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People are so cool

I love Anderson Cooper. I mean, I always have, because he's incredibly hot (for a plethora of reasons), but especially today. Every time a trusted, respected person in a high-profile position of responsibility (be it in politics, the media, or whatever) comes out, it eats away another tiny bit of our culture's eroding homophobia.

Here's a snippet from the coming-out letter he wrote to a friend at The Daily Beast, in reference to his past insistence on maintaining his personal privacy (for some reasons that made a lot of sense to me, such as his physical safety in war zones & the journalistic preference to focus on the subject rather than the interviewer):

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.


I think this is amazing, partially because I feel like The Trevor Project -- and its very vocal grass-roots focus on the pain and difficulty of being young and queer in a society that treats queerness like a shameful secret, leading many queer youth to see suicide as a preferable alternative -- has had a great influence on public figures' willingness to speak up and come out. Bullying of lgbt youth is becoming less and less socially acceptable, and more and more famous people are stepping forward to help stop it, and it feels to me like a snowball rolling downhill. Except, of course, that things aren't going "downhill" ... quite the opposite.

It makes total sense to me that some people in the public eye would not necessarily choose to come out, that they might feel like it isn't anybody else's business and that it might even work against them in what they're trying to do in their work. I mean, straight journalists aren't expected to talk about their romantic/sexual relationships. It's irrelevant. But I guess people are starting to decide that silence -- which might have basically no effect from a straight public figure -- can allow a culture of prejudice and fear to grow and prosper when minorities make themselves invisible & allow others to feel alone.

I'm still coughing a lot, but feeling better today, and this news just improved my mood even more. I've always had a crush on Anderson Cooper, and now it's even more obvious that he rocks.

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