|CNN journalist Anderson Cooper|
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."
- From CNN News anchor Anderson Cooper, explaining his decision to openly discuss his gayness. Cooper shared the truth about his sexual orientation in a low-key manner, through a classy and eloquent email he wrote to journalist and blogger Andrew Sullivan.
The decision to come out must have been incredibly difficult for Cooper. While he is personally comfortable as a gay man, in his letter he discusses his fear of losing the last shreds of his privacy and his concern over having his professional objectivity called into question. Clearly though, his sense of personal responsibility to the causes of young gay people, marriage equality, and society in general outweighed his concerns about coming out.
Coming out is hard. Each of us who eventually reaches the decision to share the truth about our sexual orientation has fought our personal demons, fears, and doubts along the way.
But it's incredibly important that those of us who can come out, do come out. Gay people, especially younger folks, need good role models, and straight people benefit from seeing that gay people are not so different.
The world needs more Anderson Coopers.