“To dispel the growing myth that [Arbus] only took pictures of freaks, she made up a list of elegant people she wanted to photograph…As if to prove her point, she took a remarkable portrait of Gloria Vanderbilt’s sleeping baby son, Anderson Hays Cooper, for a Harper’s Bazaar Valentine issue. In this truly astonishing picture, the infant resembles a flat white death’s head — eyes sealed shut, moth pursed and moist with saliva. When Gloria Vanderbilt saw the photograph, she forbade Bazaar to publish it, but eventually she changed her mind and this stunning image opened Diane’s retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art in 1972.”
It's time for homosexuals to stop with the drama of "coming out" and just get on with their business.
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.
Whichever gay male athlete comes out first, he will find himself similarly sought by the media for input on all types of L.G.B.T. matters. Only after a few professional male athletes come out will the media care less. Future openly gay male athletes will have to rely on athletic talent to earn celebrity status, not their sexuality.
Cooper’s comments on why he hasn’t talked about his sexual orientation focused more on his career as a journalist rather than his daily life as an American.
“Since I started as a reporter in war zones 20 years ago, I've often found myself in some very dangerous places,” Cooper wrote in his email to Sullivan. “For my safety and the safety of those I work with, I try to blend in as much as possible, and prefer to stick to my job of telling other people’s stories, and not my own. I have found that sometimes the less an interview subject knows about me, the better I can safely and effectively do my job as a journalist.”
Cooper did not explicitly state whether he was referring to being gay as a threat to his safety. Some countries maintain a death penalty for homosexuality. The Committee to Protect Journalists told the Los Angeles Times that it does not keep data on journalists who have been attacked for their sexual orientation.
Those are precisely the same reasons that fueled what I am happy to admit was my personal crusade to nudge Cooper slowly out of the closet, whether he wanted to come or not.
But today shouldn't be about finger pointing, credit claiming, or rehearsing the same old Anderson arguments we've been having for years.
"Many of the reactions from heterosexual progressives that I observed around social media in response were, to be blunt, really fucking annoying and entitled. The salacious shock, the studied boredom and cynicism, the jokes, the questions about why he took so long or why he needed to come out at all. And on and on."
Former U.S. presidential candidate Rick Santorum has issued a statement claiming that he didn't know what the gay dating app he downloaded to his iPhone was for when he downloaded it.
The 51 year old former senator from the state of Pennsylvania was caught Friday when during an interview with a reporter he took out his iPhone to answer an emergency call from his wife.
During the 10 second interval it took for Santorum to figure out how to answer the call, the reporter noticed the distinctive icon for Grindr - "the world's biggest mobile network of guys" - on the conservative, catholic father of seven's home screen.
"Is that - is that - Grindr Mr. Santorum?" the young reporter can be heard saying on videotape of the incident." America's number one gay dating app?"
"Grindr? What's no? The yellow one? Oh right. OK. Grindr. Like coffee grinds. Yeah that's something I downloaded for coffee. It finds the nearest Starbucks."
A review of the videotape clearly shows, however, that Santorum's iPhone was not carrying this hypothetical app to find coffee, but rather the very real Grindr whose purpose is to "find local gay, bi and curious guys for dating or friends for free."
Q. Are your newstories real?
A. No. Our stories are purely fictional. However they are meant to address real-world issues though [sic] satire and often refer and link to real events happening in the world.
As Sylvia Ann Hewlett and Karen Sumberg reported last year in the Harvard Business Review, it actually pays for GLBT employees to come out of the closet. They're more likely to be promoted because they spend less time worrying about secrecy and hiding and more time focused on their jobs. It's likely that Cooper's announcement will similarly liberate him from these concerns and enable him to have an even better career and more satisfying personal life.
Bringing your whole self to work is increasingly encouraged (think Zappos and their stated corporate policy of embracing weirdness). After all, in an increasingly diverse world, it can help you connect better with customers (Spanish speakers are likely to appreciate messages crafted from a Latino cultural perspective), develop new insights (a World of Warcraft-obsessed employee may have a relevant take on youth culture) and enhance employee morale and retention (a well-known Gallup study showed remarkable performance advantages from having a best friend at work — a situation far more likely to occur if you're not putting on a façade).
Many people still argue there's a fundamental right to privacy. But post-Zuckerberg, that illusion has evaporated — and, as I wrote in a previous HBR post, that's a good thing: closing the gap between one's public and private images results in more people being honest about themselves and their lives.
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