For better or worse, I tend to pay close attention to public figures who come out of the closet. I feel strange about doing so because ultimately, knowing someone’s sexual orientation shouldn’t change one’s perception of them. But instinctually, I find myself drawn to celebrities when they begin publicly identifying as a part of the LGBT community. I believe it’s part of human nature to look for images in the media that resemble one’s own experience, so that one can feel a sense of belonging that may be lacking in daily life. It’s important to be respectful of privacy and individual reasons for choosing not to come out publicly, but I also believe that there’s real power in standing up and being counted. I look for images of bisexuality in real life whenever I can, and since most people I know identify as monosexual, I often turn to the media.
So you can imagine my surprise when I was Googling bisexual celebrities yesterday and discovered that, a little more than a year ago, Evangelical pastor Ted Haggard nearly came out as bisexual. I completely missed this news story the first time around, but I’m glad I finally found it, because it counters a concern I’ve had for a long time: In arenas like politics and religion, many people don’t seem to know how to come out as bisexual.