Rachel Maddow, the out and outspoken top MSNBC anchor, told her fellow TV anchors and media pundits, “I do think that if you’re gay you have a responsibility to come out,” in an interview with The Guardian titled, “Rachel Maddow: ‘I’m definitely not an autocutie’.” But some, especially Henry Blodget’s Business Insider, assumed Maddow was referring to CNN anchor Anderson Cooper, widely believed to be gay.
In, “Maddow To Cooper: ‘You Have A Responsibility To Come Out’ Of The Closet,” Business Insider’s Noah David wrote Monday, “Rachel Maddow has a message for Anderson Cooper: If you are gay, you should come out.”
Then Tuesday, On Top wrote, “MSNBC host Rachel Maddow has suggested that CNN anchor Anderson Cooper should come out of the closet.
“Despite never acknowledging – or denying – that he’s gay, Cooper has become a staple on gay glossy Out‘s annual list of the most powerful and influential gay people in America.”
Possibly horrified, Maddow wrote,
Regarding The Guardian interview that’s getting a lot of pickup today: in that interview, I wasn’t asked about Anderson Cooper, I didn’t say anything about him, he literally was never discussed during the interview at all — even implicitly.
I don’t tend to be shy when I criticize — you wouldn’t have to read between the lines if that’s what I was trying to do.
I’ve long held three basic beliefs about the ethics of coming out:
- Gay people — generally speaking — have a responsibility to our own community and to future generations of gay people to come out, if and when we feel that we can.
- We should all get to decide for ourselves the “if and when we feel that we can” part of that.
- Closeted people should reasonably expect to be outed by other gay people if (and only if) they prey on the gay community in public, but are secretly gay themselves.
I also believe that coming out makes for a happier life, but that’s not a matter of ethics, that’s just corny advice.
So, what do you think? Do LGBT people in the public eye have a responsibility to come out?
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