What’s your reaction when public figures reveal information about their sexual orientation?

Two public figures, CNN’s Anderson Cooper and R&B singer Frank Ocean, made statements about their sexuality recently. Anderson said he is gay, while Ocean wrote that his first love was a man. Today’s Question: What’s your reaction when public figures reveal information about their sexual orientation?

  • reggie

    My first thought is that I wish our society was open-minded enough to make everyone’s sexuality a private matter. I truly don’t care nor should know about anyone’s sexual orientation except my own (and maybe my spouse’s). Mind your own business ought to have been the 11th commandment.

    But our society isn’t (yet) open-minded, nor is mind-your-own-business its guiding principle, so my second thought is gratitude that people in the public eye are strong enough and honest enough to set an example that will make it easier for other GLBT people to live open, ordinary lives.

  • Lou

    My reaction is that I have no interest in their sexual orientation. Doing their job professionally is all I ask of them.

  • Linda

    I guess it doesn’t matter to me. It doesn’t affect whether I like his or her work or not. I either like it or I don’t.

  • Steve the Cynic

    After the press got worked up when J.K. Rowling revealed that Dumbledore was gay, I realized this sort of thing wasn’t real news any more.

  • jon

    In a word: Meh.

  • GregX

    Like I care! – Get to something interesting.

  • david

    If i have any reaction, it would be to wonder if it’s a slow news day.

  • Ann

    I am not impressed. I don’t want to spend time reading about such things.

  • Jesse

    Well for one, people’s sexual orientation isn’t news, so MPR shouldn’t be reporting on it. You aren’t Fox News or E!.

    Second, what they do with their personal life is their business, no one else’s. Our society should be advanced enough that people coming out with their sexuality shouldn’t be newsworthy, unfortunately it is.

  • Mary

    Who cares. We all have a sexual orientation.

  • David Poretti

    Almost as news-worthy as reporting on whether someone is left-handed or right-handed. Does their orientation affect their ability to do their job? No? Why is it news? Does the reporting of said orientation affect their ability to do their job? Why is it reported?

  • Jim G

    When a couple of my relatives announced they were gay it came as old news. We knew they were gay when we were kids. This is more of an economic decision for many celebrities. The entertainment market seems to be more accepting of gays and lesbians than the culture as a whole, but thankfully that is changing. I think that the national same sex marriage prohibition by conservatives maybe convincing these public figures that it’s time to take a stand for equality. I’m happy for Anderson Cooper: he can be his true self. Really, it’s no one else’s business. Everyone is precious in God’s eyes.

  • david

    Now if monica crowley or some other right wing sock puppet homophob came out that would be news worthy.

  • CarlS

    Zzzzzzzzzzz….

  • Mikayla

    I’d say it’s a good thing. While sexual orientation should normally not be news, in this climate, celebrities coming out can have an impact on people’s opinions and ideally can give them hope and/or a better understanding of the LGBT community. It’s especially important now, as states like ours are voting on marriage amendments and are trying to restrict the rights and liberties of gay people. From what I understood, Cooper’s reasoning for coming out was only in order to make people understand that he wasn’t ashamed of it and that gay people are the same as everyone else and deserve dignity, privacy, respect and equal rights.

  • matt

    It’s Obama’s fault that people are gay. Gay people are taking jobs. Gay people don’t care about poor people. If we can just save one more child by coming out of the closet it must be done. Iran is gay so we should bomb them back to Sodom!

    Have a good weekend everyone!

  • georges

    If gay people don’t care about poor people………

    …………then certainly it is George W. Bush’s fault that people are gay.

  • Tom

    Yyyyaaaaawwwwwwnnnnnnnn.

  • bsimon

    I wonder why the nature of our society is such that people care so much about others’ private lives. In other news, Brad Pitt’s momma has some political opinions. Quick! Issue a report – we can drive some traffic with this critical news!

  • Marsha

    I think “yay!”, it’s like people coming out about their support of ending the War on Drugs and repealing Prohibition. Even the courage about their personal usage of Cannabis/hemp for the purposes they deem worthy.

    Sexual orientation should be accepted, rather than the absurd notion that some proclivities and unions be discriminated and legislated against.

  • Carrie

    I guess I don’t really care one way or the other. If it makes them feel better to come out publicly, more power to them.

  • Regnar James

    Here we go again with the weekly MPR ElGeeBeeTea report.

    WHY do you drag this subject up SO often? You must spend a lot of my money finding every miniscule story that has anything to do with homosexuality.

    God forbid you might ask real questions like:

    How have recent storms affected you?

    What are you doing to keep cool?

    How do you feel about the direction our political leaders are taking us?

    STOP WITH GAY QUESTIONS! They do not affect 99% of Minnesota.

    DTOM

  • Steve the Cynic

    As one who has held a variety of opinions on this over the years, I have to say that liberals hurt their own cause every time they use the words homophobia, homophobic, homophobe, etc. It comes across as implying that the opinion you disagree with amounts to a mental illness. That kind of insult persuades no one but only hardens hearts. It’s just as much a case of rude name-calling as when conservatives use their anti-gay slurs.

  • georges

    “From what I understood, Cooper’s reasoning for coming out was only in order to make people understand that he wasn’t ashamed of it…”

    Now, dat funni, jack…………

    Celebrities, get over yourselves. Us normal people are not the least bit interested in what you are ashamed of and what you are not ashamed of.

    Keep your shames, and your non-shames, to yourself.

    And your orientations, and your non-orientations.

    And your massage preferences.

    We have become a Nation of self-whoreshipping mental midgets incapable of attempting to figure out anything of real value, so we expend our small collective cranial capacity floundering around the cesspool searching for deep meaning in the utterances of Anderson Cooper, and other highly visable borderline dullards, dolting down our existence to the barely functional watermelon seed spitting last plomp lifers.

    Every time a summer storm passes by, we have to be told, like little children, what to do if a tornado rears its ugly head in our area, and be sure not to touch any down powerlines, or stand under big trees in a high wind.

    Makes one wonder, when the electricity is off for a day or two, how we can muddle through until the TV and radio stations return to talk us back into the short shelf we have become accoustomed to being stored in.

  • david

    I disagree steve. Take regnar’s response for instance. I knew exactly what he was going to say the second i read today’s question. His responce can only be taken as some sort of mental deficiency. Here he clearly has a choice not to participate. In fact if he is so offended mpr would post a question concerning gay issues, why dies he return time and time again and post the same dittoheaded bigoted slur as a responce? What does he expect? I don’t watch faux news because i find their lies and subterfuge to be offensive. Maybe after viewing “news” as a way to comfirm and back up what he already believes, he thinks mpr should do the same, and not challenge idead or enlighten. But more so getting so worked up in such a predictable way on this one subject speaks volumes about his mental state. In this case homophobic is apt. The sane person would have to ask themselves how does an other person’s actions effect be personally. When they find it doesn’t they move on to more pressing issues, not waste time and valuable government resources trying to get a discriminatory admendment to the constitution passed. That is lunacy.

  • bob

    YAWN. I don’t care about what celebrities wear, what they eat, where they live, or what they do in the dark. The only way a gay celebrity’s sexuality is relevant is if he/she has a history of making bigoted public statements against gays.

  • Steve the Cynic

    I can only report, david, that being called a homophobe, in the days when I held a more conservative view than I do now, made it harder to see the truth of the other side. Not everyone who is unconvinced that homosexual behavior is okay, or that gay marriage is a good idea, is as narrow-minded and bigotted as some of the folks posting here.

    The other reason I’d like to see homophobia and its cognates banished from the lexicon is that using a quasi-psychological term as an insult perpetuates the stigmatization of mental illness, but that’s another topic.

  • jesse

    I wish i had been born with lavender eyes so folks would see me for who i am, learn to deal with it and confront their own prejudices. Those of us of the Rainbow Nation are human beings first and deserve a place at the table with all other people. Heterosexuals are free to walk down the street hand in hand, to kiss is public, and otherwise display their love publicly. Unfortunately, American culture can’t handle the same from us. How about Marlo Thomas’s phrase, “Free to be you and me.”?

  • Mad as hell

    Who cares? Anymore than the idiot celebrities endorse obama and other brain dead democrats.

  • Gigi

    Public figures reveal information about their sexual orientation all the time. It’s just that most of them are heterosexual, so no one thinks anything of it. When Pres. Obama or Gov. Romney show up at public events with their wives, I don’t hear anyone say that the fact that they have wives is private information that they should keep to themselves. Someday, I hope it won’t be newsworthy when GLBT public figures do the same thing.

  • georges

    It takes a really really old citizen of the Rainbow Nation……

    ……to even know who Marlo Thomas is.

  • georges

    I was at a rural MN small town communtity event today.

    Two female public high school teachers, both rather extreme, marine cut hair, husky biker stance, short and broad trucker mien, etc., were walking around as a couple.

    At one point, they stopped to talk to two girls, sisters, one 14 and the other 12 years old. Beautiful long brown hair, very feminine girls. Students of the buzz cutters, down there at the public school.

    They talked for quite awhile and, although I was not close enough to hear the conversation, I am very good at lip-reading and body language.

    The conversation was long, about 25 minutes. Nothing overt was said, of course, but as I watched I began to see how impressionable girls of that age could be fooled into trying something that would devastate them emotionally for many years, perhaps their entire lives, just by the fact that the schools accept, and glorify, such a rare abnormality.

    Parents are not usually aware of the subtle twists of fate their children have to fend off, or succumb to, at the most vulnerable ages, growing up.

    Clearly their is need of protection.

  • Sue de Nim

    @georges:

    Yes, kids are impressionable, so I think it’s vitally important to protect kids from behavior by adults that normalizes hatred and bigotry.

  • georges

    As to gay people not liking or not caring about poor people:

    Over the last half century I have known a great number of GLBT people. And Liberals, and Conservatives, too.

    This is how it shakes out, from objective, scientific, clinical observation.

    It is true. Gays and Lesbians, in general, do not like, nor do they have any sympathy for, the poor among us.

    The G&Lers, both couples and singles, are, for the most part, very successful & wealthy. They look down upon the poor, considering them to be lazy, incompetent, and of low intelligence with no real abilities whatsoever. They make clever and vicious jokes about the poor at every opportunity. They give generously to charities.

    Liberals, on the other hand, prattle on endlessly about how the poor are just as good and just as smart as more successful citizens, but they were somehow cheated out of the opportunities the rest of us got. The Libs insist the poor are better than us morally, because, you know, they just are, that’s all. Liberals continually demand that the government give lots of money to the poor, so that they won’t have to. And they don’t give anything to the poor….unless someone is watching.

    Conservatives don’t look down on the poor, like the Gay & Lesbians do, nor do they look up at them, as the Liberals, putting them on an artifical pedestal of unwarranted glorification.

    Conservatives look at the poor as just people, like everyone else, with the opportunity to make what they will of their lives. They do not have the need to make themselves higher on the food chain by heaping vicious jokes of scorn upon the poor, nor make themselves feel better by patting their own backs in righteous self-congratulations for having spoken out on behalf of the poor. Conservatives give generously to charities, and to poor individuals directly.

    Stop living in the shadows of 60’s misconceptions. Come out into the light of the new Capitalist now. Tis good for the soul.

  • suestuben

    To all who profess that they don’t care–“yawn”–if someone is or is not gay, why did you go to this page and write something? Obviously, you do care and just as obviously, you are hetero.

    @georges: Go away, you are filled with hatred and misinformation. People who hate are pitiable but they can get better and are worthy of love. My dad was one, but I loved him out of it. He was a lifelong Conservative who hated everyone different than himself and thought the poor were lazy and got what they deserved.

    When Cooper and others ‘come out’ publicly it makes a HUGE difference to the lonely, self-hating teen who is sure that suicide is the only way out. When that kid can tell his parents at breakfast that he/she has a crush on someone of the same sex and they act nonchalantly about it, the world will be a much better place. Another religion-based hatred will have been put on the trash heap of history.

  • Steve the Cynic

    “Tis good for the soul,” georges? Not long ago there was a clown calling himself “jockamo” who kept repeating that line, and his posts looked remarkably like yours, and just as non-sensical, too, so I assume you’re the same clown. Your latest rant is nothing but a string of absurd generalizations and ideological [bovine feces], like all your previous ones, and changing your screen name won’t change that.

  • Paula Long

    Who cares?

  • Scourges

    What a fricken idiot georges! It appears you think being gay makes one rich, then you attempt to explain “how it shakes out, from objective, scientific, clinical observation” which was none of the above.

    Also:

    “Rainbow Nation” is a term coined by Archbishop Desmond Tutu to describe post-apartheid South Africa, after South Africa’s first fully democratic election in 1994.

    I hope someone from the Rainbow Family of Living Light sits you down and tweaks your head about a few things. That’ll be good for your soul.

    Live and let live. Let’s pass the joint (or bong) and let’s share in some soymilk and Rainbow Oreos.

  • georges

    The problem with most older Liberals is they have lived so long in such a narrow intellectual wasteland that when truth, reality, actuality, etc., comes their way they are totally unable to handle it, and all their meager abilities allow for is lashing out at the source of the Truth with cheap derogatory remarks and sophomoric curse words, hoping for a quick return to the safety of being surrounded by only other Liberals who think exactly the same irrational erroneous thoughts, and live in the identical fairy tale world.

    Come out into the light of reality, face these truths with objective honesty, if you are able. If unable, then fading back into the shadows will happen naturally, as the light of day does not pierce the darkness of the Liberal spidey holes, so carefully constructed below the surface over the many decades, so deep in the earth as to be ever doomed to constant temperatures so cool it slows the pulse and breathing to the point of permanent dormancy.

    Telling each other, with smug looks and smarmy smiles, that Liberals are the intelligent ones and Conservatives are all some strange combination of Bull Conner, Jed Clampett, and Ebenezer Scrooge, or, at best, Bo and Luke Duke, good hearted rednecks, but still only able to out-think Sheriff Roscoe because Roscoe is from the duller end of the redneck bell curve.

    Then your little intellectual world gets exposed to a Conservative who can enlighten you at every turn, educate you to the Truth and the realities of life, who can kick your can inside out and upside down without even breaking a sweat, and, instead of engaging in the cranial contest, you dive head-first back into the dark of the hidey hole, knowing you are beaten easily, but unable to change your thinking pattern you have become accustomed to over the ages, your comfort zone of thoughtful despair.

    Don’t worry. It won’t hurt to change. In fact, you will feel better than you have since 1969.

    Come out into the light. See the world changing. Capitalism is taking over, replacing big government at an ever increasing pace all over the world. Canada is going Conservative, with great success, and even dragging the Motherland, jolly ol’ England, along for the ride. China, Soviet Union, Italy, Spain, etc., all are on board, like it or not. Even the USA. No one can stop it. Capitalism is the wave of the now and the future. It is inevitable. No force on earth can change the outcome. Capitalism will rise, government will fade. Settle back and enjoy the ride. We are lucky to be alive at this point in history to see, and be a part of, this monumental shift as the world changes for the better.

    Unstick yourself from the mucky mire of 60’s ideas. You may have to pull your feet out of your boots, and leave the boots behind in the sticky slop, but it is a small price to pay. Those boots were no longer of any value, anyway.

    You will then be Free. Able to stride into the future, unfettered by the weight of failed ideals.

  • Steve the Cynic

    You make capitalism sound like the Borg, georges: “You will be assimilated. Resistance is futile.” The truth is, the free market is a human creation, not a force of nature. And even with actual forces of nature, we consider it a good thing when we can intelligently manipulate them to improve human well-being. What you’re really saying is, we are all doomed to become slaves of impersonal market forces with no option to chart our own destiny. That is a very dark vision indeed.

    Also remarkable is the similarity of your arrogant and triumphalistic rhetoric of inevitability with that of both the communists and fascists of the early 20th century. You are as wrong as they were. But then, I’m not really writing this for you, georges. It’s clear that you don’t actually read comments that dispute your ideology. As for “cheap derogatory remarks,” isn’t that what you’re doing yourself when you opine about benighted liberals?

  • Sue de Nim

    What really puzzles me is people who are economic libertarians, who want to further deregulate amoral mega-corporations so they can exploit and abuse consumers and the ecosystem even more effectively, who nonetheless think society has some interest in restricting who you’re allowed to fall in love with. It’s a clear case of straining out the proverbial gnat while swallowing a camel.

  • Ben

    Unless it’s opposite their previous PUBLIC position, I really don’t care any more than I do about a person’s hair color.