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Do public figures have an obligation to come out of the closet?




Television reporter Anderson Cooper attends the CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute at The Shrine Auditorium on December 11, 2011 in Los Angeles, California.
Television reporter Anderson Cooper attends the CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute at The Shrine Auditorium on December 11, 2011 in Los Angeles, California.
Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

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Anderson Cooper revealed he was gay in an email that was published, with his permission, on fellow gay journalist Andrew Sullivan’s blog, The Daily Beast."The fact is, I'm gay, always have been, always will be, and I couldn't be any more happy, comfortable with myself, and proud. I have always been very open and honest about this part of my life with my friends, my family, and my colleagues. In a perfect world, I don't think it's anyone else's business, but I do think there is value in standing up and being counted. I’m not an activist, but I am a human being and I don't give that up by being a journalist.”

The inspiration behind Cooper’s email came from Sullivan asking Cooper for his feedback on Mark Harris’ Entertainment Weekly story, "The New Art of Coming Out: How Gay Stars Are Now Carefully—and Surprisingly—Going Public About Their Private Lives." Harris observed an emerging trend in which public figures stating that they’re gay isn't the biggest news of the day anymore.

WEIGH IN:

Should Anderson Cooper have a responsibility to be a LGBT activist because of his celebrity status?

Guest:

Mark Harris, Columnist at Entertainment Weekly, contributing editor for New York, contributor to Grantland, author of "Pictures at a Revolution"