HeatherN hopes that maybe someday soon we will live in a world where ‘coming out’ means nothing more than showing up at the Oscars with a date that happens to be the same gender.
Following a host of other out celebs (such as Matt Bomer, Jim Parsons, and Zachary Quinto) Anderson Cooper came out as gay today in a published e-mail to Andrew Sullivan at the Daily Beast. You can see the email here. I almost didn’t write anything about it, because even the novelty of coming out quietly is starting to wear off, and that’s really quite encouraging.
Celebs don’t seem to be coming out in defiance of ‘conventional wisdom’ about show business anymore, or at least not primarily. As Cooper states in his e-mail, he’s coming out publicly simply to add to the visibility of queer people. Great visibility helps make homosexuality be perceived as more normal by the mainstream. The more normal homosexuality is the more equal gay people can be in our society.
And interestingly, the more low-key coming out stories also contributes to making society perceive homosexuality as normal. Being gay and a celebrity doesn’t mean having to do a huge interview in a major magazine anymore. It’s not career ending, or even career altering anymore. For the most part, a celeb can talk about being gay in the same way they might talk about any other aspect of their personal lives.
Maybe someday soon we will live in a world where ‘coming out’ means nothing more than showing up at the Oscars, or whatever, with a date that happens to be the same gender as the celeb. And maybe no one will look twice at that person’s date, (unless of course that date qualifies for best-dressed or worst-dressed). I think more celebrities coming out quietly will help us reach that rather ideal future sooner rather than later.
AP Photo/ Peter Kramer