HER:So we have the right to demand that people lay their personal lives bare for the good of the cause? I don’t know what it says about me but I’m not comfortable with that. I disagree that his not addressing the issue marred his credibility. Had he been pretending to be a straight man out on the town every night with a different woman then maybe. But as everyone keeps saying, we all knew. Why did we need it to be a headline?I don’t know. I have mixed feelings as I expressed in the original post. Above all, I just fervently wish I live long enough to see a time when things like this don’t happen anymore.
ME: A time when the choices people make don’t matter? I don’t see that coming. It will just be about different choices.
HER: Not the choices – people’s sexual preference.
ME: That’s the choice that is the current issue – it’s the community that is fighting for equal rights. It isn’t quite like the civil rights struggle in the mid-twentieth century since that was based on the color of someone’s skin – although I recall several well-known people who had passed as white “coming-out”, and what a huge milestone that was. They made a choice to pass, and then made a choice to toss that aside and make a stand.
There is Anderson Cooper the private individual, and there is Anderson Cooper adult gay man. Until the struggle bears fruit that dichotomy is imposed by society. And it obviously takes a long time for it to dissolve, as we still talk about “what do black Americans think?” and “what do Hispanic Americans think?” as if they are these monolithic societal blocks that don’t allow for individualism.The difference at this point in history is there is importance attached to the question “what do X People think?” Someday that may just melt into “what do people think?” – but I doubt it. The bizarre caste system we have in this country generally elevates the lower castes to “interest group” because we have a history of such groups looking-out for their own rights.Anderson Cooper the out gay man is more positive than Anderson Cooper the gay man who avoids identifying himself in a society that is currently charged with the issue of gay equality. Especially as he is in a role where he investigates the roles others play in society. As a journalist this was less important; as a CNN anchor it was somewhat more important; but now as a daily talk show host who grills people about the issues in their lives it has an impact on his credibility to not be open about who he is.
He’s obviously trying to play-down his avoidance of the “are you gay?” question that he has been asked point-blank in the past. But the letter he wrote said he avoided the issue in the past because it would make doing his job more difficult: more difficult for him. He can say that is because he wanted to do the best job he could – but that in itself is an indicator of just how important public self-identification is! To get to a place where being a gay man wouldn’t make his job more difficult requires going through the difficulty to get it out of the way.
Whew! I had no idea I had such a specific opinion about this. This implies that, at least subconsciously, I have considered this at some depth. Great – now I have to wonder about my own identity!
Thanks a lot, [Her Name]