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Singer Dan Gillespie-Sells: Closeted gay celebrities ‘are part of the problem’ in tackling homophobia

  • Dannii

    Maybe but sometimes it has nothing to do with hiding because of fame/fans but personal issues. You cannot force someone to come out before they’re ready famous or not.

  • Truth

    He’s correct – the more visible we are, the more that ignorance and bigotry will be addressed. However, the decision to come out HAS to be a personal one. Being ‘outed’ against your will can be extremely traumatic to those who are just not ready.

  • Sparkyu1

    While visibility is always to be hoped for – we can’t put a demand and blame on people coming out, even if they are celebrities. People come out when they are ready – and when they feel safe – to do so. It’d nice to live in a world where coming out would be guaranteed free from consequences – whether career or personal or family – but it isn’t true and we know that. Until we can guarantee that those consequences won’t hit them, we can’t guilt them into taking the risk – only praise them if they choose to do so

    No-one has a duty to be a hero or a martyr

    And we need to beware of assuming that “visibility” will be the magical panacea. It will help – it certainly helps – but it won’t cure bigotry any more than visibility has removed racism or misogyny. It helps that we’re not some alien, unknown other- but there are plenty out there who can look us in the eye and still hate us

  • Helge Vladimir Tiller

    YES, THEY are a big part of the problem in all countries !!!

  • BennieM

    I think there is something to what he says, but it seems clear that he had a very positive experience coming out as a teenager, with a very welcoming family. Not everyone will have such a positive experience.

    It’s easy to criticise closeted celebrities but I don’t think anyone should be forced to come out. In an ideal world, though, the more famous people who are openly gay, the more it shows everyone else that being gay is normal.

  • Jones

    Forcing people to come out isn’t what we should do regardless of who someone is. It must be a decision that they make on their own and not up to anyone but themselves.

  • ItchycooMark

    Its not so much the celebs, its the closeted politicians/people in power who back themselves into corners then vote for homophobic policies to help deflect their situation.. . . making it worse for thousands of others

  • Darijen Zornaen

    you know, I believe there is quite a lot of truth in what this guy say’s–but actually to go further and more the point, if ALL gay people that were in the closet came out, would make the world a much better place….why, because it’ll show everyone you don’t have to be a stereotype to be Gay….

  • Ashley

    Why does everyone have to ‘come out’? some people don’t want the world to know they are gay, and that’s fine, it’s their choice.

    • Cal

      If these people are truthful aout why they don’t want to come out the word “shame” will feature heavily.
      I agree that Gay people who have a public profile – and enjoy the rewards from that – have a responsibility to come out. I am pleased for those that do and disappointed and resentful about those that don’t.

  • James

    “I don’t really believe in this idea that everyone has some kind of right to privacy” – How can anyone say that? EVERYBODY has the right to privacy. If someone wants to stay in the closet, then so be it.

  • Kevin

    I agree with him to a degree, However you cannot force someone to come out but the part about being silent on issues of homophobia and LGBT related issues by famous people regardless of their sexual orientation is part of the problem and being complicit.
    For instance we had certain celebs who claim to have gay friends yet they were shamelessly promoting the homophobic sochi winter games with no mention of the discrimination and homophobia suffered by LGBT people British actor Warren Brown among a few others was guilty of just that, this man openly condemned anti-gay murders and beatings in 2009 yet he shamelessly promoted the homophobic sochi winter games on his public twitter account with not the slightest condemnation of homophobia in Russia despite clearly having gay friends and being a patron of an LGBT theatre company its the actions of people like this man that really disgust me passive homophobia from so called gay friendly celebs is 100% part of the problem gays “themselves” not wanting to come out through fear is NOT part of the problem.

  • Silly Old Bastard

    Some people seem to live entirely wrapped up in their own little world with no
    idea of the realities outside it.

  • Helge V.Tiller

    On average, celebrities risk less than “ordinary” people !

  • Stephen MOLE

    Oh for heaven’s sake, PLEASE stop saying ‘openly gay’, it’s so trite and redundant. If someone’s described on internet as a gay singer, then everyone knows, no? Why don’t you say ‘openly straight’ for heterosexuals?

  • Bill Nedra Bill

    I totally agree! Every gay celebrity in the UK, Canada, America and other progressive countries who are still living in the closet are doing so out of SHAME and not because they think their career will suffer…that would have been an acceptable reason in the 1990s, but not in 2014!
    You do not have to come out by calling a press conference; simply come out like heterosexuals and live your life openly…have a dinner at a restaurant, hold hands through the park etc etc. BE YOURSELF PROUDLY!

  • Jase

    Coming out in some entertainment sectors, like Action Films, Country Music and TeenPop Music (targeted at Teenage Girls) is just not an option. It would mean instant failure, regardless of the quality of your product.

    Coming out in TV Drama or Sitcoms, Dramatic movies or Dance Music impacts your success in a minor way, unless you have a really crappy product, you can survive it.

    If you are bringing a mediocre product to market in any category, you can’t afford the risk.

    • Ciaran

      We must not bow down to patriarchy and homophobia that will get us nowhere it got women nowhere until the second wave of feminism it got black people nowhere until the civil rights movements and it got LGBT nowhere until recently, by not challenging prejudice and speaking out nothing will ever change, change comes through struggle and making our voices heard.
      Lets be clear the reason we have homophobia and misogyny is because of men and patriarchy and male dominated religions if it wasn`t for the oppression of the feminine and the promotion of the masculine there would be no misogyny and no homophobia, women would never have had their rights restricted and neither would LGBT people and if you think its acceptable to not challenge the status-quo then you are part of the problem yourself stop telling people to not break stereotypes because all you are achieving is promoting the status-quo and achieving nothing.

      • Jase

        Maybe, because of Sigorney Weaver and Michelle Rodreges there will be future gay actions stars.

        Country Music is the music of the US Republican Party and US Evangelical Christianity, it will die off before it changes. Teenage Girls think gay means I won’t be your boyfriend, they don’t understand the bigger context, and therefor will always attack anyone who claims the latest teen boyband/singer is gay.

        There is accepting the status quo and thereby failing to change anything and then, there is dealing with a less than perfect but real world and not falling into the trap of blind optimism.

        Elephants will never fly, by their own power. Declaring this statement pessimism, is abuse of the term.

  • Helge Vladimir Tiller

    The major reason why Gay Rights has reached the level of today IS OPENNESS ! THAT IS A FACT which can not be denied ! I have 50years of experience -following this social development. It is not a matter of pushing people to be open. It is a matter of having the guts to be honest. Thereby you receive respect and understanding !

  • Erica Cook

    Not everyone is, “living a lie.” George Takei was out with the people in his life. He didn’t hide his being gay, he just didn’t make an issue about it until he saw a good reason to. No matter how you look at it coming out includes talking about one’s sex life, either who you’re having sex with or not depending on where you are in your life. There are good reasons to not want to get into that, and only one has to do with shame. When it comes to one’s privet life it is up to them and only them to decide when to talk about it. As far as I’m concerned outing someone is tantamount to social rape. Are people who come out brave? yes. Do some chose not to out of fear? Yes. But there is something inbetween courage and cowardice. Saying otherwise diminishes the courage those who have come out have shown.

  • tangogent

    I liked this article and agreed with it.

    I’m surprised at how many commenters are saying it’s OK for celebrities to be closeted. If coming out means their careers will suffer, perhaps that’s another reason for them to promote universal gay rights. People need to care about more than their own earning capacity–which is already inflated for many celebrities. I remember the old political slogan, “You’re either part of the solution or part of the problem”.

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