Movies with Rebel Wilson may not always play well with audiences. She’s a bit cheesy and her previous plus-sized body was always the butt of the joke. Yet, even she can seek protection within the LGBTQIA+ community when threatened by a media outlet for clout. When it happens during Pride Month, it’s an especially egregious offense.
When Wilson stepped forward as both queer and in a romantic relationship with another woman, people rejoiced. It’s always a beautiful thing to see someone stand in their truth. People may have a problem with some of her jokes, but even they had to admit it was a heartwarming moment.
Then, it was revealed that she didn’t come out of her own volition. Rather, she’d basically been blackmailed into coming out by an Australian gossip site. How can someone be forced to come out? First, let’s catch up on some of the terminology.
Love is love
Pride Month is supposed to be a time of celebrating love, encouraging honesty, and buying rainbow-covered t-shirts from Target. However, it’s also a time to remember important figures like Marsha P. Johnson who fought for our right to freely march down the street wearing booty shorts.
In the spirit of this fight, maybe it’s that people ended up standing against a forced outing. A queer person in the closet has chosen – for reasons from physical safety to financial protection – not to reveal their ties to the LGBTQIA+ community. Not everyone chooses to reveal those ties, but when they do it’s referred to as coming out of the closet.
Being outed, on the other hand, is what happens when someone is forced to reveal their LGBTQIA+ identity. It’s the worst way to come out as it completely strips a person of agency regarding their own life and who they share it with. Movies with Rebel Wilson may be about having a good time, but this is no laughing matter.
With a cause
Earlier this week, many fans were still pouring into theaters to watch (or re-watch) Top Gun: Maverick with friends or even alone. Meanwhile, Rebel Wilson was coming out about her relationship with Ramona Agruma via an Instagram post. The caption simple read: “I thought I was searching for a Disney Prince… but maybe what I really needed all this time was a Disney princess 💗🌈💗 #loveislove”
Support started pouring immediately. Some shared their own stories of coming out. Others just wanted to congratulate her for feeling safe enough to live in her own truth. It’s not easy being queer, especially when states are trying to ban people from even saying the word ‘gay’.
The joyful response quickly turned into public outrage as people started to realize the ugly truth. Writer Andrew Hornery penned a piece revealing he’d tried to pressure Wilson into allowing him to out her in the Sydney Morning Herald. She responded by outing herself on social media. What a boss move!
Not your closet
Yet, as badass as it was, it’s still unfortunate. Hornery, like many others, may watch movies with Rebel Wilson, but he doesn’t know her personally. He certainly doesn’t know her well enough to force himself into her personal life and push her to reveal private details.
Gossip sites aren’t inherently bad. They want the same tea that everyone wants and they fulfill their duty of serving it. They also know the importance of serving it while it’s piping hot. Outing people for clout, however, is always a bad look and that’s what this situation reeks of.
Wilson isn’t the first celebrity to be dragged out of the closet against her will. In 2010, for example, Bossip revealed scandalous photos of Queen Latifah before the legendary rapper ever confirmed her LGBTQIA+ identity. Hopefully, this is a lesson learned for all and Wilson will be the last.
Hornery has since apologized – well, sort of. He more so just explained that he didn’t actually do the thing he was being accused of, even though the widely-shared email said otherwise. Technicalities aside, though, he did own up to having made a mistake.
It wasn’t his business to share and publicly reminding people of this was a good move for him. He may not be going to or starring in any movies with Rebel Wilson any time soon, but his efforts count for something. Maybe he can work his way toward complimentary tickets, at least?
The lesson here is: don’t out anyone who isn’t ready to come out of the closet. It’s a lifelong journey and not everyone wants or needs to take this step. It’s about the person in the closet, not the ones ready to bust down the door. Besides, it’s Pride Month. Let’s just throw on some booty shorts and celebrate love.