WickedEye's Quotient

2/15/2014 at 02:06

Congratulations, Ms. Page. Now, about your next role...?

The appropriate response—for everyone barring LGBT teens and their teachers/counselors—to Ellen Page's coming-out:
1) Congratulations on being so comfortable with that.
2) So, your next role...?

For those reflexively outraged that I should do less than rave with joy: Ms. Page's journey is relevant to a segment of the public—LGBT kids—as well as to her own private life; but the latter is what precludes the idea that anyone should ever stay closeted.

It's not that Ms. Page's journey shouldn't be honored...by those whom it affects: Her romantic partners, the LGBT kids she's trying to help, her friends and family, and possibly others who've endured the same struggle.

Others who comment on Ms. Page's sexuality have:
A) the manners of barnyard animals (just because it's common doesn't mean it's polite, ya'll), and/or
B) a supreme indifference to the distinction between public and private, and/or
C) pretensions towards being artistic or cultural analysts of some kind, and/or
D) a severe excess of free time/no social life of their own.
A, B, and D are the choices that apply to everyone who isn't a film critic, a Ph.D. in some branch of social science, or a fellow artist.

Ms. Page's sexuality is her own business. Full stop.

I know about this sort of barnyard nosiness because I've been asked, in both law and medical school, if I'm lesbian or bisexual—I headed the group for LGBT law students and their supporters for a time, and was bluntly unconcerned with dating. I don't decline to answer because I have something to hide; those I love will love me no matter what my answer.

I decline to answer questions about my sexuality because answering them means that the person asking has a right to ask.

If a public figure chooses to generously disregard her own privacy in order to help others suffering from the incredible bigotry and ignorance that afflict our society, it is an act of generosity. No one has a right to that information but her lover(s). Making revealed information about someone's sexuality—rather than that person's compassion and concern for others—into a huge news story does nothing but reinforce all the barnyard-mannered impertinence of the general public who think questions about sexuality are appropriate.

And as an added disadvantage, it perpetuates the idea that when thinking of someone who's LGBT, the very first thing that should leap to mind is her sexuality...in Ms. Page's case, bypassing the incredible talent that gave us Hayley Stark, Juno, and Ariadne.

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