Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo

We Are Not Owed A Celebrity’s Sexuality

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Temple chapter.

The sexuality of celebrities is always up for speculation by fans and haters, far and wide, but are we really owed a solid answer on the matter? Sexuality can be a touchy subject for some and coming out is a personal experience that should be decided solely by the person coming out. No matter how much of their lives they live in the limelight, celebrities should also be granted the right to safely and privately come out on their own time.  

On June 9, 2022, actress Rebel Wilson publicly announced her relationship with fashion designer Ramona Agruma and came out to her fanbase. However, this picture was posted because Andrew Hornery, a journalist for the Sydney Morning Herald, had already asked Wilson’s agents for comments about Wilson’s relationship in preparation for a story on it.  

When Wilson heard that the story would out her relationship with Agruma she decided that posting the picture on her Instagram would allow her to come out on her own terms as much as possible in this situation. After the story ran, the Sydney Morning Herald pulled it and issued an apology to Wilson, to which Wilson tweeted that: “it was a very hard situation but [I’m] trying to handle it with grace.” 

However, this entire situation could’ve been avoided if Hornery had simply not chosen to reveal a relationship that was kept private. What Hornery did in this situation is known as outing someone, or exposing one’s sexuality without their explicit permission to do so. Outing someone can open them up to hate speech, public scrutiny, and even physical violence. Wilson tried to get ahead of the story by posting about her relationship but it was still a coerced decision.  

In the Society for Professional Journalists code of ethics, it states that a journalist must work to minimize harm; however, Hornery directly put Wilson into harm’s way by exposing her relationship, not knowing the extent of distress it would bring her. While queer relationships are becoming more widely accepted in the media, there is still a host of homophobic backlash that celebrities face when they come out as part of the LGBTQ+ community.  

Speculating a celebrity’s sexuality in private is relatively harmless, but it can also seep into daily life for people; wherein they will speculate the sexuality of those around them- people who if they are outed, have far less protection than celebrities, creating a potentially dangerous environment for many closeted people in the queer community. To demand a coming out, to press for an answer that the public is not owed, can be harmful. Despite queerness growing in its acceptedness, there is still a risk involved in coming out- no matter how big of a celebrity one might be. There will always be a vulnerability in expressing one’s sexuality; it’s a decision that has to be first made personally, not publicly.  

Hi! I'm Giovanna. I'm from Philadelphia and I'm an English Major and Temple in my sophomore year. I love reading, writing, music, and crocheting. I'm really excited to be writing for Her Campus this year.