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Have We Reached a Time When Anybody Can Be Open About Their Sexual Orientation?

After years of refusing to discuss his personal life, CNN journalist Anderson Cooper finally acknowledged in an online letter Monday that he is gay.

There was once a time when nobody at all would let it be known that they were gay, especially if they were in the public eye. But times have changed and many people feel comfortable being open about their sexual orientation — but not yet everybody. It still brings up strong feelings on both sides of the issue, with people not always ready to accept it.

After keeping quiet about his sexual orientation for so long, it was reported in Access Atlanta that CNN journalist Anderson Cooper, son of Gloria Vanderbilt, came out in an online letter Monday.

This raises the question, have we now reached a stage where someone in the public eye, someone considered a serious journalist, can feel comfortable revealing their sexual orientation without feeling that they will be judged? What do you think?

Lisa Carlan July 03, 2012 at 04:07 PM
One could only hope.... There are people who are accepting of the person and others who feel it's much more important to judge or hate....
Rebecca McCarthy (Editor) July 03, 2012 at 06:36 PM
There's always room for hope!
Marie July 03, 2012 at 06:40 PM
What does him being gay have to do with him being a journalist. He shouldn't have to hide who he is to be effective at his job.
Lisa Carlan July 03, 2012 at 06:48 PM
One should not have to hide their true self at all...... I know and agree him being gay does not limit or define him and it should not others.
Sharon Swanepoel July 03, 2012 at 07:24 PM
It used to be that people in the public eye, such as a television journalist, sportsman, etc. felt they had to to keep that part of their life under wraps. The question really relates to him being a public figure and feeling comfortable about revealing it now. I guess if he felt comfortable before he would have.
LilZ July 03, 2012 at 07:28 PM
I certainly hope so. People who judge others based on sexual orientation - or race, or religion, or anything - are sad and pathetic.
Vanzetta Evans (Editor) July 03, 2012 at 08:00 PM
I understand why he felt he couldn't "come out" when he was working in war zones in foreign countries for the safety of his crew, but the fact that he has to announce that he's gay and that it's news is kind of, well, ridiculous. You don't see straight celebrities announcing they're heterosexual.
Lexie Williams July 03, 2012 at 11:37 PM
Vanzetta, Because it's not a big deal to be heterosexual. And maybe in time it won't be a big deal to be homosexual either. But right now it is, and it helps those who are LGBTQI to hear high-profile people saying they are gay. Just like right now it helps to hear that your commander or 1SG is getting behavioral health treatment. It shouldn't be news, and eventually it won't be (hopefully), but right now there is a stigma that people are fighting against. And this is one way they're doing it.
Tonto July 04, 2012 at 03:51 AM
http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0612/77390.html
Racer X July 04, 2012 at 12:15 PM
I have always thought of Anderson's reporting as emotional and overly sensational. I have no issue with him being gay but now that he has come out, can I still think he is a wiener?
Racer X July 04, 2012 at 12:32 PM
Also, I am with Vanzetta. Announcing to the world that you are gay, especially when it is already so obvious, is not really newsworthy. I think the real deal here is that Anderson and CNN needed a ratings kick.
Megan N. July 04, 2012 at 02:04 PM
As an LGBT person, I love it when a famous person "officially" comes out. It does a lot for the community to have someone well known stand up and say "I am gay and I am proud." And that is the point of this. Not to boost ratings or get attention but to show the US that no longer will LGBT people be forced to hide themselves for the few that "don't like it."
Vanzetta Evans (Editor) July 04, 2012 at 02:10 PM
Good point Lexie. I didn't think about him being a role model for the LGBT community. Growing up, I used to watch the local Black news anchor in my city and say "she's Black, I can be a journalist too!" But the difference is that she never had to issue a statement announcing her Blackness.
Vanzetta Evans (Editor) July 04, 2012 at 02:11 PM
Yes Mike, you are still entitled to your opinion. LOL!
Racer X July 04, 2012 at 02:29 PM
The fact is that NOBODY cares where Anderson likes to put his wedding tackle. Most decent folks don't discuss their sex lives in public, hetero or homo. Luckily he is on CNN so nobody will see him anyway.
Lisa Carlan July 04, 2012 at 03:40 PM
It IS very important that famous people come out and trust me there are people who care that Anderson has come to feel comfortable enough to speak. Until you're in the shoes one wears don't think for a moment that all these steps matter. Each of us should be allowed to be proud of our true self....
Irene Budoff July 04, 2012 at 06:18 PM
The interesting thing is that no one ever speculates over whether someone is heterosexual. As for Anderson being a wiener, Mike, he may be emotional, as he was in Katrina, but he's far from a wiener. He started out, not letting anyone know his family history, taking his own video and sound equipment to war zones (I think Bosnia was the first), reporting by himself, and submitting the footage to networks in hopes of getting a job. He finally did with a small station, and rose from there. He's still one of the first to want to be "in the field" when something happens. I read where he packs canned tuna so that he always has something to eat! He's a pretty brave wiener, as emotional as he is. I think his reporting from Katrina was some of the best, especially when he confronted Senator Landrieu as she was in the middle of saying all that they were doing. He finally said something to the effect of "you're all saying how well you're handling this, and meanwhile I've seen the same dead body at that corner for three days. When is someone going to get on the ground here?"
Ground Chuck July 31, 2012 at 03:33 AM
Does not make one bit of difference to me. Anderson Cooper does a great job outside of his obvious slight bias (like most at CNN) of being completely in the tank for Obama. His orientation was pretty obvious before it was reported, but makes no difference to most. People are just trying to create drama where there is none. Typical. The Obama bias is the only thing that keeps me tuned in to Fox more often than CNN. But at least Anderson isn't drooling over the word "Obama" as much as the CNN morning crew does. I get nausous just thinking of Linda Costello and Soledad O'Brien's total biased reporting.

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