Kirby Dick Is Outraged!
BY Erika Milvy
April 27 2009 12:00 AM ET
So what's your position on outing?
In situations where someone is closeted and in a position of
power to vote against gay rights, I think that rises to the
level of hypocrisy and I think reporting on that hypocrisy is
appropriate, and I think the right thing to do. I think once
you move beyond that, there's an open debate to be had, but
I chose to limit my film to instances of hypocrisy.
When is it not OK to out someone?
Of course, if someone is not in a powerful or influential role,
it's totally inappropriate. I considered looking at what are
the responsibilities of celebrities who are closeted; they are
certainly powerful role models and an argument could be made
that, in some ways, some well-known movie actors might be able
to affect more change by coming out than a closeted politician
could by voting for gay rights issue.
How did you come to choose this subject matter for a
When I made
This Film Is Not Yet Rated
, I knew about that story only because I was in the film
business; I thought, there must be stories in D.C. that would
make a really fascinating documentary, ones that are only known
by people in D.C. or in politics. And I started asking around
and, in conversations, it quickly came up that Karl Rove is
gay. And I thought,
Really? That's pretty fascinating.
Wow. I've never heard that one.
Now, there's no corroboration for that, but that is a rumor
floating around. I'm not saying it's not true, but I had
not even one hint of something that substantiated it, so it's
pure rumor. But from there, discussions moved quickly to the
fact that there were closeted politicians who were gay and were
Like Rep. Ed Schrock, who cosponsored the Federal Marriage
Amendment. In the film you reveal that tapes later surfaced of
him placing ads on a gay men's phone line.
It's a very interesting psychological dynamic. These are people
who chose to go into the closet, maybe in their 20s, and have
lived their life there for decades. It's almost Shakespearean
in a way -- and very rich subject matter for a documentary. You
have some significant hypocrisy in the government and you have
a situation where the press is reluctant to write about