CNN talk show host and afternoon TV host, Anderson Cooper has come out as gay today via an email to The Daily Beast political columnist, Andrew Sullivan. Anderson has always been openly gay, but today is the first time he’s addressed his sexuality in public.
Considering the number of LGBT celebrities we cover here–Adam Lambert, Chris Colfer, Clay Aiken and more, I think the news deserves its own post.
Last week, Entertainment Weekly did a cover story on the casual way LGBT stars have been coming out recently–eschewing the blaring People Magazine cover story for matter-of-fact mentions in interviews. Anderson has taken his cue from recently out celebs, Zachary Quinto and Jim Persons who both casually revealed their sexuality in interviews.
Anderson could have saved the news for his afternoon talker, for instance. But instead, he announced it via a 3rd party during a slow news week. Yet, it’s still pretty important news, because as more and more high profile people publicly discuss their sexuality–or when straight folks such as Carrie Underwood publicly voice their support-– it takes us further down the road to acceptance.
Read an excerpt from Anderson’s email to Andrew Sullivan below:
I’ve always believed that who a reporter votes for, what religion they are, who they love, should not be something they have to discuss publicly. As long as a journalist shows fairness and honesty in his or her work, their private life shouldn’t matter. I’ve stuck to those principles for my entire professional career, even when I’ve been directly asked “the gay question,” which happens occasionally. I did not address my sexual orientation in the memoir I wrote several years ago because it was a book focused on war, disasters, loss and survival. I didn’t set out to write about other aspects of my life.
Recently, however, I’ve begun to consider whether the unintended outcomes of maintaining my privacy outweigh personal and professional principle. It’s become clear to me that by remaining silent on certain aspects of my personal life for so long, I have given some the mistaken impression that I am trying to hide something – something that makes me uncomfortable, ashamed or even afraid. This is distressing because it is simply not true.
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.
The fact is, I’m gay, always have been, always will be, and I couldn’t be any more happy, comfortable with myself, and proud.
I have always been very open and honest about this part of my life with my friends, my family, and my colleagues. In a perfect world, I don’t think it’s anyone else’s business, but I do think there is value in standing up and being counted. I’m not an activist, but I am a human being and I don’t give that up by being a journalist.