Skip to main content

Limitations to ‘coming out’ as a social justice strategy

Scott Henderson
Scott Henderson, Furman University William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of Education

Furman University’s Scott Henderson, the William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of Education and faculty sponsor of the Furman Pride Alliance, recently published “The Political Is Personal: Limitations to Coming Out as a Social Justice Strategy” in the online magazine, Shuddhashar, an international journal devoted to free speech and human rights.

Henderson’s article (the title is a twist on “the personal is political,” a mantra from the late 1960s) was sparked by his interest in modern social movements such as #MeToo and Black Lives Matter, he says. Focusing on the LGBTQ community, Henderson concluded that it is a mistake to insist that all individuals “come out”—the act of publicly revealing one’s sexual orientation and/or gender identity—as a global social justice strategy. The consequences of coming out can be dire (sometimes execution) for individuals in certain parts of the world.

While Henderson’s article does not deny the significant progress made by the LGBTQ rights movement in the United States and elsewhere, it suggests that the struggle for equality is far from over, even if that struggle cannot be the same everywhere.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Last updated .

US News ranks Furman a ‘Most Innovative School’ 4th year in a row

U.S. News & World Report has again placed Furman in the top quarter of the 223 liberal arts and sciences colleges and universities ranked in this category.

Erica Daly '22 holds a Dins Vote pin in front of Johns Hall

Dins Vote working to keep student voting on an upward trajectory

Student group's goal is to have at least 50% of Furman students cast a ballot in the 2020 election.

Paladin Pivots

Paladin Pivots: Turning crisis into opportunity

Anthony Herrera and Mary Sturgill host a live podcast series featuring alumni entrepreneurs who are meeting COVID challenges head-on.

Furman awarded two NSF grants totaling $720,000

In winning two NSF grants, Professor of Chemistry George Shields and Associate Professor of Biology Jason Rawlings have secured nearly $720,000, which will benefit students at Furman and beyond.