Gay Role Models


One of the reasons for lack of gay role models is that half the people who are gay and might well be good role models are not known to be gay. This is one reason for coming out of the closet. It generally helps all gay people when people can look at a person who is their friend, co-worker family member, etc. and realize that he is no different from anyone else, even though he may be gay.

I think the issue facing gays is basically a civil rights issue,  and the people in our generation have to have courage to be the first ones to take a seat at the front of the bus, as Rosa Parks did in the civil rights movement for blacks in America.  Of course, a lot of gay people have come out of the closet, but more haven’t, especially in both the Asian community and in Asian countries.

I am a school teacher in a boy’s junior and senior high school in Japan, and I haven’t yet come out at the school despite my belief in the value of coming out.  In my case it’s a matter of working myself up to the point, and that is what I would advocate for fellow gay people–embarking on a gradually process of coming out.

We do need good gay role models.  Sure many straight people don’t offer much to their own kind in the way of being role models, but there are among them mothers, fathers, teachers, professionals, sisters, brothers, etc. who make positive impressions on the people in their own circles.  We, gay people, could do the same for young gay men and women who are having such a hard time accepting themselves.  The first and most important step in that regard is for us to completely accept ourselves and begin the coming out process.


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4 thoughts on “Gay Role Models

  • Flip P

    In my experience, I’ve won over and become best mates with many a person who wouldn’t have touched me with a ten-foot pole had they known that I was a poof from the outset. So my question for all the readers (and the staff, too – don’t want you guys to feel left out :o) is this: Is it better to work a revolution from the inside, at the risk of seeming a traitor to the ’cause (eg. “Man, you’re just chickensh*t for not singing it loud and proud.”), or is it better to wear the rainbow badge and beat the drum till the cows come home?

  • Recca

    Well not all Asian countries though. In the Philippines where I grew up, gay and lesbian people are accepted (somewhat), especially gay people.

  • chillininmtl

    Unfortunately, in order to be in a position of power in this world one must conform to the standards and practices of the culture in which we desire to strive. This being said, the best role models can only truly reach the pinnacles of their careers by hiding certain so-called undesirable characteristic traits until they’ve “made it” before revealing that they may be bi/gay. From the perspective of one who believes in “the coming out theory,” this phenomenon may seem incorrect. Unfortunately, tis the world we now live in. In this particular instance one can scarcely have their cake (admit to being gay/bi in today’s society) whilst simultaneously eating it (ie be exulted to the position of societal strong role model). Aah, if only but to live in a time without prejudice.