The following is a quote from a Letter to the Editor that appeared in the Saturday, October 29, 2011 edition of The Globe and Mail, in response to Rick Mercer's Rant and a Globe Editorial titled "No, Rick Mercer, not all gay public figures need to step forward":
...We live in a country where there is still fear of marginalization based on one's sexuality should they be "out." There are many levels to changing narrow-minded attitudes, but one of the most important is for gay people in positions of authority and public influence to stand up and proudly declare their sexuality so that one day, others won't have to. Normalizing homosexuality in any society starts by proving that is it, indeed, normal [p. F8].
(Letter written by Katherine Skene from Toronto)
And here's an online response to the Globe Editorial:
Are not black, Asian and native leaders asked to stand up and become role models for their communities? Are women not asked to become role models for young girls? What of victims of domestic abuse or violence? What of survivors of drug abuse and alcohol addiction? What Rick Mercer asks for is no different from what others have asked for in the past. Young people need role models of all types. The suggestion that asking gay men and women to come forward to act as role models would be a burden to those that do so is a step backwards in social acceptance; it is a poorly disguised suggestion that gay Canadians remain discreetly in the closet.
Rick Mercer did not ask gays and lesbians to come out of the closet to mentor young gay or lesbian teens; he suggested that only those who are living openly should do so.
(From AntiSpin, October 27, 2011, 11:47 p.m.)
To view Rick Mercer's Rant, please click here.
To read the Globe Editorial referred to above, please click here.