I jumped over to Atrios’ place and was troubled by this little post about Anderson Cooper and CNN’s apparent reluctance to air the matter of his sexuality on prime-time news.
Whoa, buddy, hold on:
His sexuality is nobody’s damn business.
Who I take to bed is nobody’s damn business.
The forced “outing” of celebrities and media people really bugs me.
Now, I do take exception to this. People who go and vote on laws that deny me or my friends rights because of who we want to take to bed, or start to encroach on what I’m “allowed” to do in bed had better be the sorts of people who do nothing but hetero missionary style sex after dark – and don’t cry every morning because they feel like there’s something missing from their lives.
If they’re not happy heteros, I wanna know why the fuck they’re trying to force their happy hetero missionary married sex on me. If it doesn’t work for them, why the fuck are they pushing it? Cause God said so? God also said slavery and incest are OK. Don’t go throwing your book at me and burning everything by Michael Cunningham. Illusions of compulsorary hetero-ness need to be smashed out. If the guys who make the laws aren’t even 100% grade A straight, (whatever the hell that is) they better not be making laws on who me and my buddies are allowed to be attracted to.
But here’s my deal: who I’m fucking or not fucking ain’t nobody’s business if I’m not making laws about it.
Shows like Queer Eye are cool because they show “real” gay guys on TV who aren’t dying of AIDS. Women like Ellen Degeneres are great because they’re like, “Yea, I’m gay, and I do all this other stuff too. Get over it.” But you know what, if Jodie Foster wants to be like, “She’s my friend, fuck off, it’s not your business,” and Kevin Spacey is like, “I’m a reclusive bachelor, fuck off,” then it’s really not my business anymore than it’s my business whether or not George Clooney hires high-class hookers.
Who Anderson Cooper takes to bed isn’t my business. Sure, it would be great for more people to go, “Ha, yea, I’m not totally straight either. Not many people are 100% grade A straight. Get over it.” because it would tear down some of the heteo-insanity myth, but at the end of the day, I can’t demand that everybody talk about their fucking sexuality all the time. If you don’t think that effects you, think again: cause that’ll lead right on to interrogating men and women who aren’t attracted to the “right” kinds of men and women, and women like me who also like little geeky guys are going to be required to talk about it all the time and justify it (as if I don’t feel enough pressure to do that already).
Do we need more “public” figures to “out” themselves to help bust down the hetero myth? Oh, sure, it’d be great. But you can’t force it. You can’t require it. You can’t ask people about it all the time. One of the reasons I mentioned my occasional attraction to women was to help bust down this myth, as it occurs to me a lot that I spend a great deal of time here talking about hot guys, and spreading my own version of the hetero myth – and I’ve chosen to share because this is a public space. But I can’t be *required* to do that. If, like Ellen, somebody is brave enough to go ahead and share their private life in the public eye in order to help break down the absolute hetero myth, good for them.
But Anderson Cooper’s a news guy. He does news. What, exactly, does his sexuality have to do with his chosen profession?
I suppose that as questions of sexuality become even more visible and more political, this is going to be an even bigger deal: who’s got a same-sex partner, who’s had a same-sex love affair. You can’t just do a 50’s “knowing wink” anymore (of course, the reason you could only do a “knowing wink” then is cause you’d get yourself thrown in jail as a communist). For some reason, if you’re in a same-sex relationship, it’s like you’re required to scream it from the rooftops.
In a society where Britney Spears is dry-humping anything that moves and male singers display women in their music videos in the same way they display cars, we’ve really gotta have a dialogue about sex.
But you can’t force it. And you especially can’t force it on somebody just cause they’re gay. Screaming heteros aren’t forced to explain and justify their sexuality and how it affects their ability to be news anchors.
Nobody else should be forced to either.
Sex is personal. And sexuality is wide and varied and fun.
I don’t think a news guy’s sexuality is anybody’s business: CNN’s or mine.