Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Note to Self: Skeletons Don't Fit in Closets

Yesterday Anderson Cooper came out of what some are calling the "Glass Closet"*.

If I'm allowed to have an opinion on this, personally I think Anderson Cooper, if there is a right way to come out, came out the right way. There was detachment from the situation--it was done in an email posted on the Daily Beast, yet it was thoughtful and personal. Kudos to Cooper. I've thought of him as awesome ever since he and Colbert had a mini "feud" late last year--I realize, even before that, Anderson Cooper had been a serious and respected journalist, therefore awesome without the "Colbert bump".

When he talks about journalism it's easy to tell he has established some strong and honest principles that he sticks by. Not only that, in reading the email at The Daily Beast you can see that he's a person who's not afraid to analyse those principles, weigh the pros and cons, and reevaluate them in situations where they may need to change. In short, he seems to be a man of integrity.

All this is why it upsets me that opinions like this from proponents of gay rights exist. It's pretty disheartening that someone who is a homosexual would talk and feel almost antagonistic toward someone else that's a homosexual. To me there's a problem in pleading, and falling a mite into the realm of demanding, that some else comes out of the closet, glass or otherwise. And to add ridiculousness to injury, the person actually uses the Edna Lovejoy argument, "Can't someone please think of the children!" Really!? Isn't that like the same tagline many of us Christians across America are using to detract from the "gay lifestyle"?

First of all, Anderson Cooper is not a role-model to many children. And you'd have to largely assume the two kids in America that come home after school and beg there mommy to, "Please, turn on CNN? 360 is coming on and I don't want to miss a second of the 'Silver Fox'," are homosexual or in need of a role-model because they live in a conservative household that frowns upon the "gay lifestyle" (but somehow don't mind CNN or their children calling Andy Coop the 'Silver Fox'). Anderson Cooper's demographic are moderate/liberal adults, college educated, ages 25-54. By the time people are watching Anderson Cooper they're at the age where they don't give a F what anybody says**.

I hope Cooper's coming out does help some young people struggling with their sexuality, but I don't believe there's a need for people to come out because it supposedly helps young people deal with their trying ordeals at home*** and in school. I don't believe that for a second. I believe It helps society at large though. The more gay people come out the more boring it is when they do. America doesn't need another role-model. I'm pretty sure overproduction of role-models is one of the problems of consumerism

I agree with the Guardian's Emma Keller. People shouldn't bully others into coming out of the closet. Bullying is bullying whether it's well-meaning, misguided, or purposeful. Bullying is never courageous, only fearful. It's disrespectful and thoughtless. Not at all something anyone should be proud of doing. 

Good for Anderson Cooper though. What he did was something one day people won't "have to" do. 

*It's offensive.
** I do realize there's no such age, for some reason we can't shake being shaped by those around us, but based on the principles of the It Gets Better campaign, let's just roll wit it.
***I think the role-model think would work better for kids being bullied at school than for the children who probably also have a difficult home situation.