Why Visibility Matters: Why Robin Roberts is Awesome and A+E Sucks

I hate entertainment news.

A lot.

I don’t care about 99% of the dribble that the American (meaning USA) media passes off as something I need to know or care about. See: Duck Dynasty.

I just don’t care. I mean I care that some ass-hat is getting paid by an hypocritical TV company. Maybe saying that I’m not surprised is more accurate than not caring. Homophobic douche-nozzles are a dime a dozen, and TV channels who talk out of both sides of their mouth are the same.

Which is why I thinking that people coming out should still be news. Robin Roberts coming out this past weekend was extremely important. There is a case for wanting coming out to be “non-news”. And I agree with that, if we didn’t live in a world with Phil Robertsons and companies wanting to profit off of them. Don Lemon stated in perfectly:

Lemon said he was “afraid of people like Phil Robertson who claim to love everyone while simultaneously thinking that everyone’s love is unequal.” Lemon expressed hope that in Roberts’ case, “empowerment will quickly replace fear,” and concluded that if people like Robertson have their rights and those rights should be celebrated, then openly gay anchors like Lemon and Roberts “should be celebrated as well,” and “that’s why it’s still important to come out and say, very simply, ‘I’m gay.’”

We still live in a society where companies and organizations preach tolerance while benefiting off of known bigots.  We still live in a world where LGBT* people are the punchline. In most parts of the world, it’s not safe to be out of the closet. Until people stop getting discriminated against or killed on an institutional level, we need nigh profile individuals to announce their queerness to the world.

Visibility is important. especially in news casting, especially with a show that millions of people watch. We need more Robin Roberts.

I am aware that talking about visibility makes me a hypocrite. I don’t feel comfortable outing myself on this site. I hope to, some day, stand up and be who I am openly and honestly – and do the work that I love. Until then, I look to people like Robin Roberts, Don Lemon, and Billie Jean King for inspiration.

With them, I can see a world where I can be gay and a humanitarian without fear or consequence.

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