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Aaron Carter A Celebrity Example Of Burdens Of Being Closeted

Updated on August 7, 2017
Christina St-Jean profile image

I am a mom of two awesome children who teach me more daily than I ever thought possible. I love writing, exercise, movies and LGBT advocacy.

Aaron Carter In Healthier Days

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Aaron Carter Should Celebrate Coming Out

To be a celebrity - and even the sibling of a celebrity - is a heavy weight.

Aaron Carter is both, and while his celebrity status might be questionable nowadays, he's certainly very well known.

Like his big brother, Nick Carter of the Backstreet Boys (shouldn't they be called the Backstreet Men at this point? Anyhow...), Aaron Carter has definitely faced his share of challenges with addictions, and definitely more so than his older sibling. With his recent arrest around three weeks ago, much has been revealed about the younger Carter, and it would seem that he's had a bit of an awakening of sorts as well.

Yesterday, Aaron Carter came out as bisexual, and received such a groundswell of support that it was truly heartwarming to read about. Certainly, his coming out is something to be celebrated and honored, as everyone's coming out should be. It's a complex process, and the fact that Carter has chosen to come out as he currently grapples with charges for DUI and marijuana possession in the States speaks to a man who has decided to face some challenging truths - or, at the very least, truths he's been struggling for some time with.

However, there's something else that we need to realize with Carter's coming out, much as it's cause for celebration.

There are heavy risks when you remain closeted, and some of these risks may have played themselves out in considering what happened throughout Carter's 29 years.

A bankruptcy filing in 2013.

Admissions of various health issues, including a hiatal hernia and lactose intolerance, which have had an impact on his physical appearance.

An admission of using facial fillers, which may have been used to mitigate any concerns he had about his physical appearance. (It's a theory...)

Admissions, via Twitter, that he has been dealing with anxiety for some time.

All of these can be symptomatic of being closeted, according to LGBT Weekly, and whether Carter realized it or not, his coming out may very well help him heal.

Aaron Carter Comes Out, Splits With Girlfriend

What Now?

Suddenly, a good deal of Carter's behavior might be easily explained as that of a young man - he's only 29 - coping with the burdens of hiding himself from the world.

Yes, there are significant psychological implications that come from spending years of being closeted, and when you add to that the burdens of being so in the public eye, those pressures can certainly mount in huge ways. However, it would be irresponsible of everyone who's involved in the case - and in Carter's life, for that matter - to dismiss his behavior and put it down completely to being a closeted celebrity.

Carter's coming out has done great things for those who continue to struggle with their sexual identity. Every example we can point to of someone choosing to live deliberately and fully embracing their sexual identity is an example to hold up and say, "You, too, can be brave. You, too, can live your authentic self."

But we have to be cautious in Aaron Carter's case. It will be too easy to say, "This is a kid who's had significant issues in trying to cope with life and who he really is for over half of his existence. Let's cut him some slack."

But we can't do that.

Carter needs to be honest about the current charges he's facing and realize his role, if any, in them. Anyone with charges against them, especially those in the public eye, seems to at first deny, and then when they realize the charges against them aren't beatable, comes around full of apologies.

Carter needs to step forward and be honest about how he's dealt with his current troubles, and move on with his life.

I'm not saying he should 'fess up to something he did not do. Far from it. However, he's had prior drug charges, and he needs to make a clean break from the lifestyle that keeps seeing him landing in what seems to be trouble.

He needs to take a look at what's happened - his career, his recent split, his recent charges, and his coming out - and determine how to move forward.

Only then can he live freely.

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