Ethics: Forcing Gays Out of the Closet

Homosexual leaders seek to expose foes of the movement

Gays have long gossiped about which public figures of past and present might be secret homosexuals. Publications from the scholarly to the semi-scabrous have speculated about the likes of Alexander the Great, Shakespeare, Willa Cather and James Dean, with hundreds of others cited along the way. This name dropping is defended as a way of giving the gay community role models and a sense of continuity. When the rumors involve living people, however, discussion about who is "in the closet" has generally been held to a discreet murmur -- partly in deference to libel laws but mostly in defense of privacy....

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