Sunday, July 26, 2015

More on Gawker's outing of a Conde Nast CFO

Rich Juzwiak wrote a thoughtful post about the recent Gawker fiasco. He says:
One could make the argument, though, Geithner was exposed to potential homophobia as a result of the story. But when doing this, please make sure your sanctimoniousness doesn’t veer into hypocrisy. If you’re one who cried, “Homophobia!” immediately, check yourself. If you think Geithner’s life was “ruined” because you perceive him to be gay, you are homophobic. If you think a life in the closet is preferable to a life outside of it, you are homophobic. This is, of course, all assuming that Geithner isn’t out as bisexual or queer or whatever the potential label (if he believes in labels) to his wife, or that they don’t have some sort of arrangement. Who knows.
In the end it's simply a privacy issue. I didn't see that many (or any?) accusations of homophobia as a result of the outing, but that outing a private citizen is unethical regardless of the outcome. I can't fathom why this is a complicated issue. He goes on to add:
The story, in my view, wasn’t anti-gay, but it was inhumane. Assuming Geithner isn’t out as a man who sleeps with men to most who know him (as his response in the original piece did suggest), his coming-out process has been taken out of his hands. It wasn’t until I was 22 that I so much as kissed another guy—becoming comfortable enough with yourself to live openly can take decades. If it were up to me, I would have preserved Geithner’s right to slow-paced self-acceptance.