Dani is a 22-year-old Utah County resident who was born and raised in the LDS faith. She is a Literature and Gender Studies major who has a passion for literary theory and non-traditional philosophy. When she’s not busy sticking it to the patriarchy, she dreams about living in an anarcho-communist world. But, she’d settle for Vancouver, Canada.
It is not okay to “out” people.
Let that sink in for a moment.
Think of your “deepest, darkest secret.” No, I’m not talking about the one time you broke the Word of Wisdom, or that you swear when you stub your toe. Think about something about your personality. Some part of your identity that is something you don’t share with everyone. Not necessarily because you are ashamed of it, but because it is personal and, frankly, no one else’s business.
Now think about an anonymous person. Think about someone whose identity you don’t know coming into the middle of a conversation about you, your life, your identity. Think about that person taking that facet of your personality, publicizing it for everyone to see. Or making an anonymous phone call and telling your mother. Think about people who should not be privy to the most intimate parts of your identity suddenly being privy to those things.
It does not matter how “severe” or “shocking” the information is. It does not matter how well-intentioned the informant is.
One of the many, many, problems of white capitalist heteronormative patriarchy is that this power structure infuses those of the privileged class with the notion that they can speak for other people. This is not true. YOU DO NOT GET TO SPEAK FOR ANYONE BUT YOURSELF. When people, policies, and power structures tell you otherwise? They are wrong. The ONE AND ONLY time you get to speak for another person is when that person has previously freely and enthusiastically given their consent for you – and you specifically – to speak on their behalf to a specified audience, and that audience alone.
Otherwise, you do not get to speak for other people. You do not get to share the details, intimate or not, of someone else’s life to other people without consent.
You do not get to “out” people.