Tuesday, July 03, 2012

An Open Letter to Anderson Cooper

It's the dawn of a new era. It may not come as a surprise but confirming what everyone has been thinking still makes a lot of difference. It brings pride to a community that is very slowly, and hopefully surely, coming out of a dark age littered with prejudice and discrimination.

With that, I would like to say a few words to Mr. Cooper.

Dear Anderson (We're totally on a first-name basis, yes.),

The truth is, all this time, we've been actually soul mates in my head. But you coming out like this, confirming that you are indeed gay, "always has been, always will be" is such a huge leap for the community. Not all of us are as brave as you are but each of us will have our own time. When it feels right, it will happen.

I want you to know how I appreciate you representing the gay community with so much dignity and sophistication. I don't know if this has always been your plan but I do feel like to be able to be taken seriously, especially in journalism, as a gay person, you have to achieve an incredible level of success first. It rarely goes the other way around. You must have also felt that tremendous pressure; that you have to prove yourself first before affirming your sexuality in front of the world for fear of never getting to have a chance to prove anything at all. Such is my case.

Your mother must be so proud of you. My parents are lovely but I don't know how they will take it once I do my own confirmation. It makes me think I, too, must have CNN under my belt just to be able to justify the way I am. Isn't that sad?

When you were young, did you also feel that you're different? Or that you didn't belong, even? Did you also have that struggle within yourself like you're in a battle and you're fighting it on your own? Did you also have those countless questions but had no one to ask because you're afraid you might get ostracized? Did you have to find yourself in other people too?

In any case, it's people like you that inspire the rest of us to be a lot better than the misconceptions of this society. You, who has rightfully earned an important platform that could influence public perception, do not only remind us of what we could be but also show the rest what we are capable of. You're right. It is extremely important to be counted and you acknowledging your sexuality hopefully makes it better for the rest of us to do the same thing; to claim what we deserve with pride, without second guessing ourselves and without having the need to defend our cause.

In conclusion, I would like to thank you not only for being gorgeous and smart but also for your courage because in one way or another, when you get out there being Mr. CNN in your bespoke Ralph Lauren suits and all, a part of us thrives with you.

Here's a to a time when coming out is unnecessary and being us, whoever we may be, is the norm.


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