Kathy Griffin: Why She Never Outed Anderson Cooper
By Jerry Portwood
Of course we all knew that Kathy Griffin, the Out100 Honoree and 2011 Entertainer of the Year, knew that Anderson Cooper was gay. They giggled together during the annual New Year's Eve Live on CNN, the countdown event that showed them as gay and gal pal, and Griffin toed the line as much as she could without ever actually stating what she (and so many others knew). Now, in a piece on the DailyBeast (the same place that broke Cooper's coming out news), titled "I Would Never Have Dreamed of Outing Anderson Cooper," the comedian explains what she thinks of the whole deal. As she makes clear in an emphatic line: "Well, there is an unspoken kind of DADT among the press, and Anderson’s party line only revealed part of it." But Griffin is clear about one thing, why she doesn't "out" people. As she states:
Believe it or not, I don’t “out” people. It is neither my business nor my desire. Remember, folks, I am a comedian, not a journalist. These weren’t questions where I could make a joke about Ryan Seacrest getting a mani/pedi. This isn’t a joke I make about whether Oprah and Gayle are gay lovers. I have no idea if Oprah and Gayle are gay lovers. I doubt they are, but as a comedian, I find some comedy in picturing those two girls running the world as a power couple. Anderson is someone who has led a very specific kind of professional life, who never talked and simultaneously exhibited social contradictions. And quite frankly, he never gave me permission to speak about something that represented the one part of his life he was not comfortable having confirmed in the media. But in my dealings with a certain sector of the press, that simply was never good enough.
Ultimately, Griffin sounds like a concerned friend (and mom) when she closes the piece with an expression of her concern that so many gay men and women have heard when coming out to their parents: "Here’s the thing: I love my friend Anderson and remain immensely proud of him. And I’m honored, truly, that he considers me a friend. But I just want him to be careful. Of course he wouldn’t be doing his job if he really were being careful. And he wouldn’t be who he is."
It's a refrain we've all heard: as if being a gay man means that you are in for an increase in harm or it's a death sentence. Although Griffin doesn't intend it to sound that way, it is a disappointing conclusion that, coming out as a gay man, seems to still cause people close to that person to gasp and worry. Hopefully Anderson Cooper will prove her wrong.