Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The Tide Moves Forward

Anderson Cooper on coming out: ‘I’m the same person I always was’

September 11, 2012
By: Tarringo Vaughan

When CNN anchor and daytime talk show host Anderson Cooper announced he was gay back in July, he ended much speculation about his sexuality. In an email to writer Andrew Sullivan he speaks about the pride and comfort of being who he is and someone that he “always have been and always will be”. But some critics have questioned the timing of Cooper’s coming out party. Was it to boost ratings? Former host of The View and television personality Star Jones thought so; she spoke on the Today Show saying:

“He’s a daytime talk show host and when the rating slip in daytime, the hosts tend to tell you lots of things about them.”

But on the premier of his new daytime show, Anderson Live, Cooper indirectly answers critics by saying he just wanted to remain private but felt there was a responsibility to come out during a time where gay rights is at its height. There was a need to be “visible” like other gay celebrities who have come out of the closet like Ellen DeGeneres and R&B singer Frank Ocean. He says:

"I do think that the tide of history only moves forward when everyone is fully visible…I didn’t want to send a message that there was anything I was ashamed about or unhappy about or not comfortable with.”

As Eonline reports, coming out wasn’t new for Cooper as the reporter tells cohost Kristin Chenoweth that he “came out in high school” by telling friends, family and has “always been out to coworkers”. He says he didn’t talk publicly about his sexuality because he didn’t think it was “appropriate”. It wasn’t a part of his job and he didn’t want to be defined by it.

Overall Cooper wants to send the message being who you are and being respected for individuality. Like many LGBT men and women, Cooper just wants to be seen as a person. Despite some critic’s beliefs and reasoning for the timing of the CNN anchor’s announcement, it gave many out there who struggle with their sexuality a new sense of pride and strength to be open. By Coming out Cooper answered speculation but he also says to society:

“I’m the same person I always was”.

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