Comedienne/chat-show host Ellen DeGeneres announced she was gay on the front cover of Time magazine in 1997 with the headline, “Yup, I'm Gay.” Many blamed the decision to come out for stalling her skyrocketing career. Singer Clay Aiken's recent admission of being gay on the cover of People magazine – “Yes, I'm Gay” – drew mainly hugs and a few shrugs.

Does Aiken's cakewalk coming out illustrate a new American irrelevance with being gay? According to a new Harris-Interactive survey, coming out gay is out.

In the national survey a majority (67%) of heterosexual adults agreed that they prefer honestly about sexual orientation over deceit and if someone they knew is gay or lesbian, they'd want to know. And a near universal majority (87%) of heterosexuals said that the coming out gay of an acquaintance would have a positive or no impact on how they view gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender people.

“The data helps to confirm what we have known for years – a majority of our friends and coworkers want us to be honest about who we are,” said Human Rights Campaign Vice President of Education and Outreach Betsy Pursell.

The survey also found more gays and lesbians are coming out. A large majority of gays and lesbians (80%) believed themselves to be out to varying degrees – 95 percent to close friends, 79 percent to acquaintances/casual friends, 75 percent to parents, and 67 percent to co-workers/colleagues.

Those numbers, however, drop significantly when bisexual and transgender people are included in the totals. For all GLBT people, 79 percent say they are out to close friends, 61 percent to acquaintances/casual friends, 56 percent to parents, and only 49 percent to co-workers/colleagues.

If a corollary for coming out is acceptance, and if rates of coming out drop by as much as 19% when bisexual and transgender people are included in the totals, then it would be safe to conclude that coming out transgender is the new gay and coming out gay is becoming ... well, moot.