Journalist Anderson Cooper confirms that he is gay in a thoughtful letter to blogger Andrew Sullivan.
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.
Cooper discusses at length why he chose to maintain his privacy, but acknowledges that the need for visibility as a gay man outweighs the benefits of the “shield” of privacy.
I’ve long maintained that the simple act of living as an openly LGBTQ person is a political act. That’s why I do consider this a political blog even though I devote at least 50% of my posts to topics that are seemingly mundane like cats, laundry soap and soap operas. It is why it matters that my perspective as a lesbian is taken into account along with other political bloggers. It is why Ledcat was okay with being identified so many years ago regardless of the consequences. Living as an openly LGBTQ person in Western Pennsylvania is not always easy even though we couldn’t possibly find a safer corner. There are still LGBTQ kids living on the streets of Pittsbugh after being tossed out by their families. There are still church practicing “cures” as a form of ministry right in the heart of Pittsburgh.
The truth is that living as a closeted or “private” LGBTQ person also has political and cultural ramifications. Over the past several decades, there are many people who have come to respect Anderson Cooper for his professional credentials. He has the opportunity to be a role model for young LGBTQ journalists and people everywhere. And he has a platform to show the world that being gay is a good thing.
Congratulations, Anderson. Welcome home.