I just got a breaking news alert from The Daily Beast in my inbox, an item that is hardly news, breaking or otherwise, to many tops in New York City with firsthand experience: “Anderson Cooper: ‘The Fact is, I’m Gay.’” Don’t get me wrong, I am not one of those tops with firsthand experience. Judging from the men I know who have had the pleasure, Anderson prefers blondes. And, like me, he seems to go for guys who are not from our shared socio-cultural background, which is understandable because posh folk can be decidedly unsexy.
That Cooper chose to “break” the news—which must only be news to obese baby pageant mothers from the former confederate states (as I now choose to call the increasingly boorish South) who appear on his show 360, who also believe that the world was created in six days a few thousand years ago—to his “longtime friend Andrew Sullivan”—a longtime bee in my bonnet—is revealing to those of us who obsessively read too much between the lines.
I’ve been wondering in recent weeks why we haven’t heard much from Sullivan, who seems to have been keeping a low profile since his emotional flip-flop over Obama after the President endorsed gay marriage. I actually went to The Daily Beast the other day to see if he was still writing for them, or if he had finally been supplanted by the far more balanced and rational conservative blogger David Frum. As I tweeted the other day in my own emotional outburst after reading a quick piece by Frum as to why repeal of Obamacare is a pipe dream the GOP should abandon, “If Frum were running for office, I would actually vote Republican.”
The Daily Beast itself later published The Global Power Index, and listed Frum as one of the top ten opinionists. Sullivan was glaringly absent from that list. Ruh oh.
Experience tells me that, generally, if I find something distasteful, then it’s going to catch on eventually. Even though Tina Brown is still stringing Meshuga plum fairy Sullivan along, despite my constant pleadings with her to dump him, he clearly needs some sort of a boost, and Cooper, bless his gentlemanly heart, gave it to him. Or that’s how I’m reading the situation.
I have only ever heard great things about Cooper; despite my raunchy gay bar teasing above, he seems like a great guy, a true homo mensch, and they are rare. The lovers of his I have known—and they are lovers, meaning somewhat long-term dating situations, not slutty encounters in seedy, lube-smeared dungeons—remain loyal to him long after the breakup, which says a lot about a man. If I were that famous, my ex bitches would be out there slinging the shit about me faster than you can say “dirty dish.”
I first heard about Cooper about ten years ago when he broke out on CNN, a short while after 9/11. A fashion photographer friend of mine from our same socio-cultural background said in her lockjawed drawl, “I’m totally in love with this guy Anderson Cooper. Have you heard about him? He’s Gloria Vanderbilt’s son and openly gay.” Well, not that openly gay.
There is a joke floating around in my head somewhere about how in the old days we didn’t come out to gay bear bloggers, but to our parents. I just can’t quite figure out how to make it funny. I’m pretty sure Cooper came out to his mother, Gloria Vanderbilt, years ago; daffy as she is, she’s a definite friend of the Gheys. Gloria’s best friend and escort for years was gay black singer Bobby Short, a friendship that got her banned by the coop board from buying an apartment in NYC’s absurdly snobbish River House, which is how I suppose we became neighbors on Gracie Square.
Despite being Gheys and the proximity of domicile as teens, I never knew Cooper growing up. He went to Dalton, the nemesis of Trinity School, which I attended, and he’s a couple of years younger, although we’re exactly the same age according to my Manhunt profile. But then again I only ever met the neighbor with whom my family shared an elevator landing once or twice in all the years we lived there. That’s New Yawk for ya.
If I ever met Cooper, I would cheekily ask him if he ever frolicked with the Gheys at night in the tiny Carl Shurz Park across from Gracie Square, in the shadows of the Mayor’s mansion, like I did when I was a randy teen who could think of nothing else but sex. He certainly wasn’t there when I was prowling most nights during the good weather, when the bushes had leaves for coverage, but then again he was only twelve or thirteen. The adult men were jittery enough as it is with me, and he must have looked quite young. I did meet his mother a few times later on in life, but was never more than cordial with her; I already had Mary McFadden as a close friend, and the two were sometimes confused with each other, what with their Louise Brooks haircuts and fashion designing ways.
The best thing about this news is that we Gheys now have our own Ellen Degeneres: a well-loved, on-air personality who is an all-around good guy. People like Cooper and Degeneres aren’t so much role models for young Gheys and Lesbotrons as they are fronts for the majority of us, ambassadors who diplomatically smooth over the bitchy queen meltdowns from the likes of Andrew Sullivan and Dan Savage, or the feral troglo-dyke tantrums from charmers like Rosie O’Donnell.
Welcome to transparency, Anderson. It’s a sunny place to be.