Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Anderson Cooper - Through the Looking Glass


“We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their CREATOR with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.” --The Declaration of Independence

Anderson Cooper, widely respected news journalist, took the official leap over the closet threshold and announced that he is gay. After years of rumor, nasty gossip, and wild speculation, he must be relieved to finally put the talk to rest.

What I fail to understand is why anyone should care about, much less need or want to know, the nature of his sexual orientation.

Anderson is an intelligent, educated and well-spoken journalist. He is handsome, articulate and thoughtful. He has charm and presence and can hold his own in any interview. Despite his Vanderbilt heritage, he seems to be a well adjusted, adequately rounded individual. He works for a living, and has put himself in harm’s way time after time reporting from the scenes of tragedies and war zones in far-off places.

Quite frankly, I like him. He is easy to watch, easy to listen to, never offensive like some other personalities. I like his perspective. He does not sink to yellow journalism. He isn’t afraid to show his feelings. He is true to himself in his work, rather than reporting like some emotionless deity from on high. His reporting standards are above the cut, so it is a pleasure to invite him into my home as both an information disseminator and an entertainer.

I have no interest in what he does in the privacy of his home, and I expect he doesn’t give a damn what I do in mine. That is as it should be.

I remember when I informed my elderly mother that some friends of mine were a gay couple. She reacted exactly as I anticipated for someone of her generation. Then, after she met them, she decided that she really liked them. From that point on, she would always ask about “the boys”. “How are the boys doing?” “I really like them.” “Have you seen the boys today?” A few weeks ago, in one of her more lucid moments, she said, “How are the boys doing? You know I never think of them as gay. They’re just the boys.” I replied, “That’s exactly how you should be thinking of them, Mom. People are people. We’re all just people.”

I wonder if I will live to see enough softening of the human heart to rid the world of such irrational and long-held prejudices. People are people. We think, we breathe, we bleed, we laugh, we cry, we live and die. Everything else is just icing on the cake. Our differences are the icing, the decoration, the stuff that makes us interesting. Whether it be personality, color, religion, sexuality, career, age, talent or any of a million things, our icing should be the glue that holds us together, not the thing that keeps us apart. We should be free to share our frosting with the world or hold it close, as we choose.

Anderson Cooper has been harangued into sharing some of his frosting. The shame is that in order to live his life in peace, he had to share what he obviously preferred to hold close. No one should have to do that. Hopefully making an official statement will result in Anderson Cooper finding some peace. I find it very sad that he, or anyone for that matter, has to resort to such an action at all.

Therefore I repeat:

“We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their CREATOR with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.” --The Declaration of Independence