Why Anderson Cooper Should Never Come Out, Ever


Dear Andy,

I hope that you don’t mind I call you Andy. I usually do in my head, when I’m picturing the beautiful life we could have together. In real life, I know I’ll never have you — because you are beautiful and glamorous, the wildly successful son of a Vanderbilt, and I am but a lowly chimney sweep, one who still thinks farting is funny and regularly conducts business meetings on the toilet.

Also, I know you have no idea I exist, but I need to talk to you about something. ??I’m cool with you being with other people. I understand. You have needs. But it’s kind of like when I tell my father I’m dating someone new: he’s happy in the abstract, as long as he never has to see it.

The moment actual visuals enter the picture, this person ceases to become any sort of romantic potential for me and will be labeled as my “buddy,” “friend” or (if they’re really lucky) “special friend.”

Thus, I know you’ve got a “special friend” in your life, but I need that to stay behind closed doors. This means no People magazine cover and no sitting on Oprah’s couch and talking about boys. But, especially, it means you have got to stop hanging out with Kathy Griffin. Her magical homo-lovin’ aura is a bad influence on you and sometimes pushes you way too close to accidentally saying the thing we all know but only talk about on the interwebs: you really like v-neck sweaters.

I know I’m a huge advocate of other major stars coming out, especially if your name is Bradley Cooper and you have more beards than any one person ever needs. This is partly because I love being right and have a particular dance for such moments — it looks like Chad Ochocinco having a seizure or Michael J. Fox trying to dougie — but I also think LGBT visibility is important. Having out and proud celebrities like Ellen DeGeneres and Neil Patrick Harris in our lives might only be a small step for the community itself. However, in the same way that studies show that watching Friends makes the world hate America a little less, these ambassadors use their soft power to slowly change hearts and minds in our nation’s living rooms every day.

But although I will be ready to scream a strident “I told you so” when Taylor Lautner announces he’s quitting “acting” for gay porn, this cannot be your path. You will stay in that closet with Tom Cruise, and you will like it. I don’t care if there are no vents or windows and Tom Cruise won’t stop trying to get you join his Scientology Fight Club. This is just the way it has to be.

Do you understand how you make me feel all the time? Look at you. Your face looks like the inverse of Rumer Willis, and I’m convinced that your perfect hair isn’t actually real, as it never moves, even in the winds of Hurricane Katrina. I am convinced that your hometown is Stepford.

I know that you are forever destined to be better looking and more successful than I am at everything, but can we not add dating to the mix? According to the Internets, you’re shacked up with some hot Brazilian dude who runs a semi-exclusive nightclub in the Village, which is kind of like saying your significant other does car commercials in Japan.

If John Stamos sat next to him on a plane, would he tell your “special friend” he’s pretty? I’m sure he would, and if life were US Weekly, you two would always be on the cover. Actually, because life is pretty similar to US Weekly — filled with idiots and only tolerable when you’re drunk — I can see your cover stories now, every headline increasingly proving your romantic superiority. “Anderson and Sergio: So in Love!” “An Affair to Remember: Anderson’s Whirlwind Romance!” “Anderson Cooper’s 5 Tips to Amazing Sex with Your Partner (Hint: It Involves Having One!)”

You must understand, Andy. This is not the way the world works. Back at the ranch, most of my friends are single, as we are all in our early twenties and even the good relationships don’t last longer than a herpes flare-up. If the irritating pustules of happy coupledom rear their slimy heads, all I have to do is wait it out.

However, you’re different. You’re the ideal boyfriend, and I imagine you can’t fathom the mundane melancholias of the incessantly dumped. This is because you don’t live in the Lars von Trier movie that the rest of us do. You live in the Bubble — where you and things go together, where life is like Tiffany’s — but here’s how life works outside the Bubble:

Outside of the Bubble, you lose your virginity to a guy who moves to another state after he has sex with you. Outside of the Bubble, your last boyfriend spent most of your relationship avoiding his former drug dealer. Outside of the Bubble, you stayed in that relationship because his dad was the Vice President of Silk, and even though you grew to loathe almost everything about him, you couldn’t give up all the free soy.

Outside of the Bubble, your whirlwind romances end because: he doesn’t love you anymore. He was lying when he said he loved you. He is in love with a crack addict. He slept with someone else on your birthday because he didn’t think you two were that serious. He can’t get rid of his unstable/ possibly homicidal ex. He won’t kiss you or have sex with you. He says you forced him to be in a relationship with you. He spontaneously stops returning your calls. He might have died.

Outside of the Bubble is a place I never want you to have to see. It’s a terrible world, where love is like standing in line at the DMV: it’s interminable, fruitless and ends in shouting and tears. This might seem hard to believe, but it’s how most of us live.

Although our dating universes are very different, they can coexist by simply never having contact with one another. You can go on living the life that you love, while the rest of us continue to date guys whose idea of a “romantic night in” is eating leftover Taco Bell while you watch him play World of Warcraft. We actually pay very good money to our therapists to have such lives, and if everyone lived inside the Bubble, Tina Fey and Hilary Clinton wouldn’t exist.

So, you are allowed to be happy — because I like to think that someone out there is having good sex, as the legacy of Sarah Jessica Parker must be for something other than looking like a horse. For SJP’s sake, go forth and spread your magical merriment. Just don’t come out and, please, don’t tell anyone about your love life ever. If Oprah comes up to you and just wants to “talk girl talk,” just stiff-arm her and Ochocinco it out of there.

So long, Andy, and thanks for all the sweaters.


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image – minds-eye