The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

3 April 2004

Behind closed doors

You follow the news for any length of time, you quickly pick up on Standard Media Qualifiers. Angry Palestinians, for instance, are generally described as "militants," even in circumstances where "terrorists" might be more appropriate. Conservative groups like the Heritage Foundation are usually dubbed "right-wing think tanks." (Left-wing think tanks, of course, are hardly ever identified as such.) And homosexuals who aren't closeted are referred to as "openly gay," a term which, says Laura, rings false:

[I]t seems to me a bit like calling someone openly Jewish or openly a lawyer.

It seems to me that the default assumption about homosexuals, sometime in the last ten years, has switched from being in the closet to being out. It's expected that a homosexual will be openly homosexual, espcially when talking about the younger generations. The closet still exists, of course, but it is now the aberration, and is therefore the state that's deserving of special mention — openness no longer requires it.

Actually, I think this particular media term is intended mostly as CYA: "We're not the ones who outed this person, so don't blame us." And there still being a thriving business in opening the doors to closets despite the wishes of the occupants thereof, I'm not surprised that its usage has persisted.

Now when we start seeing people described as "openly straight," I'll know the pendulum has completed its swing.

Posted at 10:06 AM to Almost Yogurt

TrackBacks if any: