Saturday, March 23, 2013

Coming Out via Social Media

Anderson Cooper received a GLAAD media award in recognition of his stature and accomplishments as an openly gay journalist.  He came out through a post on someone else's blog a few months back.  My celeb obsessed friends all posted links and comments on Facebook. My reaction, I wasn't surprised but didn't really care either.

I did start thinking about how this is now an increasingly common way to come out. I can think of at least 3 examples of friends of mine.

My husband and I are still friends with his college roommate. He transferred to a different school for the last 2 years of school, so we didn't see him often, but still talked on the phone often and occasionally visited each other. In all that time, he would talk about girlfriends but we never met any of them. After a while we stopped asking.

We reconnected via Facebook, and at first I thought his profile pic (of himself indoors shirtless) was a little weird, but didn't think much about it as he does a lot of weird stuff. Then as time went on, I noticed all his pics were of him with other guys. He would RSVP to events that were sponsored or in support of gay organizations.

We went to visit him last year, and while I wanted to, we never talked about it. I think he has wanted us to know for a long time but wasn't sure how to say it. Maybe he thought it would have been weird for my husband since they were roommates for 2 years. Truth is we don't care, he seems happier than he used to be.

Pre kids I worked in the travel industry, where many of the men are gay. Not sure why, they just are. Anyway, at the time most of us assumed that our boss was gay. His family was ultraconservative and I have a feeling that is part of what kept him closeted. He never talked about it, so we didn't push.

About a year ago (7 years after we stopped working together), he friended me. He was listed as being in a relationship with a guy, and had lots of pictures of his s.o. I didn't feel the need to comment on his relationship, but was happy to notice in subsequent posts that he seemed happier now than he was then. I assume being able to be true to himself and the rest of the world is part of that.

The other day I was looking through Facebook pictures from another former coworker. She worked for the Obama campaign and had pictures of her at the Pride Parade promoting Obama. The main thing I noticed though was that she was wearing a tshirt saying LGBT for Obama. The more I thought about it, in all the years I've known her (probably about 10 by now) I've never known her to be in a relationship with anyone, so maybe she is a lesbian. Of course now I'm curious to know if I'm right or not. Either way doesn't matter to me, as long as she's happy. It seems to me that people can't be truly happy unless they can be true to themselves and the people close to them.

But is this how people come out now through Facebook relationship status and pictures? I guess it's not surprising, but I do find it kind of funny.  FB is efficient.  None of them made big bold proclamations, it just slowly trickled out.

Just to test my theory.  Do you have any friends who came out via Facebook, either with bold statements or just slowly unveiling their true selves?


  1. Not anyone that came out, but its amazing what you can learn by just looking at the pictures your friends posts. I learned my sister in law started drinking again through a picture!

  2. Yep, drinking can be the same kind of thing. No one wants to make a big announcement they're dping something others may not approve of so they just "leak" it through FB.


I love all your comments, but admittedly have been a slacker about replying to all your kind words. I've recently received a bit of spam on my posts so will now be moderating any comments - and not allowing anonymous commenting. I hope that will help me stay on top of replies.