Aaron, You In Danger, Girl–On Public Outing and Hypocrisy

Executive Director of PhillyGayCalendar

I’m sorry, but the co-headline could write itself: are we SHOCKED that SCHOCK was outted?

Of course not—unless you’ve been hiding under a fairly heavy amount of rocks, you’ve probably read journalist Itay Hod’s posting on Facebook that essentially blew the cover on Schock’s continually rumored sexuality.  There’s no big secret that Aaron Schock is most likely gay; that’s not the question here.  The bigger debacle?   Should a journalist have publically “outted” a person online?

Let’s get the facts straight (pun unintentional): Mr. Schock has one of the most viciously anti-LGBT voting records in Congress and received a zero percent approval rating from the Human Rights Campaign.  If he is, indeed, gay, the hypocrisy is not just mind-boggling; it’s ethically wrong (and worthy of an expensive psychotherapy bill, to be frank).

However, let’s go back to Mr. Hod, the journalist who wrote the Facebook post about Schock; did he have a right to “publically out” the congressman.  Was it too Mean Girls in spirit?  Nope. 

Where are all of the “freedom of speech” minions who went ballistic over the suspension of Phil Robertson, the patriarch of Duck Dynasty (the show which, by the way, has been rightly exposed as being the equivalent of a minstrel show for white trash—talk about hypocrisy), when he made his homophobic remarks that set the media ablaze?

Mr. Hod has every right to post whatever he wants, especially given this instance, where he has exposed Schock’s absurd double-life.

Here’s the thing: Mr. Schock, a gay white man of privilege, may or may not “come out” publically via his own terms.  My guess?  He’ll pull a Larry Craig-style resignation in a few weeks, if not days (Schock’s PR team has already locked down the vast majority of his social media, including his “guilty as gay charged” Instagram account).  He’ll write an article.  He’ll end up on CNN (see former disgraced politician Eliot Spitzer, who keeps getting shows on the network), or, even worse, FOX (see Sarah Palin).  The point is, he’ll continue to make money off the fact that he’s some sort of quasi-darling of the Right Wing.

Is “coming out” a “sacred process”?  Yeah, I guess…but when you are a public figure, fighting for the rights of your constituents, and you take public actions, especially via social media, that demonstrate that your “private” life and your “political” persona don’t equate to a confluent picture, you’re being hypocritical.  You’re lying.  And as much as I’d love to buy into the argument made in Jodie Foster’s cryptic “coming out” speech at last year’s Golden Globes, that “apparently […] every celebrity is expected to honor the details of their private life with a press conference, a fragrance and a prime-time reality show,” it is 2014.  You’ve made the conscious choice to be a public figure.

Aaron, you in danger, girl.

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