0138B: Good Job, Anderson Cooper

It has been raining all morning, thus triggering all the usual fears about this being another Ondoy. It's not an actual typhoon and we don't even have strong winds making threatening noises here and there. Instead we just have rather steady rain coming down all over the Metro. Not strong rain. Not heavy rain. Just rain - slow and steady rain. And it's weird that this sort of weather scares us more than a fast-moving typhoon. That's Ondoy trauma for you.

In other news, Anderson Cooper finally came out via an email shared with Andrew Sullivan. Beyond what has essentially been an open secret in the right circles, his coming out remains a very important step for the LGBT community as a whole. While there are those who argue why we even bother with coming out - that it's a private matter that we shouldn't feel obligated to discuss. I'm sure you're familiar with this line of thought.

I've previously blogged about the importance of coming out over on the Geeky Guide. It's not about forcing your sexuality onto other people or waving a big rainbow flag every day of your life. Instead it's more about being fully comfortable with who you are so much so that it should not feel like something that you need to hide or be ashamed of depending on the company you're keeping.

One of the more poignant quotes from Anderson Cooper's big coming out email is this passage:
Recently, however, I’ve begun to consider whether the unintended outcomes of maintaining my privacy outweigh personal and professional principle. It’s become clear to me that by remaining silent on certain aspects of my personal life for so long, I have given some the mistaken impression that I am trying to hide something - something that makes me uncomfortable, ashamed or even afraid. This is distressing because it is simply not true.

Anderson Cooper visited Wolfson Children's Hos...
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
It's an interesting statement that echoes a lot of my own thoughts on the matter. Being out means that you are respecting your sexuality and living as if it's a normal part of life - as it should be, except for those religious hold-outs who refuse to embrace diversity. It means being prepared to count yourself among the many and to help remind the world that we're a very real part of this global community and that we deserve equal rights. Being an advocate for LGBT rights isn't limited to staging protests and things of that nature. Just being confident enough in who you are and proud enough to tell others about this is a statement to the community at large in itself. 

An that's what makes the coming out of celebrities and public figures so important. It's not just because they're famous people and that we should all scrutinize their public lives as best as we can. But more because they are role models no matter how you look at things. They are the people that we look up to and are the ones that younger generations try to model their lives after. If we can't trust such public figures to be truthful and honest about our identities, then why should we "ordinary" people do any different?

An until we all step forward and live true and honest lives where we are fully comfortable with who we are and what that means in the greater scheme of things, then things will never change. The struggle for LGBT rights will fail without the kind of everyday support that comes with just standing up to be counted among the other members of the pink community.

And so that's why I wanted to take some time to talk about Anderson Cooper's very important announement today. Plus the fact that the Silver Fox is still one sexy bastard, hehe.
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