When, If Ever, Is It O.K. To Out Someone???

  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 13, 2007 4:28 PM GMT
    I recently received a visit from a person who had been given my number by a mutual friend. We live in a remote area and these kind of introductions are fairly common. Anyway, "Jason" as he calls himself, a middle-aged conservative man, quickly revealed that he's married and just returned from Billings, Montana, where he had enjoyed the pleasures offered at a couple of the adult bookstores.

    I initially sympathized with his situation, having been there over a quarter of a century ago, I did however inform him that times had changed and that an open and honest life was not only possible but a desirable choice. A discussion followed and I was quickly informed that not only was he was against Gay marriage, but also against any state sanctioning of the "Gay lifestyle." That included the hundreds of state and federal rights and benefits denied us. I quickly got the sense from his well rehearsed rhetoric, that he not only held these beliefs but actively worked to make sure his beliefs were imposed on the rest of the country.

    The conversation rapidly elevated from heated to hot and when I informed him, that I was no longer interested in continuing the discussion, he took on an incredibly smug posture, berating me and dispelling me as a left wing liberal who was closed-minded to the discussion. I should preface all this with the fact that I'm still licking my wounds from an extremely difficult breakup, and am perhaps hyper-sensitive on the subject of honesty and openness.

    Anyway... to shorten this story... I ended up throwing the guy out of my house, and found out later the that he is the Pastor of a very large, conservative and politically active church in a nearby town. Sounds very familiar to (and actually resembles) Rev. Ted Haggard... http://www.cnn.com/2006/US/11/03/haggard.allegations/index.html
    It feels to me, that outing this guy would at the very least put one more chink in the armor of the Religious Right Wing Conservatives and expose the leadership for the hypocrites they often are. I know there would be some serious repercussions for his wife and his marriage, but having recently been the object an extended period of spousal deception, I can't help but think in in the long run, she'd rather be informed of the truth than be left in the dark.

    So, here are the questions: Is there a time when it is alright to to OUT someone?... Is there a time when it's actually ones responsibility as a gay man to OUT someone?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 13, 2007 5:07 PM GMT
    My, only once a while a good topic like this come across, and i'm speechless. I hope my input will help.

    most of us would agree that outing someone is a tasteless thing to do. it is their private life nonetheless. yet in this case, there seems room for justification. If that guy's career has nothing to do with morality, then most of us won't mind. But because he is dealing in that area, he needs to be held at higher standard, and shouldn't be a hypocrite. Hence i believe it is right to make him aware of his contridiction between his action and his talk.

    Though the most important part is, how to do it.
    Everyone can speak the truth. Little kids can call someone ugly and don't feel sympathy for the person. it's truth without kindness. And it's also a bad taste to do so. Truth should be kind and look forward for certain good outcome.

    In his case, it's his marriage and his career and many people that he's involved with. Telling truth without concerning the outcome is unkind and without mercy.
    I'd suggest you tell him in private he's no different then Ted Haggard. And if he wont' stop being a hypocrite, then he'll be outted.

    Then again, do you have any evidence besides his words?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 13, 2007 5:18 PM GMT
    There's this guy Mike Rogers in Washington DC who keeps a file, I guess, of gay legislators. If they vote in a gay-friendly way, he leaves them alone, but if they vote anti-gay he outs them.

    He's not anti-gay (he's gay himself); but he's anti-hypocrisy.

    He has a blog: http://www.blogactive.com/
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 13, 2007 5:22 PM GMT
    It is appropriate to out anti-gay hypocrites.
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16461

    Dec 13, 2007 5:43 PM GMT
    I didn't have a chance to review all the responses to your episode, but I wonder if it all wasn't a hoax...
    that is, he isn't gay at all, but you were the victim of a (very antichristian) kind of lying bs by this man.

    I'd do some investigation... is he really pastor of this church? Why not go in there and listen to him speak (believe me, he'll be nervous). I think "outing him" (whether right or wrong) could be an issue.. he could claim you slandered him (if he ends up losing something like his job or the like) and you never know what else. Do background research, get facts before you do anything. Then decide.. and think carefully before you do anything!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 13, 2007 6:13 PM GMT
    1. The mutual friend assured me that "Jason" is indeed leading this double life.

    2. This was the 3rd time "Jason" attempted to contact me, he was a bit flustered the first time because my then partner answered the phone.

    3. I'm a long time friend of the owner of one of the bookstores that "Jason" says he frequents. I'm confident that it could be confirmed.

    4. This whole scenario of a stranger calling and then showing up on ones doorstep, which to some may seem a bit odd, is a fairly common occurrence in rural and small town America, where the nearest gay bar may be over 250 miles away. "A friend of a friend told me I could call." I've developed more than one friendship from exactly this type of exchange... not to mention a few good lays along the way.

    5. I understand the whole struggle for identity thing,
    but when the Right Wing Conservatives are doing the struggling and at the same time fighting against my basic human rights, it feels a lot like Political Gay Bashing.

    6. I could go to his church... but ... well.... Yuck!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 13, 2007 6:34 PM GMT
    How much damage is the man doing?

    I don't think it is appropriate to out someone. But it is also not right that this person is doing harmful things.

    The man is going to adult book stores to have sex with men. Meanwhile his wife and kids are at home, thinking he is on a business trip or something. Bringing home a souvenir, like herpes, sure sounds harmful.

    What about the church?

    Is he just a right wing guy in a right wing church. Is he towing the line of his regional politics? Or is he radicalizing anti-gay elements in an otherwise moderate community?

    Outing him would also mean some harm to you. You might become a target for retaliation. It could alienate you from your community.

    Is the amount of harm greater than the cost of outing him?

    Unless of course you are working as an escort. In which case it is against professional ethics.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 13, 2007 6:52 PM GMT
    The question is really whether he encourages hatred (and I mean *hatred*) of gay people. Does he legitimise violence against gays? Does he instruct his congregation explicitly to vote against gay-friendly legislation?

    Outing someone is not a beautiful thing to do. It is sensationalist and it inevitably reinforces stereotypes of gay people in any case---the media invariably report these things as "gay hypocrite cruising in public bathroom" or similar which makes everyone think that that is what *all* gay men do.

    And really, what will it achieve? The sad truth is that people who lack a sufficient sense of irony to be ultra-conservative Christians are unlikely to believe you; it may even martyr him in their eyes.

    Tread carefully. Warn your gay friends about this man, and a little reconnaissance work is fine. I think in any case, if you decide to out him that it is better to whisper than to shout.

    And yes, take care of yourself mate. You may end up being a very public gay figure in your locality. Are you comfortable with that?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 13, 2007 6:59 PM GMT
    Hmmmm……I think what I would do is contact your friend at the bookstore and see if he got this guy on tape. Then send a copy of the tape to that Pastor with a list of demands. I’d do it anonymously of course. no sense in getting implicated in anything. Number on one my list would be for him to tell his congregation that he was all wrong about the gays, and that God really does like them and that everyone should come out of the closet. :)
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 13, 2007 7:20 PM GMT
    I believe anyone who actively speaks or works against LGBT equality is fair game for outing. It is one thing to live your life privately, stay abstinent in the face of homosexual desires for whatever reason. It is another to try to diminish the lives of openly gay and lesbian people.

    I would not hesitate for a second to expose any hypocrisy in these right wingers who preach morality on Sunday morning, yet are found "preaching" on their knees in adult bookstores Sunday evenings.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 13, 2007 7:39 PM GMT
    One of my big concerns is the influence he has on young people who may be questioning their sexuality and seeking him out for counseling. I doubt that he has crossed any sexual lines with the young people he comes in contact with, but at the same time I'm sure they weren't given any positive re-enforcement if they did reveal themselves to be gay. The conservative churches in this area have a history of trying to "reform" gay people, and who knows what long term scars that puts on a person.

    I live an open and honest life. I'm openly gay in a town of less than 5000 people. I'm liked and respected by most... and couldn't care less if someone disapproves of my sexuality. It's not always the easiest choice, and sometimes being out in a bar full of straight testosterone filled 20 somethings can be a bit nerve wracking. But for me I wouldn't feel right hiding such a fundamental part of myself, and even from the rednecks I get a my share of respect for not living a lie.
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16461

    Dec 13, 2007 8:27 PM GMT
    OK, so you are confident and have the facts that he is in fact legitimate...

    If he ever calls you again, I would tell him you are going to take legal action and have a restraining order placed against him and you'll make sure everyone at his church knows why.

    If he's causing you harm, he deserves to exposed as the (anti) Christian bigot he is. What does he hope to accomplish? I'm wondering if he isn't mentally ill.
  • GQjock

    Posts: 11649

    Dec 13, 2007 8:56 PM GMT
    Yup...when they're hypocritic self-hating bigots

    As in Ted Hagert
    As in Larry Craig

    Other than that it's not okay
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 14, 2007 2:42 AM GMT
    What about someone who works on a campaign for a right-wing anti-gay politician?

    Do you think it is fair to out the intern, campaigner? because they are essentially helping elect someone anti-LGBT.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 14, 2007 3:47 PM GMT

    " HndsmKansan

    I think "outing him" (whether right or wrong) could be an issue.. he could claim you slandered him (if he ends up losing something like his job or the like"


    If it's slander to call a straight man gay... is it slander to call a gay man straight???
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 14, 2007 4:07 PM GMT
    Sorry, but I'm all in favor of OUTING. Too many "closeted" people work actively AGAINST our interests. I actually miss the days of Michaelangelo Signorile outing people actively.

    Bring em out of the closet and into the light! (screaming and yelling if need be!)
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 14, 2007 4:14 PM GMT
    Outting someone could land you in the COURT OF LAST RESORT!

    If you do not mind having a law suit file against for slander especially if it cause him harm ie his job whatever!

    Then go a head do it.

    Just because you can do something....does not mean you should do it.icon_biggrin.gif

  • irishboxers

    Posts: 357

    Dec 14, 2007 4:20 PM GMT
    ...and if, when the light hits them, they burst into flame? Well, good riddance then.

    If someone is on the path to coming out (and I think we all know the signs of someone trying to adjust and accept themselves), then no, do not push them faster than they're willing to go. A nudge in the right direction perhaps to avoid any "landmines", but no pushing.

    Now, if they're sitting behind their closet door spewing hatred and hipocrisy and challenging the courage we all have to walk down the street as out men (and women), then reach through that door, grab as much hair as you can, and HURL THEM AS HARD AS YOU CAN into the street for everyone to see.

    You're either with us or against us.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 14, 2007 5:39 PM GMT
    I'd like to know more about how he justifies his behavior. It's impossible for him to do so, from what you've stated so far.

    Your situation seems sticky, though, to me... You're from a small town, so I don't know how safe it would be for you if you were to out this person.

    He's the worst type of hypocrite and needs to be exposed, for sure, but how and by who? I don't think his feelings should be spared; I'm more concerned for your safety and reputation if you decide to out him. If you can handle any negative repercussions, and since he won't listen to reason; then go for it.

    I'd say start small, maybe with an anonymous tip to his wife and/or some person on his church staff (no pun intended). Then, a leak to the local paper if there's no change to his behavior or status. If that doesn't work, get the camera and go for an all out exposé.

    Perhaps that's too cautious and passive for some, but that's my two cents worth.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 14, 2007 6:08 PM GMT
    Hey man, I'm new to the forums, but I have a good take on the issue - I live in Bozeman, MT (about 120 miles from Billings) and have a lot of friends in Billings...including a couple that may have hung out with this "Jason." - I'm trying to confirm that now, I'll let you know if I get any information.

    Not only is a married guy doing this not cool (both to the guys and his family), but preaching discrimination is flat-out unacceptable. I would try to contact his wife and family, then his church, and let them make their own decisions first...I assume you have evidence of his sexuality? Something NEEDS to be done here.
  • SoDakGuy

    Posts: 1862

    Dec 14, 2007 6:44 PM GMT
    Oh, I so want to since I was outted in college. That wasn't fun.

    I want to out the person who outted me. He now teaches English at a Catholic school in Sioux Falls, SD.

    I won't though. Karma always comes around.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 14, 2007 10:17 PM GMT
    I agree, I may sound naive, but what goes around does in fact comes around.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 14, 2007 10:24 PM GMT
    There is nothing that angers me more than those who lead a double life and are antigay,preach wrong and right ,but under the cover of darkness,go anainst what they preach.As the bible says "All will be revealed'.

    Firstly YOU must think of YOURSELF.
    Maybe you should get legal advise first,before 'outing' this hypocrite.
    So yes out this person and make them responsible for their actions.icon_evil.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 14, 2007 10:42 PM GMT
    WOW! This is a GREAT topic and I have enjoyed reading it! I am AGAINST anyone being outted... however I must admit whenever someone like this guy, a right wing conservative, is outted I chuckle. icon_lol.gif I'm in the closet and it's scary to think that someone could potentially out me to friends and family. At the same time, I don't throw stones because I KNOW I'm living in a glass house. LOL, I keep my mouth shut and defend sexual orientation at any chance I get. Come to think about it... if anyone were to listen at how hardcore I was about that subject they could probably put two and two together... Some may call it cowardice, my living in the closet, I don't, but that's another topic. I say... out him. Fuck it, like I said before, if you live in a glass house don't throw stones.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 14, 2007 10:44 PM GMT
    I am totally against outing anyone except under one condition:

    - they are a political or religious leader who is actively working against the communitty, encouraging descrimination or trying to deny civil rights.

    This one seems clear cut. You've done your homework.

    See if you can get him on film (preferably date stamped) coming and going from the 'bookstore'; put a copy in an envelope and give it to the largest newspaper in your area, write telling them that one week later the same package will be delivered to the largest TV station in your area.