It’s like gays are falling from the sky. (Sorry to those of you who are sick of coming out stories. Work life has kept me away from football, so my Barcelona analysis is practically non-existent.) Steve Kornacki, the news editor of Salon came out in an essay that is very well-written, but also a little difficult at times. A lot of the self-loathing that he has felt throughout the past fifteen years or so is very much apparent in his story despite his assertion that he has moved on.
One never wants to criticize someone’s coming out, especially when one does so in such a public manner. It was very brave of him, and I commend him for the courage and honesty that it took. His job is not in jeopardy because of his sexual orientation (he works at Salon after all), but he had to fight his personal demons, and that’s a difficult battle that gets worse as one gets older.
One thing that Kornacki doesn’t explain though, and I wish he did, is why he came out so publicly. He writes:
This isn’t the start of some brand-new life. I actually like a lot about the one I already have. But now the fear and paranoia are gone. And my life can finally make sense to the people who matter to me.
Kornacki is not a celebrity; he is a writer and a sometimes pundit. I only know him from his byline, and I never thought about his sexual orientation once. I imagine I am not alone. Being gay does not affect the content of what he writes or his style. His personal life is, unlike actors, sports stars, and other public figures, truly personal. So I am curious why the need to write in long form about his struggles with sexual identity. This isn’t meant to be a criticism; I am genuinely interested to know his motivation for coming out to the public the way he did. Are the readers of Salon people who matter to him? If so, thank you, but I suspect the truth is that even though Kornacki took pains in his essay to point out how straight-acting he is (he does watch ESPN after all), he does have a touch of the drama queen in him.
There has a spate of coming outs in the past few months, particularly among men. I wonder how much of it is due to the suicides, the bullying, and the It Gets Better Project, which may very well as much for adults as for teenagers.