What is your definition of being "OUT" or "openly gay"?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 22, 2010 10:23 PM GMT
    I thought I'd remove this discussion from another thread so it's less personal. My definition is there are many people in your life who know you are gay, or if asked, you will say "yes, I am." If you are "OUT" on a website, then you will have revealed to others that you are gay AND have identifiable pictures of yourself which include your face.

    This may be different for others. What is your definition?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 22, 2010 10:27 PM GMT
    Explain the straight people who don't show their face online.
    A face pic does not determine whether or not a person is "out" or "openly gay." It's just a personal choice.
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    May 22, 2010 10:29 PM GMT
    paulflexes saidExplain the straight people who don't show their face online.
    A face pic does not determine whether or not a person is "out" or "openly gay." It's just a personal choice.


    But can you say I am out to a group of people if you never show your face?
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    May 22, 2010 10:33 PM GMT
    wrestlervic said
    paulflexes saidExplain the straight people who don't show their face online.
    A face pic does not determine whether or not a person is "out" or "openly gay." It's just a personal choice.


    But can you say I am out to a group of people if you never show your face?
    Online, yes. The internet is extremely public. Everything you put online - even if it's 'hidden' with some code (membership site, paysite, etc) - can be seen by the public who knows how to crack codes. As I said, even some straight people don't want their face online.
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    May 22, 2010 10:36 PM GMT
    paulflexes said
    wrestlervic said
    paulflexes saidExplain the straight people who don't show their face online.
    A face pic does not determine whether or not a person is "out" or "openly gay." It's just a personal choice.


    But can you say I am out to a group of people if you never show your face?
    Online, yes. The internet is extremely public. Everything you put online - even if it's 'hidden' with some code (membership site, paysite, etc) - can be seen by the public who knows how to crack codes. As I said, even some straight people don't want their face online.


    So if you have no identifiable picture, no way for anyone in the real public to ever recognize you, hell, let's just say you have a picture of Mickey Mouse as your avatar, and you say "I'm gay everyone!"...then you are openly gay. icon_rolleyes.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 22, 2010 10:52 PM GMT
    Someone who is openly gay can talk about their homosexuality freely without hesitation and wouldn't hide things from others (non gays) if asked about their sexuality.

    Hmmm? I guess that's my definition.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 22, 2010 10:53 PM GMT
    wrestlervic said
    So if you have no identifiable picture, no way for anyone in the real public to ever recognize you, hell, let's just say you have a picture of Mickey Mouse as your avatar, and you say "I'm gay everyone!"...then you are openly gay. icon_rolleyes.gif
    Yes, you can be openly gay and still prefer online anonymity.
    Hiding your online identity has nothing to do with openness of sexuality.
    Out of curiosity, have you asked any of these faceless hotties to send you a face pic via email?
  • Anto

    Posts: 2035

    May 23, 2010 9:21 AM GMT
    What is your definition of being "OUT" or "openly gay"?

    Generally I think it means when a person shares or reveals being gay to others. It doesn't mean it has to be with everyone though or all the time.
    I would consider someone accepting themselves as being gay and willing to talk to others about it even through anonymity is in a sense a degree of being out as well.
    Even men who are in self-denial but willing to go to gay bars and meet up with men for sex are in a certain sense out.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 23, 2010 10:39 AM GMT
    that you make no more of a fuss about your sexuality than a straight person.
  • GQjock

    Posts: 11649

    May 23, 2010 11:37 AM GMT
    Wearing a tube top to Church icon_cool.gif

  • May 23, 2010 11:41 AM GMT
    I agree with lots of people up there--a personal choice to leave a face pic off of a networking or dating site has nothing necessarily to do with being out or not. It might, I suppose, but it very well might not.
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    May 23, 2010 12:10 PM GMT
    i've led spiritual meetings and taught stuff to small groups about taking responsibility for actions, etc., and yet i'm divorced. if people don't know WHY i got divorced, it looks like i'm talking out of both sides of my mouth.

    i got divorced because i am gay and i wasn't doing my wife any favors by staying married, not to mention what i was teaching my children about marriage. i came out for many reasons and most of them were to stop my shit from creating shit for others.

    so, coming out to me is to be honest about why i divorced and starting the long journey of overcoming years of running from my self.

    i don't tell everyone, but i'm working on not being afraid to tell anyone. i'll be attending the nashville pride stuff this year and i've been posting pro-gay stuff on my FB for quite a while now. if people look even half way close they'd know.

    it's funny though how people take the "don't ask, don't tell" road...some people are just as afraid to ask me as i have been to tell them.

    so being "out" means you don't deny it, any more than you try to hide that you are left-handed or have brown eyes.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 23, 2010 12:13 PM GMT
    To me, being out basically means the person doesn't care who knows about his/her sexuality.

    I'm out, but I don't go around advertising it either. However, if someone were to ask me, I would tell them the truth. That's what being "out" means to me.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 23, 2010 12:17 PM GMT
    as far as online posting of my headshot...

    i posted it here because guys here want to know what you look like. i'm okay with that. i've got my face posted on my facebook page too (and in my profile pics there are lots of face pics).

    i maintain privacy here by using a weird name that none of my acquaintances know. what i do here is my business among other gay men...

    sure, if someone REALLY wanted to find out they could. google has made sure of that. but right now i don't see any harm in it. i guess because i buy stuff online someone could get my credit card info or my SSN...but that doesn't keep me from shopping online.

    from pirates of penzance:

    "act according to the dictates of your conscience, and chance the consequences."
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 23, 2010 2:48 PM GMT
    I struggled with my sexuality for years due to my religious upbringing. When I came out, I kicked the doors off the cell I kept myself locked in. I never looked back, and refused to be ashamed.

    Since 1994, I have never lied about, or denied who I am. I included my partner in all my life events, and in my stories to friends...well, to everybody. Whether they liked it or not.

    The Internet is a tool for some pretty fucked up people. Anonymity breeds some bold and devious fuckers. It isn't the garden of Eden, where everything is innocence. I can understand somebody wanting a barrier to their privacy. The whole Facebook controversy is a prime example.

    I would never suggest a faceless profile pic indicates a level of "outness."
    And if it is, so fucking what! We are all on our own journey. I won't judge them. I was there once. If you are concerned about THEIR level of "outness," reach out, be a friend and listen to their concerns. Reassure and encourage them along their way. They will get there in their own time.
  • CuriousJockAZ

    Posts: 19136

    May 23, 2010 2:52 PM GMT
    I feel being "out" is a personal thing that has a unique definition depending on the individual. We all have different "comfort zones" when it comes to revealing our sexuality to others, and that's okay.
  • tazzari

    Posts: 2937

    May 23, 2010 3:00 PM GMT
    "that you make no more of a fuss about your sexuality than a straight person" - good answer!

    For my part, I use my face on websites, as well as my real name. I've preached the annual Matthew Shepard sermon at our church several times, and outed myself by referring to my partner in an international ski magazine. So I guess I'd call myself totally out.

    Where it gets me though, is in the little situations that jump out at you. The check-out lady at the local grocery store saw my ring a while back and asked if I was married. I told her I was a widower, which is true and usually stops the conversation when I don't want to talk much to someone or I'm in a hurry. I still wonder if I should have come out to her, but there are times when it just seems like too much effort for such a passing incident. Any thoughts?

    Nat
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 23, 2010 4:38 PM GMT
    this one is very easy....

    1) Mom & Dad & Brothers should know.
    2) You must be 100% comfortable.
    3) you must love colorful clothes.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 23, 2010 4:44 PM GMT
    wrestlervic, go onto city-data.com and log in. Most members are straight and most have no pic - they are only available once you 'friend' the person.

    We're with Paulflexes on this one.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 23, 2010 4:52 PM GMT
    Being out definitely means at least the immediate family knows, and close friends know. And it also means that you won't lie about your sexuality. Nothing needs to be broadcasted. Just keep it simple.
  • DrewT

    Posts: 1327

    May 23, 2010 5:08 PM GMT
    I'm pretty out, I'd say. However, if I go into a questionable area, I won't skip and sing show tunes. There are places in the US where one can get harmed or killed for being gay.

    Otherwise, I'm out to family, friends, and when I work, co-workers.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 23, 2010 5:09 PM GMT
    I, personally, don't think a face pic will reveal anything specific about your orientation. I think a face pic on a social networking sight, whether it be FB, RJ, A4A, or what have you, is independent of your orientation - rather, it's a decision as to whether or not you want your mug plastered throughout the interweb.

    To me, being "out" means you've accepted yourself and your attraction to other men 100% and do not have a qualm saying that aloud when you're alone or with other people who ask you for it, but do not aggressively display it to the world. It's a personal identity. As Kenji Yoshino stated in his thesis in the Yale Law Journal (December 11, 2001), being out is a form of covering. You don't deny it when asked, but it's not your personal identity. In effect, it is downplayed. I think a lot of us on RJ cover a lot. We don't openly display our sexual preference, but we don't deny it when asked.

    Being "openly gay" means you have failed (his words, not mine) to cover and you publicly signal to others your sexual preference. This would in turn lead to disclosing (failing to pass) and eventually being (failing to convert). Openly gay is very much the tenet of the Castro in the City. Denizens there don't cover - they just are. That, however, is the beauty of drag queens (if that's your thing) and the "pretty boys/twinks". They are very much open and sometimes abrasively so.

    Anyways, apologies for the non-brevity. That's just my 2ยข.
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    May 23, 2010 5:11 PM GMT
    paulflexes saidExplain the straight people who don't show their face online.
    A face pic does not determine whether or not a person is "out" or "openly gay." It's just a personal choice.

    Yeah, I usually don't use a face pic on most sites I've joined, some of them gay, some not. It's not an issue of being out, but of being private, and for security concerns. This site is exceptional in that I finally put a small pic of myself up, although more exist in my private album here. Though not the most recent, since I've changed a lot in the last 2 years, and that works to "disguise" me a little online, again for privacy's sake.

    As for other aspects of being out, I've led gay pride parades right down the main street, in sometimes risky circumstances, and right in front of TV & newspaper cameras. I've also belonged to college campus gay student organizations (both in student and faculty adviser roles), handing out our literature during campus fairs, appearing for gay causes. So I'm certainly not shy or reticent in those circumstances to be publicly "out."

    I think online and real world are not entirely the same for this topic, and we'd be mixing different motivations if we tried to view them in an identical way. One area where they might be similar, however, is in concerns over employer prejudice, and other anti-gay circumstances.

    Be visibly gay on a site your homophobic employer might access and you could be legally out of a job in many US states. March in a gay pride parade when your boss happens to be on the sidewalk, or be seen coming out of a gay bar, and the same thing will happen.

    I'm very out in every sense, but I've always said that I don't expect other gays to be out if they can't afford to be out. And that's a personal decision for them, not mine to make, based on the individual & unique circumstances in which they find themselves.

    I'd like you to be out if you can, because I think visibility is good for the gay community. But don't be out if it will seriously hurt you, because your loss of income or other advantages you have could be bad for the gay community, as well as for yourself. Much as I'm seen here as an extremist on many political matters, on this issue I'm quite pragmatic, and slow to criticize others about their choices.
  • jlly_rnchr

    Posts: 1759

    May 23, 2010 5:28 PM GMT
    Out - Everyone that is more than an acquaintance (friends, family, co-workers) know that you're gay

    Openly Gay - When someone asks you if you're gay, you say "Yes, I'm gay." And you have a rainbow bumper sticker.
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    May 23, 2010 6:30 PM GMT
    it means never feeling uncomfortable no matter the situation, environment, people you're with.
    also means you just shrug your shoulders at daily petty homophobia.
    There's a time and place for making a fuss.