Anne Read Lattimore is filing suit against photographer Roger Kirby for distributing a photograph he took of her without her permission. The picture was used by dating site Match.com and by HealthCentral for a resource about coming out as gay. As a heterosexual married woman, Lattimore complains that her reputation has been tarnished, and part of her lawsuit specifically states that the rumor that she is gay is particularly injurious:
64. The statement attributed to Mrs. Lattimore, that she has told people on multiple occasions she is homosexual, is false.
65. The statement that Mrs. Lattimore, a happily married heterosexual professional, is homosexual and has told lots of people this fact is likely to injure Mrs. Lattimore’s reputation and subject her to contempt and ridicule.
66. This statement is likely to injure Mrs. Lattimore professionally.
67. Because this statement is a falsehood, it could erode the trust Mrs. Lattimore’s clients have in her and hurt her ability to make sales and earn a living. her self-proclaimed homosexuality and the accompanying innuendos of infidelity could potentially ostracize her from clients as well as from society in general.
Though it is unfortunate her picture was used without permission, Lattimore’s suit serves as a reflection for the reality of the stigma that gays, lesbians, and bisexuals actually face. Perhaps when she is done fighting to end the contempt, ridicule, distrust, ostracization, and professional insecurity she’s afraid she’ll face for being perceived as gay, she can then work to fight the actual mistreatment that is part of many LGB people’s daily reality.