In her article “A Tale of Three Coming Out Stories,” Roxane Gay makes three major points: one, privacy is a vital right for everyone, regardless of fame, sexuality, or social class. Two, coming out is not equally difficult for everyone; people who are part of other minorities and people who are in less considerate communities often have far more trouble than anyone else. Finally, in order to advance equality for everyone, we must do everything we can, no matter how small, to stop discrimination.
While these ideas generally coexist easily, there is a slight contradiction in some cases between always taking action and maintaining privacy.
One assumption that Gay makes is that coming out is a single, universal event; once someone is out of the closet, they are out and everyone knows. However, coming out is a constant process. Since anyone who isn’t famous doesn’t usually have a constant buzz about their everyday life, they have to come out to people almost constantly if they wish to be fully open.
The contradiction comes when it’s time to speak up against a prejudice of a friend or a slur. People are often forced to reveal their sexual orientation in order to combat prejudice, and if we are all required to take action whenever this situation arrises, then they are forced to give up privacy for the greater good. As a result, this puts people in a very awkward position, choosing between privacy and action.
Overall, however, Gay makes many excellent point, and I agree with her fully.