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Coming out and gay role models

THERE was one factor missing from Colette Douglas Home's otherwise excellent piece on Jodie Foster's Golden Globes acceptance speech ("Let us stop defining people by their sexual orientation", The Herald, January 15).

In the world we look forward to, where sexual orientation discrimination will be a thing of the past, people are still likely to know about the sexual orientation of celebrities, as well as that of their colleagues and friends.

How could we not, when family relationships are the most important aspect of most people's lives? We hear about celebrities' partners, spouses and families. Coming out simply means them being free of the huge stress of hiding their most important relationship. Young lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people still grow up in a world where there are many signals that there is something wrong with them. There is still a lack of positive role models. To take just one example, when gay footballers feel safe enough to be open about their sexual orientation, we will know that that world has changed.

Tim Hopkins,

Equality Network, 30 Bernard Street,


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