News filtered out from an interview with Entertainment Weekly late last week that it was official Colton Haynes was gay.
The 27-year-old farm-boy come, model come Hollywood actor and star of shows such as Teen Wolf and Arrow had earlier in the year intimated in a response to a fan that he had never made a secret about his sexuality but since then had never mad a public statement.
In the Entertainment Weekly Interview Haynes again didn’t declare that he was gay but spoke about being out to his family, friends, colleagues for many years.
The internet went into a conniption, news websites across the world proclaimed “I told you so” and suddenly twitter and facebook became filled with people’s thoughts and opinions about the announcement.
So many people claimed they had known for years and that it wasn’t a news story to be talking about a celebrity coming out as gay. The gay community, in particular, was vicious at times for their disdain of the announcement and of others who climes they would love to be Colton’s lover or sex buddy.
So why do we care? Why does the media (and eikon is certainly included in that) make such a big deal about someone coming out?
Many say surely this isn’t news, surely we are passed something like this, we have moved on so much with workplace equality, marriage equality, equality in general that a message about someone famous coming out as gay means less than it did ten years ago.
And all that is true, we shouldn’t care, people, whether they are celebrities or train drivers or doctors or students, should be able to be whoever they want to be without fear of people knowing who they sleep with.
As much as that is true unfortunately in this world the reverse is still true. It is still difficult to come out and be who you are. There is still racism, sexism, and homophobia and in any country around the world, even in New Zealand gay men and women will continue to struggle with the period of coming out.
What the news sites understand is that a celebrity coming out is great for traffic, but more importantly for the gay news sites, they get traffic but they also gain another voice to make it easier for the next teenager to make the call. Every celebrity or sportsperson that announces he is gay automatically becomes a gay role model and a gay spokesperson, whether they like it or not.
In the same month, as we saw Haynes come out officially, we saw two young American boys, both with sizeable followings on social media in their own rights, launch a brand new youtube channel to announce to the world that they were gay boyfriends.
This Mississippi gay couple, Hunter Herring and Tyler Matl,used their inspirational YouTube video in the hope that it will help others come to terms with their own sexuality. In the video, the boys discuss their relationship and offer their help and support to other LGBT people.
In the video, Tyler said, “We feel that so many people, not just with being gay, have a problem accepting themselves and loving who they are for who they are.”
“Whether they’re black or white, gay or straight or tall, short, skinny overweight no matter what you are, we want to encourage you guys to love yourselves and be happy with who you are because you’re perfect.”
Hunter said, “So many people struggle with their inner feelings, their outside looks and just being able to accept themselves and love themselves.”
Now these guys arent a celebrity like Colton Haynes, but just like Haynes, they are using their following to inspire and support everyone going through the stage of coming out.
Many of you may not agree with the reason for promoting celebrities coming out but maybe reflect on how you felt before you came out, multiply that by 20 and then think again why it is important.
Last Updated on May 8, 2016