The Daily Tar Heel didn’t out Will Thomason.
In the past 24 hours, some have refuted that fact. What those responders didn’t know was that before the story was published, Thomason was already out to the people who mattered — his friends and family.
Those who took issue with our decision also wouldn’t have had a full understanding of the story if the line, “Thomason, who is gay, …” weren’t included in a story about his beliefs on homosexuality and their direct correlation to his ouster from Psalm 100.
The DTH didn’t take that line lightly. The decision to come out can be a difficult one, and we know that broadcasting one’s sexual orientation atop the front page isn’t always appropriate.
It was in this instance — but not without a few questions first.
Would the DTH essentially be outing someone who might not want or feel comfortable with such attention or exposure?
Would it appear to readers that the DTH was attacking a group simply for the religious beliefs it holds? Would readers assume we were just substantiating UNC’s liberal stereotype?
Was Thomason’s removal from his a cappella group an isolated situation, or did it represent a larger campus issue?
Would we fail in our job to hold the University to account if we didn’t run the story?