Over the weekend, Tyler Posey posted a video to his Snapchat. He was at Gay St and said, very happily. “That’s me. I’m gay!”
People waited for confirmation that he was in fact, coming out, and in the end – they got an apology from Posey. Because he was attempting to make a statement of love and support, but went about it in an extremely ill-advised way. He’s as heterosexual as they come. And honestly, it did hurt a lot of fans – because Teen Wolf has prided itself on being very inclusive when it comes to depicting sexual orientation.
Allies – coming out is a big thing. It takes strength, because you really don’t know how some people will react. I was terrified to come out as bi to some of my friends, because I’d been met with a lot of disbelief at my university’s GSA. A lesbian who’d previously thought I was very nice, decided I wasn’t worth pursuing – she didn’t want to be part of my experiment. (Which, I’ve been attracted to women my entire life. Definitely wasn’t an experiment)
You don’t know how being out will affect other aspects of your life. The only time I wasn’t extraordinarily out was when I worked at Disneyland – I was out to my friends, but I worked with a lot of guys who were 18-24. Most thought it meant bisexual women were promiscuous. Most of the time, you know that by being out, you’re preparing to fight for the right to be yourself for the rest of your life.
And I’m fortunate. I have a great support network that I knew wouldn’t judge, and most everyone understood that marrying TheBoy didn’t change my identity at all. People coming out as trans have to overcome a lot of bias and hatred in the world. People coming out as agender, asexual or aromantic get a lot of disbelief that their identity is even valid. Even gay people still face a lot of judgement – and there’s been more and more positive gay representation in media. So it’s scary to come out. You don’t know how it’ll affect your friendships, your family, your job.
If you want to show your support, do just that. All Posey had to do was show the street sign and say that it made him think of the community and that he sends his love. That’s it! Don’t come out.
It diminishes when others (especially celebrities) choose to come out, and it comes off as a mockery rather than your misguided show of support.
So if you’re tempted to pretend to come out? Even if you’re announcing that you’re “coming out as an ally”
Just don’t. Show your love and support. But save coming out for people in the LGBTQIA community.
(Perma-reminder: Allies are very important. When I imply that Allies aren’t IN the community, I’m not saying they aren’t welcome in queer spaces. What I mean is that the acronym is intended to give people who feel they aren’t welcome by heteronormative society to have a place to belong. An identity. Allies, by definition, support the community. Many people in the LGBTQIA communities once identified themselves as allies first, because they weren’t ready to come out. But they aren’t LGBTQIA. Veterans, for example – are people who served in the military. But those who support them would never call themselves Veterans. Make sense? Ok.)