Monday, new anchor, talk show host and war correspondent Anderson Cooper “came out of the closet” in an e-mail written to the Daily Beast’s Andrew Sullivan.
While the general public has always speculated that the “Silver Fox” is gay, he has never, until now, spoken publicly about the topic. His silence has garnered much criticism, as many have accused him of being ashamed of his sexuality and attempting to hide it.
All of that changed, however, when Cooper’s revelatory e-mail went public Monday on Sullivan’s “The Dish” blog on the Daily Beast. In it, he admits that he heretofore refrained from discussing his sexuality, but for no reason other than privacy. Now, however, in light of the recent youth bullying and suicides surrounding sexual orientation, Cooper felt it necessary to take a stand:
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 … 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.
Where exactly is that? Cooper continues: “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.” He urged Sullivan to share his e-mail with readers.
Early Tuesday morning, in response to the overwhelming support received via Twitter and other media outlets, Anderson Cooper thanked the public for their encouragement: “I appreciate all the nice tweets. I am in Botswana working but want to wish everyone a great 4th of July!”
In an article written for MTV.com titled “Why Anderson Cooper Coming Out Matters,” John Mitchell discusses the significance of stars like Cooper and others (including “Big Bang Theory” star Jim Parsons and “Magic Mike” actor Matt Bomer) coming out of the “glass closet.” When it comes to LBGTQ visibility and equality, these stars play huge roles:
Hollywood’s glass closet is shattering because the notion of it is increasingly outmoded. Each time a man steps forward to prove that you can be gay and a heartthrob movie star (Bomer), be gay and be the lead on TV’s biggest sitcom (Parsons) and be gay and be one of the most respected men in news (Cooper), there’s less reason for the next generation to hide in plain sight.