We trip ourselves up all the time with the idea of role models precisely because we encourage young people to be more like someone else and not themselves. There are lots of troubling issues with this over-simplification of social development. Not least when our chosen role models do something we deem to be out of character or, even worse, morally reprehensible.
My coming-out moments were always slightly strange. I have always felt somewhat embarrassed to have to come out again and again. I grew up in a very open family. My parents taught me to see the person, the human in people being before other things. When I came out to my father, he said 'I don't care what you do in bed, live your life the way you want'. My parents are both wonderful.
Beyoncé is a fearless leader. She is, unquestionably, a powerful force within her field and, indeed, the world. My message is simple: she leads by example, she is driven by a moral purpose and she exhibits the characteristics necessary for success in any vocation. Master those and the world is your oyster.
The obsession society has with scrutinising young women in the public eye for their ability to be role models is nothing new, and is perpetuated even by women who consider themselves feminists. Wanting women to be empowered and free is surely at direct odds with wanting them to conform to a host of standards that make them 'appropriate' for the consumption of others...