When is it right to out gays?

But even if the recent Moscow outing could be construed as a public service and does not constitute a violation of privacy, the ultimate question remains: Was it worth the pain and danger it may have caused, and who decides whether it was worth it? Ms. Sobchak wrote about the stakes in her post: Her revelation could cost the TV host his job. Anton Krasovsky, another television journalist who came out in early 2013 and was fired within 24 hours, wrote a post criticizing the outing by Ms. Sobchak, in which he detailed the consequences of his own decision: “Every day I go into the dark, unsecured entryway of my building knowing that I may not make it up to my apartment alive. On several occasions I have been attacked by lunatics who screamed, ‘Faggot, get the **** out of our building or I’ll call the police.’ A couple of times people have recognized me on Novy Arbat Street and tried to beat me up. But this is my war, and I declared it myself. I am willing to die fighting.”

In fact, Mr. Krasovsky did not declare this war: It was the Kremlin that did, several years ago, when it began pushing legislation limiting the rights of Russian L.G.B.T. citizens. Can a gay person choose to sit this war out? I lived in Russia as an out lesbian for 20 years, and my family and I suffered the full brunt of the anti-gay laws, from being violently attacked to having to flee the country. I have implored other gay people to come out as a response to the homophobic attitudes the Kremlin campaign has engendered.

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