Rebel Wilson just opened up about the trauma of being forced to come out

Rebel Wilson has spoken out about the trauma of being forced to reveal her relationship after an Australian news outlet threatened to out her earlier this year.

In the LGBTQ+ community, outing a queer person without their knowledge or permission has long been considered unethical, violent and traumatising. Beyond the immediate shock of having your sexual orientation or gender identity disclosed without your consent, outing can expose people to potentially violent or dangerous situations.

Unfortunately, outing is still weaponised against those in the public sphere. Rebel Wilson recently found herself on the receiving end of such behaviour when an Australian newspaper columnist forced her to publicly reveal her same-sex relationship before she was ready.

Earlier in June, the Pitch Perfect actor shared a post to her 11 million Instagram followers announcing that she had found her “Disney Princess” in girlfriend Ramona Agruma.

But it soon transpired that the actor had been forced to publicly reveal her relationship because the Sydney Morning Herald had planned to out the couple.

Speaking about the ordeal for the first time with The Australian newspaper, Wilson explained that she had not yet informed some family members and friends that she was dating Agruma before she was pushed into posting about their relationship on Instagram. 

“I just thought it was kind of grubby behaviour,” Wilson said.

“Basically, with the situation where a journalist is threatening to out you, you’ve got to hurry, and some people we didn’t get a chance to tell before it came out publicly. And that’s not ideal.”

In a now deleted article, the columnist responsible for the story, Andrew Hornery, expressed irritation that Wilson had chosen to publicly reveal her relationship rather than respond to his questions.

“Erred on the side of caution and emailed Rebel Wilson’s representatives on Thursday morning, giving her two days to comment on her new relationship with another woman, LA designer Ramona Agruma, before publishing a single word,” he wrote.

“Big mistake. Wilson opted to gazump the story, posting about her new ‘Disney Princess’ on Instagram early yesterday, the same platform she had previously used to brag about her handsome ex-boyfriend, wealthy American beer baron Jacob Busch.”

What Hornery didn’t anticipate was the scale of the backlash against his revelation, which made international headlines and drew criticism from the likes of Whoopi Goldberg and George Takei. Soon after, apologies were issued by Hornery and the Herald’s editor Bevan Shields, and the column was deleted.

“There are levels to telling ­people,” Wilson continued. “You tell your close family and your friends and not everybody. Across our two families, not everybody is as ­accepting as what you’d hope for, and we were trying to be respectful to those people and tell them in our own way.”

Wilson also noted that the experience was especially difficult for her girlfriend, who was unused to intense public scrutiny. 

“It was just a hard few days, especially for my partner, who’s not used to being in the public eye and having to deal with stuff like that,” she said.

Needless to say, it’s galling that Wilson found herself on the receiving end of a threat about her relationship, which is no one’s business but her own. It’s doubly saddening that someone’s sexuality is still being used for headline fodder in 2022. 

But in speaking up about her experience, Wilson has shone a spotlight on the serious harm caused by outing – which will doubtless go a long way in raising awareness of the injustices still faced by the LGBTQ+ community. 

Images: Getty

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