October 2, 2015
I just published this, "Matt Damon and the Case Against Coming Out," at the Daily Dot. Here's an excerpt.
In this context, the call to come out is not a liberatory one but coercive, demanding that we all plane down our different and complex relationships to our queerness and instead hew to a monolithic idea of what counts as queer.
Ultimately, that prescriptiveness is also what enables Matt Damon to so blithely and perhaps cluelessly state, in the same interview, that actors should keep their sexuality a mystery and that he is just a normal guy. Ultimately, it’s not the closet that damages us the most because, let’s face it, we can do all sorts of things in the closet where things stay hidden. Ultimately, coming out is a one-time deal. Straightness, on the other hand, is the more tenuous and precarious place to be, always a work in progress and always under threat of being blown up with a single misstep.
It’s not that queerness has to be resisted or kept a mystery, but that heterosexuality is always a work in progress.