Rachel Maddow Urges Gay People to Come Out

In an interview with The Guardian this week, MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, an openly gay news anchor, made some interesting comments when asked if she feels frustration toward “an equally well-known news presenter who is widely assumed to be gay but has never come out?”

Her response, “I’m sure other people in the business have considered reasons why they’re doing what they’re doing,” she answers, “but I do think that if you’re gay you have a responsibility to come out.”

The comments created a buzz that suggested she was “outing” CNN’s Anderson Cooper.  Cooper is an especially popular news anchor and has been widely rumored to be gay, although he has never confirmed or denied those assumptions. 

Out of respect for Mr. Cooper, or perhaps to provide clarity, Rachel responded on her site.

“Regarding The Guardian interview that’s getting a lot of pickup today: in that interview, I wasn’t asked about Anderson Cooper, I didn’t say anything about him, he literally was never discussed during the interview at all — even implicitly.

I don’t tend to be shy when I criticize — you wouldn’t have to read between the lines if that’s what I was trying to do.

I’ve long held three basic beliefs about the ethics of coming out:

       *Gay people — generally speaking — have a responsibility to our own community and to future generations of gay people to come out, if and when we feel that we can.

       *We should all get to decide for ourselves the “if and when we feel that we can” part of that.

      * Closeted people should reasonably expect to be outed by other gay people if (and only if) they prey on the gay community in public, but are secretly gay themselves.

  I also believe that coming out makes for a happier life, but that’s not a matter of ethics, that’s just corny advice.”

While it is clear Ms. Maddow is talking about gay news anchors as a whole and not specifically one individual person, she draws on a good point.  Ultimately, this comes down to visibility.  It is not that Anderson Cooper needs to be the one person who comes out as a result of this interview, it is more about the idea that if every gay person was out and visible in the media, it wouldn’t be an issue as to whether Mr. Cooper was gay or not.

Part of the reason we have issues with LGBTQ youth, self-esteem and bullying is because we don’t have enough positive role models of gay people in the media.  While numbers are increasing with the visibility of gay people like Rachel Maddow, young people need to see positive, successful gay people in various industries in order to be able to feel confident that yes, they can have a positive life too.

So, I agree with Rachel.  Come out, news anchors.  Come out everyone “if you feel that you can.”  We certainly “have a responsibility to our community and future generations of gay people.”

What do you think? Do gay people have a responsibility to their community to come out?

Related Stories:

Rapper Receives Death Threats For Titling Album “I’m Gay”

Suicide, Shame, Name-Calling and Cures: The State of Coming Out In America

Was This Soccer Coach Forced to Resign For Coming Out?


Photo Credit: Walker


Drew C.
Drew C.5 years ago

Juanita, you say marriage is for procreation. Why then are people not pushing to ban the elderly from marrying each other? Or the infertile individuals? Or simply the people who choose not to have kids? The specific quotes on homosexuality are in Leviticus, which was a holy code written to the Jews, and for the Jews only, which is why we don't, in modern days, follow the codes on not wearing clothes that are made of two or more different materials, eating shellfish or pork, women wearing gold jewelry, and so many more. Homosexuality was forbidden by the Jews to keep them separate from the surrounding communities. Homosexuality back then was completely different than what we have today. Back then it was in worship to Baal, along with many other sex acts. Identifying as a homosexual was not a sin, but going out and having homosexual sex just for the pleasure of it and in worship of other gods that were not our one True God was. That's what God was correcting. Even in the New Testament in Paul's letters he takes this stance. He never once states that being a homosexual is a sin, but rather if you take it in context, he is talking about homosexual acts for sinful reasons and not homosexuality as we understand it today. I can go on and on. If you're going to use the Bible as a reference, you should probably study it then. And if none of that fazes you, the Bible strictly forbids women from voicing their opinions in public, but you probably knew that since you know the Bible so wel

Anne Cole
.5 years ago

Juanita, take your bible humping somewhere else.

Juanita G.
Juanita Ricard5 years ago

Eveyone must make choices. Too bad that some make bad choices. Jesus Christ gave His Life to keep us from sin. He offers a better way. There are many homosexuals, lesbians, drug addicts, prostitutes, rapists, murderers, etc who have accepted Jesus as their personal Savior, and now they no longer have a desire to do those things anymore and now they are truly happy. Man was made for woman and woman for man. Marriage should only be between them, not between same sex persons. However, no one should be hateful towards those who choose wrong. Jesus said to love all people and to be kind. Show them a better way. then they will change and become what they should. Marriage is for procreation. That can only be done between man and wife. The Bible teaches that any nation that legalizes what God has forbidden will be destroyed. Look throughout history. You will see that this is true. Choose you this day whom you will serve-God or flesh.

Kai Steeves
Kai S5 years ago

I will freely tell people if asked. I don't hide who I am. It is my hope that by being myself, and being honest, that others will have an easier time in the future, even though it may at times make things harder for me now. I am not ashamed of who I am (even if some people get really confused when I attept to explain it to them). Some are harder to hide, I'm trans (GenderQueer FTM to be more precise) so that shows in my behaviour and how I dress and act. However, my being bi and asexual are less noticable, though I don't try to hide those aspects either.

Hopefully, through the courage of those who come out now, all future generations will grow up not caring if they, or those around them, are LGBT or straight. Hopefully they will recognize that all people are simply that, people.

Annmari Lundin
Annmari Lundin6 years ago

Bobbie T.: I'm not just gay in my bedroom. I'm gay 24/7. And I do NOT tell anyone what I do in my bedroom. (Anyone who knows me assume I sleep!) Can't figure out how you come to know so much about bedroom behaviour among gays...........

Nicole Oliva
Nicole O6 years ago

people need to relax and realize homosexuality is as old as time...it has been recorded in Greece, Ancient Egypt and I'm sure every other ancient culture that has been. Its always been and will always be...so just get over it already

Claudia McCall
Claudia McCall6 years ago

The sins of Sodom and Gomorrah were legion, chief among them being inhospitality, a sin very costly to life among civilizations that sprang up around desert cultures. The sexual sin of Sodom and Gomorrah was described as a "breach of the orders", i.e., sex between human beings and angels (the "men" that Lot showed hospitality to, that the men of Sodom and Gomorrah wanted to rape, were the angels God had sent to deliver Lot and his family to safety, and then destroy those two cities).

The seriousness/consequences of the sin of breaching the orders is illustrated in Genesis 6 where we first encounter the Nephilim, the offspring of the "sons of God" (fallen angels) and human women. Genesis goes on to describe the corruption of mankind, and how that corruption had polluted the earth. God made His plan to do away with mankind and cleanse the earth simultaneously with the Flood.

He chose Noah and his family to re-populate the earth because Noah was "just" (before Christ, and the concept of being justified by grace, Noah was justified by his devotion and obedience to God), and "perfect in his generations" (his line was devoid of Nephilim). That Sodom and Gomorrah committed a breach of the orders is reinforced in Jude 6-8.

Tricia Hamilton
Tricia Hamilton6 years ago

I have ben fighting for benefits for the Gay community and I am not even Gay. Come out and Stand up for your rights People.
United we stand, divided we Fall!!

Robert G.
Robert G6 years ago

Well said ruth a.

ruth a.
ruth a6 years ago

I pray for a time when it doesn't matter.