In things that make you go hmmm news today, a man who’s set on making the world more honest. How so? By actually paying someone to come out of the closet that needs some extra cash for their honesty. Here’s more:
“Drew Frederick”‘s bio reads like a Dos Equis commercial about the “world’s most interesting man.” The pseudonymously-named blogger writes that he has “graduate degrees from MIT and Georgetown Law,” is the inventor of 17 U.S. patents and has been to “over 50 nations.”
And now he just got a little more interesting — Frederick is holding a “coming out” contest with a big prize.
I want to offer a $1000 Coming Out Award to someone who is being dishonest with others about his/her lifestyle, beliefs, or identity because of fear of being judged, criticized, ostracized, abused, or bullied. Why am I offering this? Because I think openness, honesty, and acceptance are good things, and I want to encourage them.
The award is available to anyone with a secret, Frederick writes on his blog: “This includes, but is not limited to, people are being dishonest about their identities, sexual lifestyles or desires, relationship style, political views, religious views, and so forth.”
Is this right to offer someone a cash prize to come out? It certainly doesn’t appear to be illegal and pending more investigation seems like an easy transaction (at least for the contest holder). But is it moral to offer someone a prize for something the rest of us did for free? And if we’re being honest, for some of us, it cost us something for coming out of the closet, especially if family members and loved ones were not supportive. But the benefits
Does it cheapen the experience for those that have not come out yet? Now I want to make it clear that despite the good intent of the man that held this contest we need to make it clear that the only reward that is worth anything is being authentic to yourself. To no longer have to live in shadows and pretend to be someone you’re not. You can never place a monetary value for the peace of mind this brings. It transforms us for the better, and that is the lesson I hope the contestants took away from this because it is worth much more than any material gain. That’s why I’m not a fan of this deal. You can’t place a price on freedom,
If you’ve read any of my articles on the process of coming out, you then know how I want to do all I can to give insight and courage to those still in the closet. I feel like just about anything that inspires someone to come out is a good thing…but something just doesn’t feel right about this deal. I tried rationalizing the benefits of offering someone in the closet money. For instance if their parents were not supportive of LGBT and they still needed their parent’s help financially so they had to wait but offers like this would help but it still feels wrong to do it for money and not solely for yourself.