So last week we appeared as a guest on a late-night cable news show, along with another queer blogger. At one point, we called him "gay," on national television. This is because we are socially friendly with him, and because in our normal parlance we frequently joke about being a fag (don't know if you've noticed). But the minute we said it, we got worried. We know that our friend is out, among friends and in his online persona. But is television different? His grandmother who doesn't know how the first thing about AOL might watch (or have friends who watch) Fox News with regularity.
It's weird how we draw lines in our own minds about being out. When we first came to college, we decided to wait to tell people. But we arrived on campus with nineteen other kids from our own high school, who had known we were gay there. It didn't take long for that information to spread. We think of this because we recently read the Editor's Letter by Aaron Hicklin in Out Magazine. It defended his decision to put Anderson Cooper and Jodie Foster on the cover without their permission. It seems as though even those two celebrities suffer from the same delusion - that if THEY don't say it, it's somehow still a question.
The truth of the matter is, your mother DOES Google you, as does every relative who shares your last name when they Google themselves. Somebody you know IS watching that television channel, even if it's public access. And somebody's niece always went to college with that guy you blew on Outward Bound. There comes a certain point in most gays' life where they have to assume that everybody knows - and even though you may have been hiding it to save yourself from hurt, it actually feels much better not to worry about it any more.
So, anyway, to the guy we outed on television - sorry. But as we've tried to so aggressively rationalize in this post, we were doing you a favor. Really.