While Ellen DeGeneres‘ sexuality is no secret, and Anderson Cooper refuses to discuss his, you’ve got to commend them both for bringing attention to anti-gay bullying in schools as they did on yesterday’s show. Perhaps more significantly, however, is their insistence on keeping the conversation going, and going, and going …
Hangin' W/ Mr. Cooper
While I could care less about Cooper’s bed mate since it isn’t me, but, prop’s to him and Ellen for keeping this in the news and spotlight, this hate and bullying has to be stopped, and, maybe her viewers who I assume are mainly heterosexual, married women with kids will join the fight, so, good stuff. Too may of us were tortured by bullies for maybe even appearing to be “slur” when many didn’t even know what it meant and it has to be stopped once and for all.
nderson Cooper will be hotter when he comes out…meanwhile is simple halfway hot…
Bullying is though; I think all of us probably endured it to some extent or another. There were few people spared from it. Even the toughest, coolest jock at your old high school probably got picked on at least once in his life. “Kids are cruel”…it’s a saying that I’ve found to be almost universally true.
Gay-bullying…I think that could be a tough call to make. Especially since it’s occurring at an age where most of us hadn’t even fully solidified a sexual identity for ourselves. It was all just a volcano/hurricane of emotions and hormones. From my experience, bullying of this type always was focused more on “perceived-sexual orientation”. IE…a kid who acted different. Chances are, he/she probably had never had a sexual encounter in his/her life. He/she just *seemed* to be more girlish/tom-boyish or just plain odd. He/she may not even yet self-identify as gay or lesbian. And stranger still…they may even NOT be.
It always seemed to me that school officials and teachers were slow to stick up for these types of victims. Unlike a child of a different ethnic background, there almost seem to be a subconscious blame placed on the victim. Why can’t they blend in? They need to learn to interact with their peers. In other words, unlike skin color, I always felt some teachers felt that students perceived as “queer” could and should change their behavior. The burden is placed on us to conform, not on others to accommodate us.
As someone bullied as a child because of health and weight problems I can sympathize with my LGBT fellow humans. Because of the torment I ended up quitting school, getting my GED and going on to college. By then my body had changed and I “fit in”. I feel bad for everyone bullied for their sexual orientation. At 47 I still suffer depression after years of anti-depressants and therapy.
@Dabq: I agree. Continually putting this stuff before straight audiences may change the way they are parenting. If parents make efforts in the home to teach their kids anti-gay bullying (and bullying in general) is wrong and really hurtful then there will be less bullying in the schools. Attention to the issue will hopefully result in more pressure on school boards and teachers to take real action to stop the bullying as well.
Boys have changed remarkably little over the years whereas girls, I think, have come to be more tolerant. Sorry, I can’t remember where I read about this, but I think it may be accurate.
“Fag” has always been the bully’s biggest weapon and having been the object of more than a few “fag” comments I understand how devastating it is. What can a young kid do when he’s marked with the “fag” brand?
I still don’t think the parents of boys are on board yet.
For what it’s worth….
Cudos to Ellen and Anderson. Bullying in schools or anywhere just infrurates me and makes me so sad for the kids that are targeted, or for that matter anyone that is targeted. Children can be REALLY cruel to other kids that they may deem different. I really would like the schools to take a stronger stance on this issue and fast! I do not believe that in the case of the 11 year old boy that the school really was on top of that issue.
Closet cases like Cooper are very responsible for some of the bullying. His cowardice keeps people from seeing gay people as, well.. people, and affirms that they should be ashamed.
Will everyone spend 1 hour each day to help out this self-loathing fag who is afraid to step up and admit he is gay?
Anyone who is interested in gay bullying should check out “Dude, You’re a Fag: Masculinity and Sexuality in High School” by CJ Pascoe. Pascoe is a Sociologist did ethnographic fieldwork in a high school. She does an excellent job of mapping out how gender, sexuality, and heteronormativity play out in a US high school setting. As a grad student, I am well-versed on academic theories of sexuality and gender. However, I think anyone with an interest in this topic would gain insight even without an academic background. The author does a good job of explaining and illustrating the theories.
It is obvious that the deaths of these two young boys affected Anderson deeply. These boys were being called all sorts of names, not just gay. Ethnic slurs were also being used as well. Their sexuality had nothing to do with it. They were 11 years old for god sakes.
I admit I’m completely smitten with Mr. Cooper and therefore I trust he has a very good reason for keeping his personal life quiet for now. But I must admit that given the choice I’d prefer that AC come out and represent the gay community and let Perez Hilton, whom I can’t relate to at all, go back in the closet.
Remember, Anderson’s brother committed suicide too. So it’s probably that the deaths were by suicide that affects Anderson deeply.
@Mark M: Ellen and Rosie O’Donnell were both famous for years then had their own show for years before coming out. Lance Bass and Neal Patrick Harris had successful careers for years and were once in the perfect position to speak to the youth of America but only came out years later after Perez outed them. Elton John, Boy George and George Michaels took many years to come out as gay. Just about every out gay sigificant celebrity was closeted for years.
Does that mean all these celebrities were personally responsible for all the anti-gay bullying and associated suicides that took place in the years before they came out? I think that’s unreasonable. Coming out is a process and if a person is a celebrity it is a process with extra steps and a vast audience watching, judging and potentially rejecting you professionally. Are you and I responsible for all the anti-gay conduct that happened in our schools, workplaces or towns during the period when we weren’t out yet and so weren’t presenting the people around us with a proud positive personal image of gay people?
Cooper is speaking out about gay bullying, anyone who develops a slight interest in him very quickly learns he’s gay, and he has a lot of straights who like and respect him. That means he is part of the solution even if he isn’t as large of a part of the solution yet as he could (and hopefully will) be. There are plenty of out gays who are unlikable or reinforce prejudices in the straight population by totally conforming to negative social stereotypes about gays, so being out is only part of the solution when it comes to changing attitudes and preconceptions.
@rrr: Yes, it does. And not just the famous ones. The guy down the street too. Being out is a responsibility to yourself and to others. I’d give a LOT of space on that idea if someone were in mortal danger.. but not to ones with position and power. Rosie and Ellen should have come out much earlier, of course. But at least they were in their prime when they did it, he is what.. 50 or so? Absurd. A month or so ago there was a piece on this site about the use of the word “Faggot”. I like the word. I like it for closet cases like cooper.
Being out is only part of the solution; you are right. But it is an integral part, and without it nothing can get better. He reinforces shame and guilt. What a pathetic faggot.
@Mark M: If you aren’t so flaming people spot you as gay a mile away you aren’t born out. It will take time to get there and normally happens in stages.
Cooper has only has had what would be considered real fame since 2004, and for at least the first year a lot of commentators were predicting he’d be a flash in the pan. Since we are talking in terms of their celebrity lives there isn’t much time involved in Cooper’s case. What’s crazy is that people talk about him in the same breath as closeted Jodie Foster who has two oscars, has been at the top of entertainment for over 30 years, and is practically retired now.
Rosie was about to take her show off the air when she came out. She’d enjoyed years of huge ratings the likes of which Anderson Cooper has never had. She’d mislead her audience into thinking she was straight with her pretend Tom Cruise crush. When she came out she abruptly ditched her Queen of Nice persona and became this gritty, hostile, loudmouth person with an ugly crewcut publicly. The effect was her fans felt used and lied to and instead of thinking someone they like is gay and gay is OK they felt someone they’d thought they’d liked they actually didn’t know at all and that all their bad stereotypes about lesbians were true. It was badly handled in terms of PR for both Rosie and for gays in general, and her career has never been the same.
He’s not 50. White hair makes him look older. He’s 41. Rosie was 40 when she came out. Ellen was 39.
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