This is only a Preview!

You must Publish this diary to make this visible to the public,
or click 'Edit Diary' to make further changes first.

Posting a Diary Entry

Daily Kos welcomes blog articles from readers, known as diaries. The Intro section to a diary should be about three paragraphs long, and is required. The body section is optional, as is the poll, which can have 1 to 15 choices. Descriptive tags are also required to help others find your diary by subject; please don't use "cute" tags.

When you're ready, scroll down below the tags and click Save & Preview. You can edit your diary after it's published by clicking Edit Diary. Polls cannot be edited once they are published.

If this is your first time creating a Diary since the Ajax upgrade, before you enter any text below, please press Ctrl-F5 and then hold down the Shift Key and press your browser's Reload button to refresh its cache with the new script files.


  1. One diary daily maximum.
  2. Substantive diaries only. If you don't have at least three solid, original paragraphs, you should probably post a comment in an Open Thread.
  3. No repetitive diaries. Take a moment to ensure your topic hasn't been blogged (you can search for Stories and Diaries that already cover this topic), though fresh original analysis is always welcome.
  4. Use the "Body" textbox if your diary entry is longer than three paragraphs.
  5. Any images in your posts must be hosted by an approved image hosting service (one of: imageshack.us, photobucket.com, flickr.com, smugmug.com, allyoucanupload.com, picturetrail.com, mac.com, webshots.com, editgrid.com).
  6. Copying and pasting entire copyrighted works is prohibited. If you do quote something, keep it brief, always provide a link to the original source, and use the <blockquote> tags to clearly identify the quoted material. Violating this rule is grounds for immediate banning.
  7. Be civil. Do not "call out" other users by name in diary titles. Do not use profanity in diary titles. Don't write diaries whose main purpose is to deliberately inflame.
For the complete list of DailyKos diary guidelines, please click here.

Please begin with an informative title:

Interesting Room For Debate column in today's New York Times occasioned by Anderson Cooper's latest disclosure (covered in this recommended diary). It introduces the concept of responsibility and obligation, which I think is new here.

There's a history of coming out (and of outing) of gay and lesbian celebrity. For some reason (well, many reasons, some of which we'll cover in the extended analysis part of this), lesbians in the public eye have had much less trouble with this than gay men in the same situation.


You must enter an Intro for your Diary Entry between 300 and 1150 characters long (that's approximately 50-175 words without any html or formatting markup).

Maybe it's the subject, and maybe it's summer, but the Times only has three writers on the subject instead of the usual six. Kate Aurthur of the Daily Beast takes what she thinks is a radical position (and indeed it was in the early 1970s when NONE of this was going on) that everyone should come out, but with good reason:

Gossip has its own power, not to mention pleasure, but let’s face it: The world is a better place when people aren’t lying.
Eric Anderson, professor of sports studies at the University of Winchester, in England, amplifies this for gay athletes (again, we've known that there are lesbians in professional sport for, well, decades).  He observes that several pro athletes, like Dave Kopay, Glenn Burke, and John Amaeche, have come out after they retired, and that the interest in each retired athlete who comes out has decreased. It's not remarkable any more. BUT, since Professor Anderson came out as an active high school coach in 1993,
It’s hard for me to suggest that gay public figures have a moral obligation to come out. Personally, I wish they would, however. It is a long-standing sociological finding that when liked people come out, it reduces prejudice. I’m not convinced that an openly gay sports star would have much impact on today’s youth, but it might make a difference for those who grew up in a more homophobic generation.
So not an obligation, but really, seriously, dudes.

Finally, we have Howard Bragman, gay public relations consultant to the stars. No, it is NOT an obligation.  No, no, no. BUT, given the increasing lack of privacy his industry's celebrities experience with the advent of tmz.com and the like, he can no longer find a reason for an actor (again, this is a male thing) not to come out:

When I work with clients who are in the process of coming out, I fight like hell to tell their stories in an appropriate, authentic and honest way that achieves all they are looking for by this courageous act. By the same token, I will fight like hell to defend people’s right to come out on their own timetable.

That being said, surely every celebrity who has ever come out is happier and freer of fear, helps other people, furthers the cause of gay civil rights, and lives a more open and authentic life. So if someone wants to stay in the closet, they’re not being immoral — just silly.

So, FORTY years after the fact, it turns out that the theorists of gay liberation who said everyone should come out because the more people who know and like one or more of us, the harder it is to paint us as pariahs or diseased people, were correct. it happened pretty much as a matter of historical process, and it accelerated during the 1990s. Consider the fact that we now have groups of gay people dueling over which group is the gay face of the Republican Party. That should tell you something, regardless of what the American Family Association says.

I've been out for forty years myself, and I'm not sure it has affected any of my careers. In fact, I think we're at the point where only actors, men in professional sports and religious figures are or would be affected by the issue of coming out. The comments that the Times has seen fit to print are mostly in the "who cares" area, [edit at 5:32 PM PDT] but, as pico reminds us, Kate Aurthur and Eric Anderson both discuss the importance of having a variety of role models for young gay men and it is from that that they get their notion of "obligation." Thoughts?

Extended (Optional)

Originally posted to LGBT Kos Community on Tue Jul 03, 2012 at 05:05 PM PDT.

Also republished by Invisible People and Milk Men And Women.

Your Email has been sent.