Today, on the Philly Post, Philadelphia mag executive editor and G Philly editor Michael Callahan asks, “Why Aren’t There More Gay Faces on Philly TV News?,” and in the process he kind of outs a certain local weatherman. He writes:
In a city that made national headlines for its gay tourism campaign, local TV news remains one of the last closets. To wit: I was going to approach a hunky local weatherman about possibly hosting a public gay event I was organizing, only to have a mutual friend—one who has socialized with said weatherman and his boyfriend—retort, “Have you completely lost your mind?”
He also offers interesting insight into why Philadelphia in particular has such a hard time accepting that its local news people are gay. What’s wrong with this picture?
Nothing, counters one gay former TV reporter who says he was never pressured by station brass to hide his orientation. The problem, he argues, isn’t shame, but rather the paranoia all on-air people now share about feeding our odd, insatiable interest in their personal lives. “That’s unique to Philadelphia,” he says. “Philly is just way more invested in its TV people than other cities. It’s just the culture here.”
It wouldn’t take too much thinking to figure out the identity of said weatherman, but the big question today is: Is it OK to out people? There are strong arguments to both sides. On one hand, as a community, we should expect our gay brothers and sisters to be out and proud about their identity — especially if you hold a respected position in the public eye. But then again, is it our responsibility to make sure people come out of the closet?
Head over to the Philly Post to read the rest of Callahan’s piece, then be sure to weigh in in the comments section below. I’m curious to hear what people think.