In “A Tale of Three Coming Out Stories” By Roxane Gay she explores the role of celebrities coming out and their responsibilities to do so. The first part of her argument is constructed around the role of privacy and how expecting people to come out, or forcing them to is a violation of privacy. Our culture is obsessed with placing these people in categories will have some impact on our lives, or that creating these categories is our responsibility, when most of the time, creating such taxonomy won’t change anything at all.” (161) Her use of the word taxonomy has a scientific edge to it implying that our culture categorizes people’s sexuality almost in a pseudo-scientific manner to imply that difference in sexuality has greater implications which it doesn’t. People’s intense, yet useless curiosity often results in people being “forcibly outed” (161). Celebrities face the most pressure to come out even if it violates their right to privacy. Because of their roles as public figures many people think that “there is a greater obligation that must be met beyond what that person might ordinarily choose to meet” (164). Gay recognizes that this pressure isn’t necessarily fair and that it shouldn’t be necessary, but because their actions can make a potential difference they should.
The second component of her argument is that not all instances of coming out are as easy as others. She makes the point that Anderson Cooper didn’t face much backlash when he publicly came out because like other gay celebrities, he doesn’t present as “too gay” and that is why he was accepted because of he is“white, successful, handsome, and masculine” (165). He fits the image that people want to assign to gay men and therefore was accepted as so. Others who do not fulfill this image often face challenges. She refers to this issue as “a problem though that there’s a right kind of gay” (166). An eye opening comparison she drew for me was the difference in situations between Anderson Cooper coming out and Frank Ocean coming out. Because of their differing identities, careers, and communities they exist in they’re public coming outs had very different levels of risk.