By Rebecca Aguilar | July 2nd, 2012
I’m wondering how Anderson Cooper of CNN is feeling today. Now that he has told The Daily Beast that he is gay. Is it a pressure off his back? I was a television reporter 27 years, and I’ve always believed in being an open book.
Why? Because I expect it from people I interview. I’m a public figure who has chosen to be on television. I don’t want people to think I have something to hide; if I put out that message, they could hide stuff from me.
I always thought Cooper didn’t admit he was gay, because he was afraid his bosses wouldn’t like it and his viewers wouldn’t be too keen about it either. And when I kept hearing that he wanted to “keep part of his life private” I thought there is no such thing when you’re on television, especially in TV news.
Thank you Anderson Cooper for just putting it out there in The Daily Beast “The Fact Is, I’m Gay.” He says he came out because he didn’t want people to think he was ashamed or hiding something. I hate to admit it, but that’s what I thought, that he was hiding something.
Anderson Cooper today is showing the public, especially those afraid to come out; that it’s OK to say proudly “I’m gay.” He’s also showing others in the news business, that yes, journalists can be gay and fair at the same time.
Is he any different today than he was yesterday? No. Can he still cover gay issues fairly? Of course! In the end, he’s a journalist; a man trusted for his honesty and hard work.
Rebecca Aguilar is an Emmy award winning freelance reporter based in Dallas, TX. She’s also the vice chair of SPJ Diversity Committee, a board member with National Association of Hispanic Journalists and SPJ-Fort Worth Chapter.