After years of living openly but still refusing to put his personal life on record, Anderson Cooper finally came out this morning in a touching and honest letter. For years, he maintained secrecy in order to not become a story himself and to a lesser extent, to remain protected while covering dangerous stories in far away places, but ultimately, he decided those pros of being quiet didn’t outweigh the cons of openly admitting who he is and what he believes.

The argument for openness goes something like this: studies have shown people tend to be more accepting of homosexuality when they have contact with friends and family members who are openly gay. Because Cooper is a well-liked journalist with a spotless reputation who appears regularly on television, some of his viewers who might not be comfortable with homosexuality may alter their thinking patterns thanks to knowing someone they like is attracted to the same sex.

The argument against openness goes something like this: Cooper, in theory, is supposed to be a completely objective voice to ask questions. Because gay rights is such a controversial issue, he’s no longer able to cover the story without viewers knowing he has a clear bias. This could both affect his ability to receive honest answers and his ability to book people with dissenting opinions on his show.

Cooper’s big reveal has drawn much excitement from both those inside the gay community and those who simply support it. Not surprisingly, there’s also been a small bit of backlash today from individuals who are either a) opposed to homosexuality or b) forwarding the argument I outlined above. Personally, I’m happy for Anderson, but I wonder how this might affect his career.

You’d like to think we’re past the days of someone’s personal life mattering, but in the case of a journalist, this could actually affect his long-term career trajectory. With both a daily talkshow and a nightly news show, Cooper needs to relate to a wide percentage of potential fans. Ellen DeGeneres has proven you can still have great success if you’re likeable and funny enough. You would think Cooper possesses some of those same qualities, but I suppose we won’t actually know until we see whether his ratings were affected at all.

What do you think? Was coming out a good career move for Anderson Cooper? Let us know your thoughts by voting in the poll below…

Was Coming Out A Good Career Move?

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