Anderson Cooper is gay. Who cares?

CNN's Anderson Cooper wasn't yet officially out of the closet June 23 at the 39th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif. ASSOCIATED PRESS
CNN's Anderson Cooper wasn't yet officially out of the closet June 23 at the 39th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif. ASSOCIATED PRESS
Posted: July 03, 2012

I'M SURE THAT when most people heard that Anderson Cooper was gay, they thought, "Uh, duh." But Cooper, the ubiquitous newsman and talk-show host, has now officially come out, via the blog of his longtime friend Andrew Sullivan at the Daily Beast.

"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," Cooper wrote in an email to Sullivan. He went on to say that he has no desire to be an activist.

And the Internet reverberated with more sounds of "Uh, duh."

Cooper was one of those celebrities who everyone who cared about such things already knew was gay. In May 2007, Out magazine ran a piece by Village Voice gossip columnist Michael Musto about openly gay celebrities who refused to come out to the public. Cooper was on the cover alongside actress Jodie Foster, who talked about her longtime girlfriend publicly for the first time shortly after the story ran.

Sullivan was prompted to ask Cooper after reading Mark Harris' excellent piece in last week's Entertainment Weekly about a new breed of "out" celebrity and how public homosexuality is no longer a death knell for the famous and pretty. Harris contrasts the outing of comedian Ellen DeGeneres in 1997 with that of Jim Parsons of "The Big Bang Theory" in May. DeGeneres was the subject of tabloid fodder: She appeared on magazine covers and on "Oprah." As Harris points out, Parsons was outed in the 33rd paragraph of an extensive New York Times profile. Parsons' revelation took up 31 words in an 1,850-word piece.

Sure, it might be a while before someone who makes a living as an action star comes out, and even longer before an active professional athlete — at least in any of the four major professional sports in the United States — makes his big reveal. But the glass closet, as Musto called it, has started to shatter.

If anything, Cooper proves Harris' point: We just don't care. Will Cooper take the route of actor Neil Patrick Harris, who came out in 2006 and then tearfully talked on "Oprah" about how happy his twins with longtime partner David Burtka make him? Or will he go the Foster route and stay tight-lipped, much as she does when it comes to all matters in her personal life? It doesn't really matter. That's what's so wonderful about the whole thing, that one of the most popular television news anchors in the country can come out and it's met with a collective "Um, OK, but did you hear the latest about Tom and Katie?"

Contact Molly Eichel at 215-854-5909 or eichelm@phillynews.com, or follow on Twitter @mollyeichel. Read her blog posts at philly.com/entertainment.

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