In “A Tale of Three Coming Our Stories,” Roxane Gay discusses how society tends to place the responsibility of paving the way to a better future on the people who are suffering from current social conventions. She uses the examples of three prominent public figures coming out to emphasize the unfair burden that gets forced on them.
Gay discusses these stories in the context of privacy, which I think is a very interesting angle to approach it from. It’s true that we as a society tend to pry into the personal lives of public figures, and this has a greater effect on queer public figures than those who are heterosexual because it often forces them to unwillingly come out, or to share more information about their private lives than they actually want to. The way that people tend to justify this is by saying that the celebrities who come out now are making it better for queer people in the future. However, that’s a pretty unfair responsibility to push on them. Why is it only their duty to fix the world that hates them?
That being said, I personally don’t really see any kind of solution to this problem, as celebrities will always have to deal with the public prying into their private lives, and this will inevitably affect queer celebrities in a much different and more troubling way than it will for those who are heterosexual. While I completely agree with Gay in her assessment of how unfair it is, I unfortunately don’t have any kind of solution to offer.