If you’ve listened to her standup specials or on twitter you know that comedian Margaret Cho is an outstanding advocate for the LGBT community. Cho does not give one liners or a bunch of exposition on the matter. She is blunt and to the point of the varying issues affecting our community. Recently, Cho sat down to better articulate her thoughts on outing someone after a very passionate exchange on twitter earlier this week. Here’s a sample:
My history in show business spans over a quarter of a century, and I have seen many people in the industry struggle with coming out, only to find much more success after they finally did. I have comforted many shaking hands worrying at rolled-up tabloids like worry beads, and I’ve borne witness to sorrowful shouts of “But it’s my business! It’s my private life!” I felt for them, but at the same time I didn’t understand, because they didn’t come from where I came from. They didn’t see any of the sickness and the suffering. They didn’t get really good at closing caskets or have that cremation smell permanently embedded in their clothes and hair. They were younger, or they were working on their careers and their wonderful talents, getting more and more successful and happy — then suddenly secure enough to come out. Their lives, as far as I could tell as part-innocent-bystander and part-industry-insider, seemed to improve greatly as a terrible fear was lifted, a terrible fear of themselves.
I want this for everyone. I want us all to feel good as ourselves. I want us all to feel good about ourselves. We deserve this. Our lives are hard enough as it is.
If public figures came out of the closet, then the LGBT kids who saw them on TV would feel safe, before they even knew why they felt dangerous. Maybe if enough people came out of the closet, gay kids would never feel dangerous. Maybe we could have a world where we could all just live. We may not all agree, but why can’t we just all live?
It’s apparent that Cho is not encouraging that people out celebrities Far from it. But it always makes the question of how we approach people still in the closet. How do we temper the respect and privacy we are all entitled to with all those we have lost to suicide and violence. Coming out is a deep, personal experience and while I don’t feel there will ever be a sufficient reason to out someone, showing the advantages and life affirmations we receive once we;ve lifted that burden from ourselves. Sharing our experiences not only helps those that are currently in the process of coming out but it also strengthens us and allows us to grow. Showing how much more life you live when you are completely out. I believe that’s what Cho was saying.