Taylor Lautner fake outing

Gay members of “Team Jacob” will no doubt be momentarily heartbroken and then resume clinging to hope: the “leaked” People magazine cover proclaiming Taylor Lautner had come out of the closet is, in fact, a fake.

I’m a little peeved about the whole thing, but not for the reasons you might think.

Sure, the kid’s got great abs and a nice smile… But him coming out of the closet as a gay man wouldn’t exactly be life-changing for me personally, in clear defiance of all the jokes about my habit of dating younger men. I certainly have no vested interest in him being gay or not being gay.

Where I DO have some interest here is in the notion that there are a hell of a lot more gay people in our country (and in the world) than most straight people realize, and that’s largely because many gay men aren’t comfortable openly living their lives. Whether it’s from fear of rejection, concerns about employment or income, religious brainwashing, or a legitimate worry that they could be subject to violence or imprisonment by their government, there are plenty of circumstances that might warrant keeping one’s sexuality a secret.

Still, I think the world in general would be a better place if more people found the courage and self-respect to be themselves, personally and professionally, and show their friends, family, neighbors, and colleagues just how diverse the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community really is.

I’ll step off my soapbox now, and get back to the current news story.

The faked People magazine cover spread like wildfire right after Christmas, using a pretty convincing mock-up of the magazine cover and actual material from a 2006 issue of the magazine. The bold declaration “OUT & PROUD” followed by “Tired of rumors, the Twilight star opens up about his decision to finaly come out” was pretty good, too, as was the fake quote “I’m more liberated, and happier than I’ve ever been.”

Here’s the actual image:

Fake, though at a glance, impressively done

It was so convincing that people took to Twitter to respond, including a congratulatory tweet by Russell Simmons saying he was “proud of Taylor Lautner for his bravery and his courage.” Naturally he was a little peeved to discover that he’d fallen for a fake outing, later tweeting, “Disappointed that people would joke about someone coming out about their sexuality. Let Taylor Lautner be whoever he wants to be…”

Frankly, I don’t think any of us know whether Taylor Lautner is gay, straight, bisexual, asexual, questioning, or what… Well, hopefully Taylor knows, and hopefully anyone he dates or is romantically involved with knows. Other than that, it’s nobody’s business unless the man wants it to be.

If he is gay, I hope that he’ll decide to come out and be a role model for LGBT/questioning (as well as straight) youth. If he isn’t gay, I hope that he’ll be an open straight ally to the LGBT community, and be a role model for LGBT/questioning (as well as straight) youth.

Either way, people need to encourage him to be a good person and then let the man live his life, regardless of who he spends it with.

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