The View host Joy Behar faced heavy criticism over Thanksgiving for telling LGBTQ people to “just come out” to their families during the holiday and “see what happens.”
It all started during a discussion with co-host Whoopi Goldberg, who asked whether her co-hosts felt politics should be avoided at the Thanksgiving table.
Behar said she enjoyed talking politics before abruptly segueing into telling LGBTQ people that Thanksgiving was the time to come out.
“I’d like to suggest that everybody out there come out to your family this Thanksgiving,” Behar said. “Just come out! See what happens.”
Goldberg then pushed Behar to be more clear, saying, “I’m just curious. Come out the door? What do you mean?”
Behar responded, “No, come out gay. If you’re gay, come out. Be yourself. I’m old enough now. I know that life is short.”
“Come out and be yourself. Don’t let anybody tell you what you have to be in this life,” she said, getting applause.
AVOIDING POLITICAL TALK THIS THANKSGIVING? The co-hosts discuss if politics is a topic that is better left off the table this #Thanksgiving and question if it will be a tricky conversation to avoid. https://t.co/cVclFZyKV0 pic.twitter.com/vd3CfcyzVH
— The View (@TheView) November 25, 2021
While Behar’s intentions were noble, many people online said her words were irresponsible.
Twitter users expressed how Behar failed to recognize not only how difficult it can be emotionally for someone to come out, but also that in some situations, it can be dangerous.
“Pressuring people to come out is wrong,” one person tweeted. “As a gay man I find this extremely offensive. It took me 25 years to do that, I fought years of depression, shame on you @TheView.”
Another user wrote, “Is coming out a Joke to you? How dare you take a very important and sensitive moment in someone who is part of the LGBTQIA Community & turn it into a joke? Some have been shunned from their family because of it. Not a joke. Be ashamed.”
See more responses to Behar’s comments below.
— Robert Wood ♑️♍️♓️ (@Wood0116) November 28, 2021
.@JoyVBehar telling people to “come out” for the holidays as if she knows the struggle and RISKs that could be for some people. #theview Make sure you’re in a safe environment before coming out please and have someone you trust to confide in as well before making that choice if
— Nev (@ventiicecoffee) November 26, 2021
@JoyVBehar https://t.co/eMJLYMSVH7 is coming out a Joke to you? How dare you take a very important and sensitive moment in someone who is part of the LGBTQIA Community & turn it into a joke? Some have been shunned from their family because of it. Not a joke. Be ashamed
— Christian Chandia (@Christian_Ada1) November 25, 2021
@JoyVBehar It's incredibly dangerous to be telling people to come out to their families just to "see what happens". Many of our fellow community members face real threats to their lives if they come out to family. If you haven't been in this situation, don't give us advice.
— Rebekah Gann (@apologirl) November 24, 2021
@JoyVBehar hey Joy I have a transgender son and am so proud of him however most parents are not like me some will resort to violence just because their child is gay so please don't tell people to come out just to see what happens that can be disastrous
— Bigchungas38 (@TimothyalanHal1) November 24, 2021