From Andrew Sullivan, on The Daily Beast:
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.Update
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 always felt like these coming out moments were so affected and contrived.
People have long criticized Mr. Cooper for living openly as a gay man off-screen -- as far as I know, he hasn't been in the closet in non-televised life at any point in many, many years -- but for declining to speak in the media about his sexuality, relationships and family life.
But -- I don't know.
Anyone who has had to inform others that they are a homo-type person over and over quickly comes to understand that you are also constantly being put on the spot to limit yourself -- especially to limit how other people perceive you.
The danger of same-sex attraction looms so huge and dangerously in the public mind that confessing such will completely overwhelm anyone else's idea of who you are.
Last week, you were bink, the funny guy from Oregon that everyone comes to with their problems and bakes great cookies and bread. This week, you are bink, the gay guy. Period. Forever.
At the same time, eventually, I think LGBT people of conscience realize that it is healthy and good for ourselves to take our identities public. And that it is extremely important for the LGBT civil rights movement that the public is exposed to the huge diversity of people in our community -- and to our positive qualities, as well as the (mostly-imagined) faults that are written on us, constantly, by the media.
So, I'm happy that Mr. Cooper decided to make this public statement.
Even though seeing his written confessional made me cringe -- I mean, really? He/you/we really have to do this? Isn't it kind of humiliating?
Well -- yes, it is. And yes, we do.