Monday, July 02, 2012

A Day to Celebrate........


Today when we read Anderson Cooper's public acknowledgment that he is gay we were elated. Elated not only for him and for the LGBT community, for whom Cooper has been an undying champion, but also for his fans. For the long-time and more recent fans that have known or assumed he is gay and to whom his sexual preference makes no difference.

We were tempted to title this post ‘It’s About Time’ but then reconsidered because we know that there is no 'right' time to address one’s sexual orientation. It is an individual journey that should not be rushed or forced, there is no proper time, no convenient time but more a point in life when it is just time, time to live out loud. That day has finally come for Anderson Cooper and may it be as much a celebration for him, and those close to him, as it is to his fans that admire him so greatly.


Here’s Anderson’s open letter to his friend Andrew Sullivan, as published at The Daily Beast:

Andrew, as you know, the issue you raise is one that I've thought about for years. Even though my job puts me in the public eye, I have tried to maintain some level of privacy in my life. Part of that has been for purely personal reasons. I think most people want some privacy for themselves and the people they are close to.
But I've also wanted to retain some privacy for professional reasons. Since I started as a reporter in war zones 20 years ago, I've often found myself in some very dangerous places. For my safety and the safety of those I work with, I try to blend in as much as possible, and prefer to stick to my job of telling other people’s stories, and not my own. 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.
I've always believed that who a reporter votes for, what religion they are, who they love, should not be something they have to discuss publicly. As long as a journalist shows fairness and honesty in his or her work, their private life shouldn't matter. I’ve stuck to those principles for my entire professional career, even when I’ve been directly asked “the gay question,” which happens occasionally. I did not address my sexual orientation in the memoir I wrote several years ago because it was a book focused on war, disasters, loss and survival. I didn't set out to write about other aspects of my life.
Recently, however, I’ve begun to consider whether the unintended outcomes of maintaining my privacy outweigh personal and professional principle. 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.
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.
Since my early days as a reporter, I have worked hard to accurately and fairly portray gay and lesbian people in the media - and to fairly and accurately portray those who for whatever reason disapprove of them. It is not part of my job to push an agenda, but rather to be relentlessly honest in everything I see, say and do. I’ve never wanted to be any kind of reporter other than a good one, and I do not desire to promote any cause other than the truth.
Being a journalist, traveling to remote places, trying to understand people from all walks of life, telling their stories, has been the greatest joy of my professional career, and I hope to continue doing it for a long time to come. But while I feel very blessed to have had so many opportunities as a journalist, I am also blessed far beyond having a great career.
I love, and I am loved.
In my opinion, the ability to love another person is one of God’s greatest gifts, and I thank God every day for enabling me to give and share love with the people in my life. I appreciate your asking me to weigh in on this, and I would be happy for you to share my thoughts with your readers. I still consider myself a reserved person and I hope this doesn’t mean an end to a small amount of personal space. But I do think visibility is important, more important than preserving my reporter’s shield of privacy.

AC360 Transcript

AC360 Podcast

ANDERSON

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28 comments:

Anonymous said...

Well said! I'm delighted by this news too, not just because it would put all those nagging rumors to rest, but also because Anderson can speak and behave more freely. In the past he seemed to show more restraint when broaching the topic of homosexuality on the news.

Anyway, this news got me thinking that perhaps Anderson's move to daytime is part of his plan to settle down eventually? He can't be going to conflict zones forever.

It's my first time commenting here, but I've been a long time reader. A big thank you to everyone at ATA for keeping it up and providing all us fans with such an enjoyable read.

- Jess

Anonymous said...

Must be a great weight lifted from his shoulders coming out and I applaud him for it. Will it make his reporting any different or will his fans leave in droves over it. No, we love Anderson and have no matter his sexual orientation. But what makes me sad is that there are some people, only a few, who seem to still not like the way he did it, they wanted him to announce it on TV or in front of an audience. Well, that may be their style, but not Anderson's.

Now that it's been said, tweeted, written about discussed on conservative blogs let's get back to what is really important - we have an election to win.

I've had my say what say you?

aries moon said...

It was really nice to wake up and see Anderson's beautifully written statement, I had long come to believe that Anderson would keep that part of his life private for good but I'm so glad that he's finally done it in his own way. He sounds very happy and and I'm happy for him, but it's something that I've known for as long as I've watched 360 and I'm glad we don't have to tip-toe around it any longer. It does lend greater credibility to Anderson when he reports on LGBT issues and that's another plus for him.

sydney said...

I have to admit "it's about time" was my initial response to the story. :) I honestly believe most people's reaction to this is a resounding, "yeah, so what?" which is how it should be. He's not a gay journalist, but a journalist who just happens to be gay. This "announcement" (I won't use the term "coming out" since he was never truly "in") should hopefully curb the criticism he has often been subject to from the gay community.

To paraphrase Anderson, the fact is, I adore him, always have, always will, and I couldn’t be any more happy and proud.

(Please forgive me if this is a duplicate, my computer was acting wonky and I wasn't sure if my comment went through)

Anonymous said...

AMEN!

Karin Urban said...

I'm so glad and so proud of him that he finally came out. I'm a big fan and knew for a long time, and I think that he must be relieved now. I congratulate him on his courage! I think his frieds and fans will love him even more (if that is possible), and there will be others who will take it against him, but should he care? - No, he should not. We have followed his great work for decades, and the quality of his work will not be affected by today's revelation.

Anonymous said...

Way to go Anderson Am 100% behind you and will not stop watching your shows!!!

Kathy

Anonymous said...

I too am glad that he finally felt comfortable saying what most of us thought for years. I am so happy for him and now he and Ben can really be seen together and all the speculation can end.

thank you

Anonymous said...

Echoing Sydney, the appropriate response is "so what?" which I believe will be the response most people have. However, there are some who will make a big deal out of this and react negatively. Not everyone lives in the "perfect world" Anderson envisioned in his statement.

Anderson's statement was posted on Gawker and most of the comments are supportive or "so what" or "it's about time." There are a few snide comments and a couple which question the timing of this.

Personally, I'm happy for Anderson and hope he's happy in his personal life.

Jaanza

Tedi B said...

Congrats to AC! I'm so happy for him. He did it his way and all I've ever cared about is that he's happy. Good for him!

ACAnderFan said...

I am surprised Anderson came out. I really didn't think he would. I'm very happy for him and glad he did it in his own way. He came out in a very tasteful way. I'm very happy for him and proud of him.

Anonymous said...

Should have known when Anderson decided to put the question to rest his response would be beautiful ...very classy Mr. Cooper! ~Em

Anonymous said...

By now, many of us don't care because his credibility was shattered anyway, so a big so what.
He did it now, because he knows that many people feel the way I do and his ratings prove it.
Anderson had nothing to lose because his standards have become so low it is a non-issue.
This is like the celebrity who gets married when his career is down to create publicity, and that is exactly why Anderson chose to do it now.
Those fangirls who always go along will still go along.
By now, I really could care less, and that is the unfortunate factor because there are sooo many more like me, who were fans and have come to the realization that Cooper is not that important to journalism, television or writing.
He is just another personality who could have been so much more.

Anonymous said...

At one time Anderson's admission would have been news.
HE is no longer news.
So HE created his own news by his admission...a fact that we all knew but were not allowed, out of respect for our subject, ever to acknowledge, here.
360 was filled to the brim with Cooper's gay agenda, from bullying in the school court yard, as if gays are the ONLY people who are bullied, to vification of anyone who had even the slightest bias on his program.
So NO THIS IS NOT NEWS.
Last week we received REAL news.
An icon had died and we loved her dearly, Nora Ephron.
Why, because SHE was real.
The personal that chose this time to reveal his identity played all of us for years and now he has not one thing to lose.
A Big So what.

Anonymous said...

Poor CNN. As if they didn't have enough trouble.
Not that Cooper made any real difference anymore.
He knew that coming out wouldn't matter rating wise one way or the other.
Who cares?
I know I don't. Haven't watched him for over a year and don't intend to now.

Anonymous said...

As a friend of mine used to say:
"Men are like parking spots.
All the good ones are taken, and the rest are handicapped."

Anonymous said...

Way to go Anderson!! I believe that love is love and if you are blessed enough to find it, gender or race should not matter. I am happy to know that you love and are being loved in return. I am a huge fan, and NOTHING will can change that!

This is my first comment on here, thank you ATA for all you do!

Marie Wilson

Anonymous said...

The naysayers here are so tiresome. Anderson coming out is all over the net, it IS big news and in spite of the usual suspects whining about him here, what he did is a good thing for himself and for others who he may have influenced and helped make the same decision. I applaud him for coming out and for being a GREAT reporter/writer too, he still is. There I said it.

Anonymous said...

Exactly Anon 12:34....tiresome! For heaven's sake give the lost credibility spiel a rest. Do I particularly like daytime AC ? No. Do I watch it, rarely. Would I turn the channel immediately to CNN and Anderson in a crisis, absolutely! Why? Because regardless of the career path he has currently chosen, when he puts on his field jacket, no one does it better. -Em

Anonymous said...

One more question. Are some of you suggesting a person's credibility is linked to their sexuality? Be careful, you' re bigotry is showing! -Em

Claire said...

I just wanted to give him a hug today. I know he says he's always been open with family, friends, and colleagues, but by taking the final step it has to be a huge sense of relief to him. I'm glad Andrew Sullivan could be the stepping stone Anderson used to convey the statement. Andrew's a great guy and a wonderful journalist.

Suzanne said...

Glad he finally made his statement - and so eloquently at that. I just hope that now when he goes to other countries this will not be a safety issue for him.

Now that he has this done I wish he would let someone come in to his firehouse and do an article on it and how it is furnished - with pictures! I would love to see what he has done to the place.

Suzanne

Anonymous said...

Em I couldn't say it better. I think you expressed it the way we all are thinking. He is still a great journalist and this news is not going to change that.

Thank you

valerie davidson Canada said...

Dear Mr Cooper

First, l really enjoy your program and the great vriety oftopics and guests.

l am hetosexual and never felt that l needed to make it anyone's busines but my own!

But a huge "Bravo' to YOU for addressing the damn public 's and
gossip mongers need to delve into
a pulic figures private business!

The good that will come from this will be a variety of young men, ethnic men and older men at last
feelig free to live their lives as is their God given right!

l certainly salute you and your
tasteful manner in advising all of us on your sexual preference, on a subject tht was NONE OF OUR BUSINESS AT ALL!

Again, much good will happen because of your courage!

Valerie Davidson ONT Canada

Anonymous said...

Now on to the Washington Post and their comments on Mr. Cooper.
I'm sure you've ALL heard of this journalistic masterpiece folks.
The piece is entitled "Cooper Comes Out, with Careful Timing.'
Living in the DC area I read with great satisfaction and pleasure, from an Op Ed piece in the Style section today:
"Anderson Cooper very cautiously came out of the closet on TV's 'take out the trash day,'in an e-mail to long time pal/Daily Beast columinst, Andrew Sullivan."
Cooper's announcement appears to be carefully timed, and when not in a good way, news is unveiled, in hopes, that lots of people will not notice and are on vacation."
Yes, folks the newspaper that gave birth to Woodstein has less than praise for your friend Cooper.
With a big smiley face picture of your hero himself on page C6, for those who prefer a reference.
Of course there is much more to the piece, but it concludes with:
"Anderson's ratings put Cooper ahead of Wendy Williams and Nate Berkus, BUT behind Kelly Ripa, Maury Pouvich, Ellen DeGeneres, Jerry Springer, and Rachel Ray."
They conclude by saying that had it not been for Telepictures Productions, a powerhouse in distribution, HE would have been canceled.
The NYPost said CNN, given to "all the news that fit to print" was more than likely to report that Anderson was "straight."
Because lately CNN gets nothing right as far as facts are concerned.
Both concluded he had absolutely nothing to lose because his ratings were so terrilby low, in both areas day and nite, ANYWAY.
I'm sorry that the 'Washington Post' equated Mr.Cooper's admission with "television's "take out the trash day."
I guess they watched his day talkfest.

Anonymous said...

Hi, I haven't been around in a while, but still love AC. So very happy for him that he was finally able to acknowledge this. I don't think he'll change at all, Anderson will continue to be Anderson! Proud of him and glad he did this on his terms.

Kara

Anonymous said...

Admire and love him whatever..let him be happy! JUNIEC

Anonymous said...

The NYTimes also ran an op-ed piece.
This one appears kinder, but still has lingering thoughts.
It is entitled on this July 4th, "A Closet By Another Name," by Daniel Mendelsohn.
Mr. Mendelsohn rightly says: "You can't claim to be comfortable with being gay, when you're trying to keep it a secret. When you conceal your sexuality, as Mr.Cooper has done, "you are buying however reluctantly, that there is something wrong with it."
'The closet is still a closet even
if it is a duplex on Fifth Avenue.'
And to those who say "whatever," No, it is not whatever. Anderson was reluctant to come out because he knew that even though being gay is far more open on both coasts, it will in the end, effect him and his career in some way.
Just ask those at Disney.
A Neal Patrick Harris, he is not.