Still reflecting on how AfterElton had such a rich quantity of really great articles today (Well, Wednesday.) Yesterday's "Ask the Flying Monkey" was excellent, too: http://www.afterelton.com/askmonkey/07-20-2010. Brent answered questions touching on outing, and whether gay people are too thin-skinned and quick to see insults. I think that generally there's still a ton of prejudice out there, and it's not "thin-skinned" to express an objection to prejudice, or try to get people to stop spewing hatred as openly as they might. I'm sure Brent would agree on that. Perhaps there's a minority too quick to take offense, but I think there's a lot of offensive talk and action worth taking offense to.
I went through quite an education on outing when I was in college. Before I realized I was bisexual, it wasn't any problem for me to tell other people that a public figure was gay, if they were out. Actually, that's still not a problem. I also felt free to speculate, which became more of a problem. My lessons were along a few different lines. I had to say I was bisexual myself instead of just saying I was gay-friendly. In a way that was reasonable. Even if I'd outed myself to someone else LGB, I couldn't out other people on campus unless they were the two people out to the whole campus. That lesson more or less stuck. As with my recent conversation with V., I didn't want to out S., even though I think he's pretty out on campus. Even if I think people won't care, I still need to check on that.
Speculation was something of an issue. We could speculate freely, but once we knew for sure, we kept it between ourselves. There seems to be an etiquette issue on AfterElton, where certain women will say that they know for sure someone's gay, with no proof or collaboration, and it annoys some of the men. The way I was taught on that was that the guys could speculate while the fag hags listened more or less respectfully, and then gave their opinions. The guys were considered to have more authority, or at least more of a clue. Some of those women on AfterElton will say that of course they don't mean "gay" as an insult. While I'm sure that's true, it's not exactly the point. AfterElton doesn't say someone's out unless the celebrity in question says so himself. There's nothing wrong with going with courtesy and politeness, and the standards many still live by.
Whatever it says about my personality, I rather like to hear speculation, and arguments for or against. If it's phrased something like, "I'm just speculating, but here are pictures of him with someone who's said to be his boyfriend," I take an interest. Like with the writers and commenters on AfterElton, it's not like saying someone is gay is an insult coming from me. "Not straight-acting" isn't an insult from me, either, but an observation. I don't put the same kind of negative judgment on that that some people do.
Roman on AWZ is about the furthest thing from straight-acting, but is beloved to many viewers. (Well, depending on how he's been behaving lately.) Some of his good qualities are that he's intelligent, articulate, hard-working, caring, and, yes, very sexy. He's also a high-strung bitchy diva who's gone along with Jenny's evilness several times and done some pretty wrong things himself. He's become pretty well-rounded for a character who was written in some ways as a stereotype. Dennis does comedy, but Roman isn't in any way just a joke character -- though there are those times that Ingo directs [MASSIVE UNFUNNY FAIL], as the EKP ladies say, in his direction. But Roman has his own kind of toughness and manages to keep about as much dignity as just about any other AWZ character.