Wednesday 24 January 2018

Coming out is crucially important for gay people

Ex-Fianna Fail TD Pat Carey
Ex-Fianna Fail TD Pat Carey

In his entertaining and thought-provoking column 'Staying in should really be the new coming out' (Irish Independent, February 23), Billy Keane argues that since straight people do not come out as straight, people who are gay, lesbian, or bisexual should not have to come out either.

With respect, this analysis glosses over the point that heterosexuality is the default sexual orientation in society. We are programmed to assume that the average person we meet is heterosexual.

At every turn, society (through every medium from advertising to TV shows to greetings cards) confirms heterosexuality as the norm. Heterosexuals, in short, do not have to come out. The assumption has already been made by default.

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