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Why is "coming out" such a big thing in 2012? Does saying that you're gay mean anything these days?

Asked by elbanditoroso (22141points) January 14th, 2013

This question is in reference to Jodie Foster’s supposed “coming out” at the Golden Globes last night – it has been getting some comment in the various news accounts of her talk and her award.

Back 15–20 years ago, when being publicly gay was very much the exception, coming out could be said to have had a purpose – showing others that “it’s OK to be gay” and so on.

But in 2013, gay rights are not where they were 20 years ago; gays serve in the military and in every other walk of life. I don’t remember what the percentage is of gay people in the US, but I imagine it’s larger than most of us would estimate.

With such changes, and a clear trend towards even more acceptance, what’s the purpose served by coming out? Haven’t we, as 21st century modern society, moved past that need into a more inclusive society?

[Note: I recognize that there are neanderthal bigots around who will never recognize the changes over the last 20 years. But then, there are people who are still promoting segregation and decry Brown versus Board of Education).]

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