Recently I’ve gotten two requests from acquaintances to remove a posting from this blog — one from a woman I’ll refer to as F, one from a man I’ll refer to as M. Both F and M are in long-standing relationships with a same-sex partner, people I’ll refer to as pF and pM, respectively. Both pF and pM have professional lives that are significantly associated with their homosexuality; they are “publicly gay”. F and M have notable professional lives, neither associated in any way with homosexuality, and both believe that their sexuality is a “private matter” and that their professional and personal lives should be entirely separate. I’ve posted about F and about M, in each case referring (in my posting) to their relationship with their partner, with the result that my postings identified F and M as gay. F and M objected to my making their sexuality public, and asked me to delete these postings from my blog.
The cases turn out to be significantly different, however, in ways that caused me to dismiss F’s request out of hand but to worry about whether I should take M’s request seriously.