAY!!!. She lives an open life with her woman and their child.

There’s a school of thought that says all gay celebrities should give an interview or something just to announce it because it’s their duty to be role models…blah blah blah. Those that go with that school of thought are full of it in my estimation. If that celeb wants to do so, more power to them but at the end of the day it’s their decision and that decision should be respected. If they go out of their way to deny that they’re gay, then they lose my respect. Not that they care of course. :slight_smile:

Ahhh. I see. No, I never meant to imply a celebrity should make a press release in order to be out. Just not actively trying to hide it or deny it.

“Out” means not pretending (or trying to pretend) to be straight. I’m out at work, which means that I occasionally mention my boyfriend when its relevant to the conversation, and if someone asked me if I were gay, I’d say yes. It doesn’t mean I sent out a company-wide email letting everyone know which way I swing.

Sara Gilbert is definetly out. She just doesn’t make a big deal about it. More power to her, I say.

So, we’re talking about Anderson Cooper here, right? :wink:

Was George Takei “out” before he made the announcement? He was openly gay to friends and family, but I don’t think the general public knew.

Here’s an interesting read. Sarah Gilbert isn’t mentioned.


EGAD, Sara Gilbert is gay? Damn, I have always had the biggest crush on her. There goes that * fanatsy. Well, I still have a crush on her.


*Note, good for her that she is out. But I find it somewhat odd that a large percentage of the actresses I get crushes on end up being gay.

Maybe it’s that ‘not hearing the same beat as the other girls’ vibe. Which Sara G certainly has in spades.

You guys confirmed what I kind of thought, which is that if you are just living a normal life as a gay person, you are out. As in, not hiding in the closet, right? Maybe the thing about her being a celebrity is really irrelevant. If she is living in a relationship with a partner, and they have a child, and their friends and family know about it, seems to me she is out…it doesn’t really matter if I, a complete stranger, have been made aware of it.