In a bold (not to mention awesome) move, CNN news anchor Anderson Cooper came out of the closet in an email exchange – posted with his permission – on friend and fellow journalist Andrew Sullivan’s widely read blog. It had been rumored that Cooper was gay for a number of years, yet Anderson had remained silent on the topic.
Here’s the excerpt from the lengthy email where he makes it clear:
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.
While the matter of someone’s sexuality should remain a non-issue, it is my own belief that Cooper did the absolute right thing. A brave and truly enigmatic reporter, his laconism on the issue had led many to speculate that perhaps Anderson was afraid of addressing his own sexuality. In other words, if he had no problem throwing himself into danger zones, what did it say about LGBT issues in the US?
Perhaps Anderson’s decision to come out in public will now lead to greater acceptance of gays in America; if Cooper isn’t afraid of public perception, middle America shouldn’t be, either.
Read the full letter over at Andrew Sullivan’s blog.