CNN Anderson Cooper Comes Out as Gay: Why We Shouldn't Care

I don’t mean to say that CNN’s wonder boy Anderson Cooper acts like a stereotypical gay person, far from it. But the hysteria generated every time someone famous discloses his or her sexual orientation and preferences in public still cracks me up.

As far as I’m concerned, Cooper is a fine journalist (OK, I probably could get rid of the muscle shirts, goofy army helmets, and background tanks that CNN producers prop him up with during any of his coverage of faraway conflicts like the Egypt uprising or the war in Afghanistan). 

Furthermore, Cooper is perfect for our entertainment-oriented news era where anchors go back and forth between hard news, (“Keeping them Honest"), cute videos of puppies and kittens, and flirtatious early morning and New Year's Eve guest appearances with the likes of Kelly Ripa and Kathy Griffin.

But, in all honesty, the fact that we still pay so much attention to people’s sexualities in the era of Glee and DWTS is surprising to me. Seriously, who cares? The guy has admitted to fellow female reporters that their husbands “don’t have anything to worry about” repeatedly. He also has shared “flamboyant” moments with openly gay talk show host Ellen DeGeneres for years. To me, Anderson Cooper has cleverly lived his career in what The Advocate magazine has dubbed “the glass closet.” He's never denied anything. He just likes to enjoy privacy, just like anybody else (gay, straight or pansexual). It never occurred to me that he had to “come out” one way or the other.  

However, others disagree. Andrew Sulivan’s Daily Beast story on Anderson’s coming out applauds the decision of stating one’s sexuality as a sort of political move. He argues (and he has a good point) that the more public figures come out as gay, the more accepting “mainstream society” will be of LGBT people. Here’s Sullivan’s actual quote from Anderson Cooper whom he says he has been friends with for a couple of decades:

“I’ve also been reminded recently that while as a society we are moving toward greater inclusion and equality for all people, the tide of history only advances when people make themselves fully visible. There continue to be far too many incidences of bullying of young people, as well as discrimination and violence against people of all ages, based on their sexual orientation, and I believe there is value in making clear where I stand.”

Fair and noble. But, as a viewer, I just want Anderson to continue keeping them honest while giggling less to public urination jokes, if possible.


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