Anderson sure got a lot of use out of that glass closet!
Sorry, Middle America, if Anderson Cooper’s email addressing his homosexuality on the Daily Beast came as a shock (but, we doubt it did). We understand how the charismatic talk show host who constantly puts his life—and fantastic hair—into danger to bring you an honest account may be difficult to process. But truthfully ladies, is it really? Anderson Cooper’s statement was a brave and inevitable, if not rhetorically honorable, coup for the Gay Rights movement. The glass closet he placed himself in has been shattered. Let the gayness ensue. All Tom Cruise aside, when we think of celebrity gay men and women that choose to keep their private lives under wraps, it’s a tough call to make as to whether or not their silence is really a matter of protection or a craven fear of being thrown into the gay ghetto. For many the gloset has been a terrific utility, working for people as diverse as Queen Latifah to Kevin Spacey. But for the jaded, and to be blunt, brave people living proudly, and by default politically, as Gay Americans it’s hard not to pass judgment on some people’s decision to be silent.
By now every local television show, and probably even Bryan Fischer, has quoted some part of Anderson’s cogent email. Like his reason for keeping his sexuality apart from his career: “I have found that sometimes the less an interview subject knows about me, the better I can safely and effectively do my job as a journalist.” But this sweet notion eschews the fact that Anderson comes from a terribly posh family, think the Astors but with their own denim line, that provided those chiseled good looks and pouty lips with a world of access that eventually landed him a place in your bedroom every evening. There’s no hate happening over the opportunities afforded by wealth and a good family name. I’m just curious how much of that was kept separate from his professional career, versus how much of it helped to advance it. Being a gay public figure is not easy. Look at poor Rupert Everett.
Still you totally have to respect someone for wanting to be considered a journalist instead of a gay journalist. Our culture has a long way to go before an individual’s sexuality is as banal as their hair color—though even there Anderson still shines—and the desire to be considered equal to the majority is a valid and universal desire by any minority group.
Then there’s the awesome fact that Anderson is master at pulling on our heartstrings in a seemingly tacit manner. We’re not just witnessing the perils of Afghanistan, or a natural disaster, we’re experiencing events vicariously through him like a polished sinewy vessel. Part of Anderson’s charisma is his relevance to an issue. So why should this election season, where gay marriage has become a polarizing issue, be any different? From what we’ve witnessed he’s never been one to be the last to a fight.