Jeez… at last. After last week’s Entertainment Weekly cover story about the ease with which public figures can now come out, as usual, Anderson Cooper was glaringly left out of the crowd… as if anyone had any doubts. But at last, the newsman has decided to come the hell out of the closet (publicly), via Andrew Sullivan in The Daily Beast.
And yes sir, it still matters. As Sullivan writes: “The visibility of gay people is one of the core means for our equality.” So in an email to Sullivan, Cooper wrote: “Even though my job puts me in the public eye, I have tried to maintain some level of privacy in my life. But I’ve also wanted to retain some privacy for professional reasons.
“Since I started as a reporter in war zones 20 years ago, I’ve found myself in dangerous places. For safety, I try to blend in as much as possible, and prefer to stick to my job of telling other people’s stories, not my own.
“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. I’ve stuck to those principles for my entire professional career, even when I’ve been directly asked ‘the gay question.’ Recently, however, I’ve begun to consider whether the unintended outcomes of maintaining my privacy outweigh personal and professional principle.
“It’s become clear that by remaining silent 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 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. 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.” *