Good questions, Harold.

Being outed by malevolent actors is something lots of of have had to face. When I was in high school, then later in the military, I worried about rumors quite a lot. Since I wasn’t out, I felt I had a lot to lose if somebody outed me.

The religious community question is tough. If somebody outs you to your conservative church, synagogue, or mosque, you could have a lot to lose — friends, networks, social support.

The dilemma is trying to live two lives. If you weren’t partially out at least in part of you life, nobody would be able to out you in another part. So, perhaps it becomes a question of deciding how to live. Will you be out or won’t you? Because once you come out, nobody can out you.

The realm of politics gets a bit more nuanced. Generally, LGBT people and activists energetically oppose involuntary outing. With one major exception. If a surreptitiously LGBT politician or other public figure is using their power and influence to hurt other LGBT people, say by voting for laws that restrict equality, then most activists agree that outing that figure is the morally correct thing to do.

Written by

Writer. Runner. Marine. Airman. Former LGBTQ and HIV activist. Former ActUpNY and Queer Nation. Polyglot. Middle-aged, uppity faggot.

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