Nothing's shocking: shut up about Anderson Cooper
Anderson Cooper has been "out" for a while in his personal life, but professionally he has been silent on the issue because, as he has said, it's nobody's business. But he came out to the world today in a written exchange with Daily Beast writer Andrew Sullivan because staying silent sends a different message, one of shame.
Sullivan prefaced Cooper's statement in blog post with the idea that as a society, "we're evolved enough not to be gob-smacked when we find out someone's gay." But sadly... a quick scan of Twitter pulled up tons of (terribly written) jokes that people (grown-ass people) are posting about Cooper. Sarcastic jokes about how "shocking" this revelation is, how we knew all along, how Cooper's show should be renamed "AC 180"...
May I invite you all to go ahead and shut the fuck up please?
Sure this came on the heels of Pride month, but this was no grand gesture; he didn't come out on national television like Ellen Degeneres did (which was awesome in its own right). More importantly, Anderson Cooper did not come out today to appease those aforementioned snarky "adults" of the Internet who had already sensed he was gay. He came out somewhat casually, in an email essentially, because staying silent on the matter sends the message that homosexually is something to shamefully hide.
While it is certainly nobody's business, certain religious and political forces in America have made being gay a big fucking deal. According to those GOP meat heads, homosexuality is an orientation that disqualifies you from the right to marry the person you love, and do crazy shit with them like share a healthcare plan and someday in the future, heaven forbid, sleep next to their hospital bed as they lay dying.... How fucked up is that? This is by no means a new issue, yet it still baffles me when I look at its brass
As a recovering Catholic, homophobic churches honestly depress me. And Mormons actively campaigning against gay marriage somewhat terrify me. The Mormon Church was a huge proponent of Prop 8 - a bill they helped bankroll. This is important because Mitt Romney is Mormon and has reiterated his opposition to gay marriage countless times. So, if you know anyone who is gay (and you do), remember what old Mitt - a man steeped in a tradition of hate (H8) - has in mind for them while you're voting this November.
Far worse than the gay marriage fiasco is the recent trend of homosexual teenagers - little kids even - committing suicide because they are being bullied at school by their peers for being different. I'd like to think Cooper came out for all those kids. Because someone needs to cut through this political and religious (poligious?) BULLSHIT to remind young people struggling with their sexuality that you can be gay and successful and proud of who you are without being the cause of global warming.
I won't go all Lady Gaga Born-This-Way on you, but I will state the obvious: Being gay is nothing to be ashamed of and nothing to hide. Anderson Cooper knows that. More people should know it.
As Lerner reminded us last Friday, there is a time and a place for snark, and this is not that time. If anything, this is Anderson Cooper's "It gets better" moment. Can't we just let him have that and gracefully follow his example?