Once again, the New York Times has appointed itself society's hall monitor in its quest to publicize more noteworthy individuals' sexual preference. This is the Gray Lady's way of telling the rest of us on life's playground, "If you're an interesting person and we think you might be gay, we're gonna teeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeell."

Outing an individual's sexuality — regardless if s/he is a celebrity or politician or author or dog catcher and regardless if labeling that person as a homosexual is even accurate – is disgusting, hateful, intrusive, and bigoted.

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Yes, it's bigoted because outing someone against his/her will operates under the assumption that homosexuality is abnormal and shameful. The reason you don't see famous people being "outed" for liking hamburgers or vacationing in Key West or driving a Fiat is because no one would ever give a flying eagle's ass about such preferences.

Yet when the subject comes to sexual preference, the New York Times is right there just aching for an inside source or leaked email or salacious cell phone picture to confirm that some public figure somewhere isn't adhering to what that newspaper assumes is society's expectations for human behavior. The New York Times 1950s expectations are even more hilarious considering that support for gay marriage has been steadily climbing for the last few years.

There is no other purpose to out someone than to expose and shame him/her about a personal detail that has zero relevance to anything else. Disguising it as reporting the news is dishonest and deceitful.

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The LGBT community has fought and will continue to fight the battle for acceptance: acceptance to marry, acceptance to have children, acceptance to get joint health care, acceptance to get served in a restaurant when out in public with a partner, acceptance to work without being treated differently, acceptance to recline an airplane seat. It's a battle for acceptance to just exist in this world and enjoy the same rights and freedoms that everyone else is already entitled to.

To be sure, outing someone like Shepard Smith or Larry Craig is so damn attractive because of the human instinct to unearth hypocrisy wherever we see it. (Ironically what's news wasn't their sexual preferences but those two individuals' efforts to undermine basic human rights for everyone else.) But if major newspapers like the New York Times act like being gay is on par with embezzling from a company or rich people having a deep affinity for a large continent through movies, then that "shocked" behavior reinforces the idea that being a homosexual is some weird, crazy thing.

As for the New York Times and other self-appointed assholes who think they have a right to publicize someone's sexuality? No. It isn't your place. It isn't your business. It isn't your duty. It has zero effect on your life. If you have the urge to do this, just stop and go away because you don't understand that you do nothing but harm.