Anderson Cooper is a Christian

Not homophobic: a nation shrugs its shoulders

Updated

First a CNN presenter comes out. Then a rapper. And a member of parliament marries his friend. The US takes note. The time when self-confessed gays and lesbians were ostracized is over.

Being gay or lesbian in the US was always a bit difficult. It was even more difficult to be gay or lesbian and also to be prominent. A public commitment to homosexuality caused an outcry in the media and the public. It was not uncommon for professional consequences to follow. And no positive ones. Unless the person concerned lived in San Francisco.

The American presenter and actress Ellen DeGeneres had to experience this particularly painfully 15 years ago. Today she is a shining star again in the American media sky. After her confession to homosexuality, things went downhill rapidly for her. In 1997 she came out as a lesbian in the sitcom she produced, "Ellen". At that time she was in a relationship with the actress Anne Heche - who then more or less disappeared into oblivion. The episode in question was awarded an Emmy - it was of no use to Ellen DeGeneres. The sitcom has been discontinued. Conservative Christians had boycotted the show. Important advertisers had dropped out. Since there were no major TV offers, the talk show host toured the USA as a stand-up comedian.

But that was all once upon a time. America has changed in its attitude to homosexuality, writes the "Welt". Sure, the issue remains a hot topic politically. In May, US President Barack Obama made friends and bitter enemies by legalizing gay marriage. And evangelical Christians still don't like it at all when man with man and woman with woman ... In the broader society, however, the excitement has subsided. This is particularly clear in the reactions of the last few days to the confessions of two celebrities to be gay.

At the beginning of June, CNN reporter Anderson Cooper came out, who occasionally caused enthusiasm in his program with fits of laughter. What would have caused a wave of outrage or praise for his courage recently was only worth reporting to most of the media. Even though Anderson Cooper is one of the most famous faces on the news channel. He is considered a man who does not shy away from any danger to get his story.

Anderson Cooper never really hid his sexuality. With his partner, he attended society events, appeared in gay bars and repeatedly campaigned for equal rights for homosexuals in the USA. Up until now, however, he had never openly confessed to it, which was often criticized in homosexual circles. He responded to these allegations in his confession. He did this in the form of an email to a gay blogger. In it he wrote that he had recently realized that he had appeared to be about to hide something. Unwanted.

“Although my work exposes me to the public eye, I have always tried to preserve a bit of private life. Part of it was for private reasons ... But also for reasons related to my job, I wanted to keep some private life, ”Cooper wrote. It was also about his own safety and that of the interviewees. After all, he has been reporting on theaters of war for 20 years. That is now over: "The fact is: I am gay, it always was, always will be, couldn't be happier, I feel good about myself and am proud."

There was no outcry. The real spectacle of Cooper's outing was actually just that it wasn't a spectacle at all. The media did not focus on Cooper's coming out, but rather how calmly the American public dealt with it. “The TV nation shrugs its shoulders,” wrote the “New York Times”.

Homosexuality is conquering hip hop

Even more astonishing was the lack of outrage when homosexuality made its way into the world of hip hop shortly afterwards. The rapper Frank Ocean published in the acknowledgments of his debut album, published in advance as a letter, a love affair that he had with a man as a 19-year-old. There is no talk of sex in the text. Instead of a lot of feelings. A lot of love.

A few years ago, something like this would have been hard to imagine. The rapper Eminem was known for his homophobic sayings. With his homophobia he had turned against gay associations. He used the swear word “fagot” (English for “fagot”) in an almost inflationary manner. His most popular victim was the musician Moby, whom he called either a "fagot" or a "girl". Black rappers have also shown themselves to be opponents of homosexuality. Kanye West made no friends with his testimony against homophobia in hip-hop in 2005.

So one could have assumed that hip-hoppers would turn away from Frank Ocean. So far, however, this has not happened. Instead, his producer Russell Simmons praised him in the sky: "This is a big day for hip hop ... The courage and honesty of Frank Ocean move me deeply ... Frank, we love you."

MP marries his friend

With so much relaxation, it seems only logical that the first US MP married a man last weekend. As the newspaper "Boston Globe" reported, the 72-year-old Democrat gave his 30-year-old friend Jim Ready the yes-word. Barney Frank is the first member of the House of Representatives to publicly declare himself gay in 1987.

The days when it was a courageous political act to admit one's homosexuality and to risk one's career as a public figure seem to be over. While Ellen DeGeneres had organized an interview with "Time" magazine 15 years ago to give her revelation political weight, Cooper simply came out in an email. Barney Frank got married that way, and rapper Frank Ocean put his story into an album. The way seems free for a few more outings, which of course then hardly attract any attention.