Film Aims to Push Gays Out of Political Closet

Koch, now 84, was alleged in the film to have been closeted his entire political life and to have been unsympathetic to the AIDS crisis in the 1980s.

Mayor Ed Koch: Film Is an 'Outrage'

"In the case of the film, 'Outrage,' the allegation apparently is -- I have not seen the film -- that those outed have engaged in homophobic statements or actions," Koch wrote to ABCNews.com in an e-mail. "To say that about me is a true outrage."

As the first mayor to walk in New York City's gay parade in the 1970s, Koch said his support of the gay and lesbian community is "well known and documented."

Koch said that as a congressman in the 1970s, he helped introduce federal legislation prohibiting discrimination against gays and lesbians and did the same in New York City.

"My administration sued a Queens school board that kept an HIV/AIDS-infected child from school, and we prevailed," he said. "My administration closed down heterosexual and homosexual baths that permitted unsafe sex practices -- that is, no condoms. My administration handed out huge numbers of free condoms in bars.

"Where was or is the hypocrisy?" Koch asked.

"I don't discuss my sexuality, as a matter of principle," Koch said. "I believe if people do, they are legitimizing questions on the subject of sexual orientation for all."

As for Jim Kolbe, being asked and then outing himself was "the most liberating experience" of his life.

"I am honest with myself and I don't have to go to elaborate games with others to cover up," he said. "I have so many friends in the military and they go to my workplace and see a picture of my partner on my desk. They have to put a picture of a sister and say it's their girlfriend."

The Advocate "did me a huge favor," Kolbe said. "But the individual has to make that decision and it can't be forced."

The Advocate's latest editor disagrees.

"The mainstream media often thinks it's shameful to report that someone is gay," Jon Barrett said. "But we in the gay press come from a place that there needs to be the same ethical questions raised, whether it's a heterosexual or homosexual."

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