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Magda Szubanski finally came out. I have loved that woman since my first Kath & Kim experience. She will always hold a special place in my heart as the accident-prone Sharon – and now I have even more reason to love her.
Not just because she’s a lesbian, but because she is standing up as a leader in a world where even our politicians act like a gaggle of followers.
But many have cried foul. The haters did it to Ellen when she first came out, asking why celebrities feel it is important for the public to know about their personal lives, but they are missing the whole point of people with influence stepping out of the closet.
The influence a celebrity can have over society and individuals is profound. Ad agencies know all too well that when a celebrity endorses a product or supports an idea or a movement, you not only get a well-known face attached to the endorsement, you get a voice. And in politics, that often translates to a vote – or votes.
And perhaps most importantly, you get the celebrity’s followers — just ask Jenny Craig.
When someone like Magda, who is fun, loveable and family-friendly, comes out, it not only turns heads but it changes minds.
Hopefully people who were once homophobic stop and ask, “If I loved Magda when I thought she was straight, why should that change if she is a lesbian?” And that is where the change occurs.
Her message isn’t “I’m a lesbian, I sleep with girls, get used to it,” so much as, “I’m a lesbian, and there’s nothing wrong with that”.
These comings-out help further the LGBTI cause for equality not just by bringing issues into the spotlight, but also by showing young people you can grow up to be respected, love who you want and to not be afraid.
I think we need more of that.