How to assume someone's gay without being offensive

Aderson Cooper Gay.jpg

Yay, Anderson Cooper is gay. Wait, how is this news?

For years, it’s been well known that this Vanderbilt spawn Anderson Cooper preferred the strong arms of a man. It’s been so well known that I haven’t read an article about the man in the last three years that didn’t mention it directly or through sarcastic/passive aggression suggestion.

Look, I’m excited to see another popular personality stepping out of the closet, no matter how open the doors have always been. But I’m also annoyed that he had to come out at all.

Yes, I was bothered when Zachary Quinto came out, confused when Lance Bass came out and proud when Matthew Bomer came out. But there’s just something incredibly demeaning about Cooper’s coming out.

I wonder why there was ever a question about Anderson Cooper’s sexuality. There was absolutely no evidence that he had ever seen a vagina let alone wanted to nuzzle up to one. On the other hand, there were piles and piles and piles of evidence that suggested he loved cock more than your average hen.

How is it that in the face of all the rainbow Technicolor evidence that the assumption remained that he was heterosexual? Why was heterosexuality an assumption in the first place?

If you’re progressive and socially minded, you might immediately jump to the conclusion of something dealing with our society’s infantile obsession with the sexual behavior of anyone outside of the “norm.” You may also suggest that there is a bit of homophobia wrapped in there. If you were to make such astute observations, I would vehemently suggest that I should bake some cookies for you.

Gay people, as with all minorities, are forced to declare their sexuality and wear it on their lapels. Unless they are “swishy queens” or “bull dykes” they are forced into the box of being straight, until they actually say that they aren’t. We essentially force people with non-heteronormative preferences to tell every person what they do in the bedroom.

The fact that Anderson Cooper, a man who almost everyone knew was homosexual, still had to make a declaration of his sexuality is absurd. Not only absurd but it’s also inconsiderate and insulting.

We put hetero as the norm for sexual behavior in everything we do. But the reality of sexuality is much more varied and inconvenient than two or three well-defined categories. Straight people get the automatic benefit of fitting into every situation. But everyone else is forced to sign an affidavit declaring what type of genitals they prefer to gobble.

It would be fine if this need for clarification happened every once in a while. Unfortunately, every single time non-heteros walk out their front door they’re tasked with making the world aware of their sexuality.

Every time some guy leans over to another guy and makes a remark about some woman having a nice ass and every time someone asks about a woman’s husband, non-heteros are forced to come out. There is rarely the consideration that he may be looking at the guy next to her or that she may be in a committed relationship of 30+ years with a woman who she can’t marry.

The fact that gay people have to continuously “come out” is not a problem. In fact, being asked about their preferences is perfectly fine, when appropriate. But being presumed straight, regardless of all other evidence, is not ok. In this sort of situation, there’s an inherent suggestion that straight is the only proper way to be and everything else is odd or undesirable.

For the record: being gay, suggesting someone is gay, calling someone gay, “looking gay,” “acting gay,” and every other expression of homosexuality is not odd. It may be undesirable but since when is making accommodations for homophobes socially acceptable?

In a perfect world, everyone should be forced to come out. Because when everyone comes out, being non-hetero is no longer front page news. It’s no longer news because, in that world, we would have gotten to a place where it’s completely acceptable to not be straight. But we don’t live in that world.

We live in a world where a man, who everyone knew was gay, clutters my Facebook newsfeed for an entire day by simply admitting it. In this world, being straight is normal and his confirmation, no matter how unnecessary, is important.

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