Monday, August 29, 2011

On The Glass Closet

Does the press have an ethical duty to out powerful gays in tech?:
"Do journalists have a duty to report on the sexuality of so-called "glass-closeted" gay people? They do if those people are powerful, says Felix Salmon of Reuters. Media attention on powerful gays and lesbians, even those in the closet, is a social good because it promotes and celebrates diversity, he argues. If it is inspirational to millions to see a gay person at the helm of an illustrious company, Salmon believes we have an ethical duty to not to gloss over the sexuality of such a person, even if that person has never publicly "come out." To fail to do so, Salmon suggests, can be unethical, because it's dishonest.

'via Blog this'
If someone is actually in the closet then it is up to them to make that decision. If, however it is just that they have never issued a press release to the effect "Hey, I am Gay" but they actively date and/or are living with a romantic partner of the same sex then yes it is a legitimate part of the story as much as the obligatory picture of the straight CEO with his wife, two kids and Labrador Retriever is. It shouldn't be the focus of every single story: "Tim Cook, Gay CEO of Apple says XYZ" but in those lovely Forbes profiles of the most powerful folks in the world it is a piece of the story.

Can we go back to something important now?

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