Out Spots Anderson Cooper in the Glass Closet

1. David Geffen
2. Anderson Cooper
3. Ellen DeGeneres
4. Tim Gill
5. Barney Frank
6. Rosie O’Donnell
7. The New York Times Gay Mafia: Richard Berke, Ben Brantley, Frank Bruni, Stuart Elliott, Adam Nagourney, Stefano Tonchi, and Eric Wilson
8. Marc Jacobs
9. Andrew Tobias
10. Brian Graden
11. Jann Wenner
12. Andrew Sullivan
13. Suze Orman
14. Joe Solmonese
15. Fred Hochberg
16. Christine Quinn
17. Perez Hilton
18. Scott Rudin
19. John Aravosis
20. Sheila Kuehl
21. James B. Stewart
22. Nick Denton
23. Tom Ford
24. Nate Berkus
25. Adam Moss
26. Jim Nelson
27. Lorri L. Jean
28. Adam Rose
29. Annie Leibovitz
30. Simon Halls and Stephen Huvane
31. Bryan Lourd
32. Bryan Singer
33. Jonathan Burnham
34. Brian Swardstrom
35. Robert Greenblatt
36. Chi Chi LaRue
37. Dan Mathews
38. Neil Meron and Craig Zadan
39. Ingrid Sischy
40. Marc Cherry
41. Carolyn Strauss
42. Irshad Manji
43. Jodie Foster
44. Christine Vachon
45. André Leon Talley
46. Hilary Rosen
47. Matthew Marks
48. Benny Medina
49. Mitchell Gold
50. David Kuhn


  1. says

    I saw this on perez hilton and wasn’t sure if it was real or not. he was ranked 17. The story that has me really interested is Bananarama: Large men in small shorts 😉

  2. says

    Love Michael and love OUT’s tactics with this cover. I know people whine about privacy and the pain of coming out, but those are outweighed in my opinion by fairness. Why is it okay to reveal every intimate detail of stars’ sex lives, taxes, jail stints, rehabs, and yet gay or not gay is verboten? It’s juvenile. I also think it’s provocative of OUT to include them on a list of gay power people, because it underscores that while closeted, stars still wield power, making it all the more regrettable that they don’t pull a Suze and admit the obvious in a yeah-so? way.

  3. Dan says

    I love that they published this story. It’s not shameful to be gay, so speculating about someone’s sexuality, especially when clues are dropped so openly (like Jodie shopping with her partner in public) is OK in my book. They aren’t kidding anyone, and being reluctant to officially come out is an act of profound personal and civic cowardice.

  4. JT says

    I swear to almighty Judy, if Leland writes one nasty thing about Mr. Anderson Cooper, I will rip his nasty typing fingers out one-by-one.

  5. MT says

    Can we all agree that Perez Hilton is a disgusting toad and should be banned from gaydom forever. Being associated with him in any way makes me want to go screaming back into the closet.

  6. Leland says

    Chi Chi LaRue above Neil Meron and Craig Zadan? Chi Chi LaRue at all????!!!! Why not include Reichen? After all, he’s a legend in his own mind.

    This list only proves that OUT’s owners may have changed last year but it, like Genre, like Instinct, remains mindless, mediocre, and meaningless—yet too expensive and too slickly coated to be functional even as toilet paper.

  7. hollywood says

    No problem with Musto outing the semi-closeted (how about Kevin Spacey????), but that power list is one of the lamest ones I’ve ever seen. Especially in terms of gay men in Hollywood…Rudin is 10 times more influential than Graden is. And Chi Chi LaRue? Are they serious? Why not put Lady Bunny and RuPaul on the list if you’re gonna go there…

  8. m says

    wow. The magazine may have just made itself worth the paper it’s printed on. I can’t believe they finally had the balls. Weren’t there any gay-playing straight actors to put on the cover this month?

  9. Toby says

    Tha’t the point, M — the gay celebrities that OUT should be putting on its cover are closeted; How many out A list celebs can you count. Give the mag a break. And read it for once. It’s been worth ther money it’s printed on for a while.

  10. JT says

    Golly, I recognized (maybe) ten names on the list…and most of those were due to Towleroad or PBS.

  11. the other jeff says

    I call bullshit on this list. The magazine will out Jodie Foster and Anderson Cooper, but it dare not put Tom Cruise on it? Pussies.

  12. Leland says

    1. If they have such balls, where is Barry Diller’s name or do they think his marriage to Diana von Fuckingberg is the result of his having graduated from Jesus Camp?

    2. How silly of me to wonder how Chi Chi made the list—free blowjobs, of course.

    3. Thanks for waking me up, Toby. I see from the list of articles below in their current edition that OUT has indeed turned into “The New Yorker” with beefcake.

    The List
    Ari Gold vs. Ari Gold, what Ali Larter has to hide, and more

    A New Switcheroo
    In his new movie, gay hottie Mario Diaz plays a straight guy pretending to be…gay. Got that?

    Animal Magnetism
    Backyard Habitat host David Mizejewski talks about boys, his new show, and being mauled by a bird. Plus, out director Marco Kreuzpaintner tackles the sex trade industry in his new movie.

    Mama’s Boys
    Colm Tóibín talks about his new short-story collection, Mothers and Sons, and the power of what isn’t said.

    Just Another Queer Icelandic Band
    Gus Gus talks about their latest album and being 56% gay (which is 21% more than Tommy Hansen).

    How to Blackmail a Celebrity
    A lucrative second career for personal assistants and domestic help

    Destinations: Designers’ Picks
    Five top style setters tell us what to do, where to eat, and how to play in their favorite cities.

    Liquid Assets
    Is that a cucumber in your cocktail, or are you just happy to see us?

    We Want Our Web TV!
    Short-form gay television shows are the next next thing online.

    Josh Kilmer-Purcell
    Little faggots, big faggots, and everything in between

    Dale Peck
    The Lookout is an impressive directorial debut: Memento meets In Cold Blood.

    Jesse Archer
    Why the heroes of the world need the “bad guys”


    The Real Life of a Bel Ami Boy
    Filip Trojovsky´ (a.k.a. “Tommy Hansen”) was a rising young star of the legendary adult video company, but gave up a lucrative career to pursue acting. Out goes to Prague to explore the world’s gay porn capital and find out what really goes on in front of the cameras.

    Basic Instinct
    Will Doig explores why straight boys love to lead us on.

    Desert Queens
    Michael Joseph Gross goes to Palm Springs, Calif., to meet the queer pioneers who blazed a trail long before Stonewall.

    Ugly Is Beautiful
    Why a TV show about a Latina working-class girl from Queens is rocking the world of gay and straight audiences alike

    Suits Us
    The power of the classic men’s dress-up uniform

    Mary Poppins has nothing on our umbrella fantasy.

    Baubles, bangles, and jewels


  13. says

    It’s too bad that a magazine titled “OUT” couldn’t find 50 “out” gays and lesbians to include on their so-called gay “Power 50.”

    So instead they decide to go the Perez Hilton route and resort to his tactics? Classy.

    I’m all for people in the public eye coming out as gay, but should a magazine really be making that decision for them?

  14. davidian says

    Why in the hell does Jodi Foster have to have an interview to tell everyone she is gay? It is quite obvious to her fans and no one seems to care. I think that living one’s life with dignity and class is WAY more important than being a mascot for a community that, apparently, eats its own. Shows where this society is when mean, catty gossip columnists are regarded more highly than oscar winning, intelligent actresses. She has said that the reason she won’t discuss her private life is because she grew up in the spotlight and she knows the value of having that wall. She transcends who she sleeps with and isn’t that what the “gay movement” is currently about? Peace.

  15. says

    Perez Hilton belongs on the list absolutely, regardless of whether you like him. He’s definitely got power…he’s gay and has the daily eyes of 2-4 million people. Icing on the cake is that he’s out and brings up gay issues frequently. Haven’t seen the rest of the list so can’t comment on it, but I don’t see any porn directors having true power and 2 is probably too high for Anderson. But getting Suze on the list so fast was smart. It’s a brilliant cover and it makes me eager to read the list.

  16. James C. says

    What about Billie Jean King? She’s been racking up awards and public recognition for almost a year for her decades of leadership. She had a whole national sports complex named after her in the most important city in the world for Christ’s sake. Talk about an oversight!

  17. Leland says

    Yet again someone has taken the equivalent of an anti-intellectual dump on Towleroad by insisting that “everyone” knows a particular celebrity is gay, this time, Jodie Foster.

    This is absurd, willful stupidity. Please, sir, I trust you don’t own any weapons, drive a motor vehicle on public roadways, or are entrusted with the care of defenseless animals or children.

  18. says

    There is no class and dignity in being in the closet “Davidian.”

    Anderson Cooper is a big deal (who went back in the closet after hitting it big.) Jodie Foster hasn’t been able to “open” a movie in years.

    Barry Diller left the studio suites well over a decade ago. His disinterest in coming out is as one with his disinterest in humanity.

    Chi-Chi LaRue has brought pleasure to millions — which is more than I can say of La Spacey.

    Tom Cruise? Hell, why isn’t Oprah on this list?

  19. RB says

    Well I have posted MANY times that anyone and everyone should be able to come out when THEY are ready and not before! When, if ever, Anderson and Jody come out is their business! Does anyone remember how difficult it was? I do and it took far too long. However, I have taken a new stance, I suppose I waited until my parents came out and told me they were straight before I told them I was gay! Really….get some business of you own and leave others in the closet if they so choose.

  20. Leland says

    You make Diller sound like an mute invalid, hidden away in a VIP nursing home on Corfu. The OUT list does not limit itself to current studio-connected people, and even less to those who have outed themselves. Diller is still very much a power player and broker whom the NYT declared the highest paid executive in the country in 2005. Reports vary, but some are as high as $469 million.

    He is Chairman/CEO of IAC/Interactive which owns, among other entities, the Home Shopping Network, Match.com, and Ticketmaster, and has 20,000 employees.

    Given, David, that Michaelangelo Signorile has quoted your book in his column, you’re well aware he outed Diller years ago, and that, unlike his inclusion of Foster in the list of Hollywood closet cases, references from other sources to Diller’s gay ways, including being listed by Michael Ovitz as one of the “Gay Mafia” who allegedly hurt him professionally.

    In sum, if OUT were a serious magazine writing a serious article about powerful gays, whether or not they have personally declared their sexuality, they would have included Diller.

  21. Toby says

    Well, ChiChi may be the most powerful purveyor of gay porn in America and, whether you like it or not, porn influences culture: advertising, fashion, music.
    And Leland, there’s a reason Diller and Cruise are not on this list. They would sue, and close down the mag. Grow up!

  22. Jack! says

    HOW DARE OUT MAGAZINE DO THIS! They don’t even put gay men on the cover.

    PlanetOut Inc. has NO credibility when is comes to gay issues. Out, Out Traveler, and The Advocate month after month put STRAIGHT unknown actors, models, athletes etc. on the cover. They (straight unknowns) say this and that about gay people while they do nothing for gay people but want our money. It’s not brave to say you like gay people to a gay publication when you are straight. You can go back to your life and act like it never happened. Which is what often happens. Where are the GAY unknowns? Just being out is a lot.

  23. SGR says

    If we’re talking about closeted gays with power, you can’t get more powerful than the very homosexual and very Republican Congressman David Dreier. Who has real power. But, no, they have to go after Jody Foster cause she has the power to, um, be in movies. How ballsy!

  24. lambman says

    I don’t think Perez has any power, at most you could say influence, but certainly not power. The reason he has no power is that his site has no point of view. He just mindlessly puts out pictures of celebrities. Without trying to say anything original for yourself how can you have power?

  25. Ted B. (Charging Rhino) says

    Without a cheat-list, I have no idea who 2-3’s of their “honorees” are; therefore I’m less than impressed. Casually, it looks like it’s weighted to entertainment and celebrity…rather than politics, business or acutual influence on events and people.


  26. Leland says

    Toby, get your hand out of your pants and try to pay attention. Maybe masturbation can destroy your mind, but blame Chi Chi not moi. I wrote nothing about Cruise, and, as noted, Diller was outed by Signorile years ago and never sued.

  27. says

    Don’t get up on your High Pony, Leland. I was in the room when the late, great Richard Rouilard did his damndest to get Barry to come out — a great many years ago. The main thing is this cover story should be about the Out and Proud. How “powerful” they may or may not be is relative. Power coems and goes in Hollywood. Right now Ellen is more powerful than at any point in her career. I would have put T. R. Knight on the cover and/or Doogie. No one gives a shit about Jodie and Anderson Cooper is fast becoming the Clay Aiken of the Carriage Trade.

  28. gwyneth cornrow says

    actually i’m really sick of d-list celebrities trying to revive their careers by coming out. I think being a fag should be like being a jew (but without the circumcision). you have to be chosen. you can’t just convert when you feel like it. and i think they should start issuing cards too, just so everyone’s on the same page.

  29. Duane says

    Whether anyone likes it or not, it remains the personal choice of any person, famous or not whether they wish to come out of the closet or stay in. Every one of us at some point grapples to some degree with coming out. For some it’s a no brainer, others it’s something they’ll never do. Regardless, it is their choice. They have absolutely no obligation to do so and we should respect their decisions just as much as we would want to be respected ourselves. Becoming successful does not strip one of his or her humanity and though we may want them to stand up and be counted, if they don’t want to, so be it.

  30. davidian says

    David, how long ago was Flightplan? anyway, the point is, and others have brought it up, is that there are far more deserving people who ARE out. I guess OUT magazine only sees value in gossip. peace.

  31. Paul H. says

    I have zero patience for people who won’t come out, especially when they’re sheltered by money and status—and even more so when they work in entertainment or media, where being gay is so common. As for this list, what about Dan Savage? He’s among the more effective, eloquent out media figures, and certainly makes inroads to and increases understanding of gay issues among his straight readers. I’m well read, but I don’t know half the people on this list. Almost everyone remotely hip (straight or gay) knows who Dan Savage is, probably more than who know Michael Musto. Like a lot of media, Out is overly NYC-centric, but it’s not nearly the fluff/soft porn that Genre and Instinct are. All gay mags (including Details—talk about closeted!) could do with more substance and fewer spreads of unaffordable fashion. As for Barry Diller, there’s never been a remote question about him being gay. I’m sure he only got married because he’s a greedy jerk, and wanted the tax benefits.

  32. resurrect says

    “the power 50″ – fucking UGH. another typical faggy “list”! what is it with the need to have so many goddamn lists of who’s hot/what’s in/where’s everyone going/blah blah blah. it’s absolutely the laziest journalistic assignment and the gay media has fetishized it into our signature contribution to culture. it’s a complete wankfest of a few “media” types who have to come up w/ a few column inches now that next year’s colors and denim treatments have been set & laid to rest. boring, self-obsessed “A-list” celebrity that will only give you “power” at cocktail parties from the “bi-coastal” crowd, the article will go out with the coffee grounds and used condoms with the next trash bag. finally – to repeat the others on here – Chi Chi LaRue? Perez Hilton? POWERFUL? anyone who wonders why we aren’t treated with equality might ponder the relationship between “our” media, our lack of political strength and the withered, impotent sense of power we continue to celebrate in these juvenile lists.

    oh yeah – where was towleroad, jockohomo and all the other great gay blogs that are virtually the only authentic, participatory gay community we have left? THIS HERE – brothers and sisters – is where power resides.

  33. anon says

    ^^Nice points!

    I think it was Perez himself that inspired the list. Out has to compete with bloggers now and he’s the one to target. They seem to be playing by the same rules too: avoid the people who can do some real damage and go after well-known small fry.

    As MM would probably say: Musto’s puns are musty, why do we listen to what he has to say?

  34. In Because of Stuff Like This says

    This list isn’t fair. Maybe Anderson doesn’t want to be relegated to the gay ghetto like all those other clowns on the list. People who when asked for an adjective describe them, ‘gay’ is the first word that pops up. Just because he’s a success story, doesn’t mean the gay community has a right to bring him down 10 notches.

    This list is a disservice to the community and offensive to myself and others who choose not to be a flaming queers. I wasn’t born to flame–deal with it. Furthermore, I don’t need a shitty rag of a magazine that’s in the Embarrassing & Sleazy Section on Barnes and Noble shelves (next to Penthouse) to speak for me or Anderson or anyone the right way to live our lives.

    Musto–stop trying to play catch up with Perez. Your relevance is fading and this is the best you can do?

  35. says

    1. Out’s shame.

    This Out list is unjournalistic, criminal, and downright shameful!! – And please, don’t tell me how it’s “not shameful to be gay” – this has absolutely nothing to do with it: Gossip are journalism are not intercheangable, nor they should never be. A magazine wishing to be taken seriously in the community cannot get away with establishing a list of powerful LGBT people through relying on trash gossip tactics, or else it has to be treated as tabloid fodder. Along with National Enquirer.

    But Out doesn’t stop there in their unjournalistic endeavour: they take it into bullying and humiliation territory by putting models holding up masks of Anderson and Jodie for their cover, which sends the message to any closeted LGBT that it could be them — How could this idea gone past the editors? How can they justify crossing such a line? imo it’s time we start denouncing this. HRC should denounce it. All the personalities included in this list should decry it. So must the rest of us [I intend to send them my letter about it] http://www.out.com/contact.asp

    2. Perez’s shame.

    I’m not sure why Perez should be included in a list of decent LGBT in the public eye – first, where’s the proof that he is a “gay” man at all? For all his incling to self-expose, I’ve never once seen him with a boyfriend in all his Hollywood time. Not my definition of an out & proud “gay” man, which he demands of others to be (does the talkin’, but won’t do the walkin’). As Reichen rightfully said before : “Because he claims he is gay, let me point out that I do not consider Mr. Lavendeira to be gay, at all. He is merely a pervert who has a fascination with drug use, other people’s sex-lives, body fluids, and what we all do in our bedrooms and private lives.”

    I’m not convinced that Perez is a typical “gay” man either, but I do know he has sociopathic-like tendencies (which are manisfested by his lack of empathy, guilt, impulses control or sense of responsibility) — And I don’t think his entreprise has hurt only the gay community; it’s also promoted sexism, cruelty, and general nastiness in the blogosphere and beyond..I spend a lot of time online, and I can honestly say there was before-and-after PerezHilton.com in terms of civility and humanity. and it’ll take years to revert it.

    This is precisely why I said he should have been denounced a long time ago by our rights organisations..Granted, most didn’t know how to react to this new form of evil, so he’s been allowed to profit from it. But articles like Out’s remind me why it’s important to stand up for what’s right and denounce wrong asap (and no matter who does it) – And I’m sure if Perez had been a “gay” GOP follower, and Out a conservative owned mag, there would no hesitation about condemning them. But what’s wrong is wrong.

  36. GaYToR says

    “Golly, I recognized (maybe) ten names on the list…and most of those were due to Towleroad or PBS. – Posted by: JT”

    I have to agree with JT… The only reason I recognize most of the names I do recognize on this list is thanks to Towleroad.

    If this list were at all credible we would see Andy Towle on that list, and pretty high up on it.

  37. Jackson says

    Musto lost me when I saw Mario aka Perez Hilton on that list.

    Perez Hilton is a laughing stock in my gay world. I don’t claim him, and anyone who does is the real self-loathing head case.

    Michael Musto, your envy is showing.

  38. Jack! says

    Everytime Gywneth Cornrow is on this site she insults gay people. You are a shameful person.

    Resurrect you should know better with the language. It’s unacceptable.

  39. Marjorie Mistletoe says

    Thank goodness that a magazine is finally outing gay and bisexual male celbrities. I am personally tired of this invisible closet door behind which hide an assortment of male celebrities who are known to be gay/bisexual in small circles but don’t want the wider public to know about it. More power to Out magazine for doing this.

  40. JT says

    OK boys and girls: here’s a challenge:

    How many of you who are so indignant about people not coming out are using pseudonyms? How many of you have the guts to use you REAL NAMES on Towleroad? How many of you would be willing to post your actual names and locations today.

    That’s what I thought.

  41. Marco says

    I’d do it JT, but my boyfriend – we’ll call him Dom Kruz – would be pissed.

  42. Paul says

    Two more which occur to me are Rev. Mel White (his group Soulforce is making lots of waves) and, in the closet alongside Anderson and Jodie, Tom Shales, TV critic of the Washington Post.

  43. Will T says

    OK, JT, somewhat indignant but not so indignant to want to potentially invite an internet stalker or some deranged jack ass who’d think it would be fun to harrass me. Too many times have I heard of the difficulties people have had and I refuse to actively go there. But at least I use my real first name and last initial and a real email address that I check everyday. So while partially indignant I will only partially identify myself. BTW, no one who knows me for more than a week does not know that I am gay and I am in a profession where being gay can be a problem. I’ve chosen to be honest, not a sell out. I’d rather be open and honest and risk my career than live a lie or be forced to tell a lie.

  44. atheist says

    As a UK resident, I have not had the opportunity to peruse this esteemed publication. However, I thought the whole point of influence as a gay person is that your gayness is known and that therefore your ability to influence isn’t conditional upon your staying in the closet.

    They should stick to lsting those who are out otherwise the whole thing becomes yet another futile speculation/outing fest….In any event, let’s face it, it’s a pretty pointless exercise in the first place…

  45. says

    …Nate Berkus was essentially forced out of the closet after losing his partner in the Indian Ocean tsunami; if it weren’t for that extremely unfortunate event, I’m not sure he *would have* stepped out. No doubt, the loyal purse strings of the Oprah audience were holding him back…

  46. JT says

    It never ceases to amaze me that political conservatives (Matthew Schooler – my friend, and Cyd Ziegler) use their real names. I’ve used my last name (Stout) on several Towleroad postings–I stopped because I was posting from work (big no-no) and I was on the “watch list.”

    There are many closets, dear hearts, and we ALL select which ones we’re going to close ourselves in depending on the circumstances: some to protect spouses, children, or pets from stalkers; some to keep our names clear for the top secret security clearances we have; some to keep the perv in the next cubicle from constantly dropping his pencil. It is possible that gay men and women who are famous but prefer not to be openly gay could do much good for society if they were “out.” It is also possible that they could become “famous ‘gay’ people” and would no longer be treated as famous except with the appendant ‘gay.’ I don’t doubt that many men want Mr. Cooper to come out simply to titillate. Others, I’m sure, think that he could do good from his lofty position in TV news. However, the choices and the situational risks in which closets he or Ms. Foster or any other person are in are theirs alone to weigh.

    Will T, I am NOT passing any sort of judgement on you or anyone else regarding how you post. I respect those of us who elect to use pen names or pseudonyms (reminiscent of CB handles). That’s a choice we make to remain in a particular type of closet because of risks that have been weighed. If my earlier post is interpreted as indignant, it’s not meant to be.

  47. Derrick from PHilly says

    I guess black, Asian & Latino homosexuals must be something other than “gay” ’cause only two made the list, and I aint sure what they call themselves. And y’all wonder why we have these separate black gay pride events all over the place, which are just as silly as the white ones.

    Yeah, I took my “evil queen” pill this morning–just couldn’t drink it down with Bourbon…today ‘s a work day.

  48. SGR says

    Derrick, you can’t take lists like this seriously.  Magazines live and die on advertising.  They have to keep it light and frothy.  

    It’s precisely because Jody Foster and Anderson Cooper have no real power that they’re on the cover.  And because Congressman David Dreier and Barry Diller are very powerful, they’re not on the list.  

    The editors of New York magazine (#25) and GQ (#26) are on the list.  Sure, they’re gay males, but they’re hardly powerful in “America.”  What has either New York or GQ published in the past decade that really accomplished anything, other than selling advertising and helping its readers with style tips and gabbing about trends that may or not materialize?  Nothing.  They’re both good magazines.  But they report trends, they don’t set trends, and the really important thing they do is host advertising. What power does Marc Jacobs (#8) have except to give Out advertising?  Everyone knows that designers don’t set trends anymore, so why is a designer so high on this list?

    Call me cynical, but I see these lists as a way for editors to suck up to other more powerful media folk.  There are powerful non-white gays in America, but they can’t help Out editors down the road, so they’ll never make the cut.  Besides, who wants to read about boring grassroutes leaders who actually do substantive things for gays when, hey, the editor of a New York listings magazine is gay!  (This week’s cover story: “Office Life: Do you have to be a jerk to succeed?”)

  49. Zeke says

    JT, you are seriously comparing apples and oranges here my friend. There may be a point to be made against “outing” but your example is contrived and doesn’t seem irrelevant.

    Here are a few apples/apples questions to consider:

    1) Is there a difference between “reporting”, “speculating” and “outing”?

    2) Why do we call “reporting” on the lives of gay celebrities “outing” while we call the “outing” of straight celebrities (when we report on their relationships, their private lives, their arrests, their cheating) “reporting”?

    3) Is there not a certain amount of residual homophobia evident in how gay people still seem to believe that being called gay “takes a celebrity down a notch” or when we use words like “accusation” and “accused” to refer to a statement that someone is gay and when use phrases like “vicious gossip” to describe speculation about a person’s sexual orientation? I think so.

    and finally:

    4) Do we believe that gay CELEBRITIES have a special right to privacy that isn’t afforded to straight celebrities? Why are we fine with intentionally dishonest reports about a gay male celebrity’s latest passionate affair with the next hot big boobed beard but then we go absolutely apoplectic when someone has the audacity to report on the sighting of a gay celebrity with his real love interest? Has anyone here who intends to contact Out magazine over this ever contacted Entertainment Tonight, People Magazine, The National Enquirer or ANY other publication to complain about their reporting on the “private” lives of straight celebrities?

    Is it not obvious to everyone that “celebrity privacy” is an oxymoron. Is it not clear to EVERYONE who PERSUES celebrity and public adoration that they, like EVERY other celebrity THROUGHOUT HISTORY, will have to sacrifice a great deal of privacy to be a celebrity? This seems to be a big case of wanting one’s cake and eating it too. People want to be adored and have people WANT TO want to know everything about them; they just don’t want them to actually want to know everything about them.

    I’m not endorsing vicious, bitter outing of ANYONE. I’m just trying to point out that we in the gay community seem to have one set of standards for ourselves and another set for straight people. We get angry when straight people treat us with different standards of what is acceptable and what isn’t, but we seem not to notice when we do the same to ourselves.

    I don’t have a problem with Cooper and Foster being on the list. That seems completely appropriate to me (even though many of the others seem questionable). Where I DO take exception to Out is with the cover picture. In my opinion it was the COVER that took a legitimate story and gave it the unsavory appearance that the magazine was trying to be clever with their, not so subtle, editorializing and that is where, in my opinion, they went from “reporting” to “outing”. It was unnecessary and distracting.

  50. Zeke says

    And RB, another dear friend, I take exception to a couple of things in your comment as well, though I’ll spare everyone here another one of my overly long, rambling responses.

  51. Zeke says

    Everyone PLEASE ignore the flame bomb thrown by the obvious troll SLOPPYSECONDS.

    Rather than feeding the troll consider going to the “send a tip” link at the top of the page and report him/her to Andy.

    Once this is brought to his attention Andy will deal with it quickly and appropriately.

  52. NancyDrew says

    OK, Perez Hilton Is A Fat Pig Not Worry To Be on Any List Other Than My Shit List! And What About Barry Manilow????? That Queen Has Been In The Closet Soooo Long He Has Become A Garment Bag!!!! And Out The Fact That He Is Also HIV Positive Tooo.

  53. Jamie says

    i still dont understand the point of outing people who obviously dont feel that part of their lives should be the business of others.

  54. anon says

    We’ve all had these conversations many times before. The point of not outing someone is that such information can do them real harm, which isn’t the case when “outing” a straight couple. The term is now used in other contexts, such as “outing” of an undercover CIA agent or the “outing” of news sources. Now, would a responsible journalist hand out the phone numbers of their sources? Bank account numbers? Social Security numbers? Certain information, when made public, can cause real harm. Now, if you the most powerful gay man or women in America, outing you is unlikely to do any harm, but such considerations must be made.

  55. Zeke says

    I understand your point ANON. On the surface things seem so “cut and dry” but I often find that even the most seemingly “cut and dry” issues are actually much more complex than one might imagine. I always try to delve beneath the “cut and dry” and beneath the “popular” or “traditional” assumptions to consider some of the nuances and complexities of an issue that many people choose to ignore.

    For example I hear “outing” being discussed as a “cut and dry” issue from BOTH sides of the debate. I just don’t think it is as simple as that.

  56. Kat says

    I will preface this by saying I am straight, not to say that I am superior but to defer my opinion to yours because I don’t know what you’ve experienced, and so what I think may not apply to the real world.

    As a big supporter of the LGBTQ community and based off of posts here, coming out sounds like a potentially painful thing to do. My question is–why do you have to do it? I certainly don’t mean stay in the closet, but I don’t have to declare my heterosexuality, why should you be forced to declare your homosexuality? Reichen questioned Perez’s “gayness” based on the lack of a boyfriend. OK then, can’t we determine a person’s sexual preference this way, instead of demanding everyone to make a public announcement? Photos of Jodie Foster with her partner are just as much of a declaration as her calling up CNN to announce that she’s gay. Perhaps this is ignorant thinking, but I don’t need you to tell me you’re gay or straight or bi or MTF or whatever, I can just as likely pick that up in getting to know you. I hope I didn’t offend anyone because that really wasn’t my intention.

  57. Kat says

    I will preface this by saying I am straight, not to say that I am superior but to defer my opinion to yours because I don’t know what you’ve experienced, and so what I think may not apply to the real world.

    As a big supporter of the LGBTQ community and based off of posts here, coming out sounds like a potentially painful thing to do. My question is–why do you have to do it? I certainly don’t mean stay in the closet, but I don’t have to declare my heterosexuality, why should you be forced to declare your homosexuality? Reichen questioned Perez’s “gayness” based on the lack of a boyfriend. OK then, can’t we determine a person’s sexual preference this way, instead of demanding everyone to make a public announcement? Photos of Jodie Foster with her partner are just as much of a declaration as her calling up CNN to announce that she’s gay. Perhaps this is ignorant thinking, but I don’t need you to tell me you’re gay or straight or bi or MTF or whatever, I can just as likely pick that up in getting to know you. I hope I didn’t offend anyone because that really wasn’t my intention.

  58. JT says

    Zeke: Well, sir, you’ve apparently not read all the posts on this thread or the other threads dealing with famous people being out of the closet. I stand by what I said and its relevance.

    The “apples” that you’ve imported to the thread are really more like pears…distantly related.

  59. Zeke says

    KAT, those are good and reasonable questions asked in a sincere and thoughtful way. I don’t think anyone here will take offence or attack you. I certainly hope they won’t.

    I actually wrote out one of my novels to respond to your question but for everyone’s sake I’m going to give you the Zeke’s Notes version of my answer. It’s still long but trust me it is condensed.

    First, gay kids, even in today’s environment where there are out and proud public figures, still kill themselves in extraordinarily high proportions because they feel scared, ALONE and hopeless in a world where gays are widely ridiculed, hated, oppressed and assaulted. If gay people aren’t out and vocal who do kids, who fear that they are the only gay on the planet, look up to for hope and guidance and how do they learn that they are not alone?

    Secondly, GLBT people, unlike straight people, are still VERY much an oppressed and targeted community. How can we fight injustices against us, as GLBT people, on a national scale, strictly as individuals who only express our sexuality to close friends and family through unspoken clues? Sure we can, and many do, hide our orientation and go to great lengths to deny our homosexuality, in hopes of getting the approval of friends, family, church, neighbors (and from society in general) but the price of such approval is usually too high for the soul to pay and after years of misery and struggle they finally face the fact that their worst fear (coming out) turned out to be their ONLY salvation.

    Finally, you said, “I don’t have to declare my heterosexuality”. Even though I realize it wasn’t your intent, I have to say that that sounds a lot like, “straight people don’t go around telling people that they are straight and forcing it down everyone’s throat” that we hear so often from gay and straight people alike. My only response to that is: ON WHAT PLANET? Straight people are walking, talking billboards of their sexuality; they just don’t realize it because it is “normal” to express heterosexuality and heterosexual love, passion, lust and sex freely and openly. From girlfriend/spouse/family pictures in offices, to marriage ceremonies and wedding rings, to public displays of affection (whether appropriate or inappropriate), to open discussions about sex/romance/attraction etc (whether appropriate or inappropriate); straight people live in a world and take for granted a life of free expression that gay people can’t even imagine.

    When there is no more stigma to being gay than there is to being straight, and when there is no more fear of homosexuality and homosexuals, and when there is no more disadvantage to being gay, then there will be no need for the closet, no need for “coming out” and no need for a “gay community”.

    That is why it is important that we openly identify as gay and that is why we MUST talk about it. As with any minority struggle, there is strength in numbers. We can’t organize and we can’t fight as a community if we don’t know who we are.

    I think it’s the same reason that Christians put fish signs and crosses on their bumpers. People want to know that there are other people like them and that there are other people with whom they share common needs, desires and goals. This is especially true among oppressed minorities.

    I find it refreshing that a straight person would be interested in such things and would ask such thoughtful questions. That is a REAL sign of progress.

    Hopefully my response will be helpful to you.

  60. JT says

    KAT: I really think that Zeke hit the nail on the head: In the world at large, the assumption is that a person is straight and everything is framed around that assumption: an example-my hearthmate and I celebrated our anniversary. I stopped in a local florist to pick up a bouquet. When I picked up an anniversary card, the clerked asked how many years. I told her. Then she asked if we were going out…now to this point everything was in the plural. When I said that we were staying home she asked: “So are you going to cook or is she?” response: “‘He’ and I’m cooking.” We’re having gutters put up. We have to be aware that there are contractors who will not work for gay people…Andy’s had boucoup postings about people who’ve been refused service. When Zeke had emergency surgery recently, the assumption at the hospital was that he had a wife looking after the kids…not a husband. When my doctor left town recently, I was faced with the prospect of finding another family doc…one who is not prejudicial against gay people. Yes, sir, being out–not just coming out–is often fraught with difficulty, pain, and myriad quirks that straight people can’t imagine.

    For me, the solution is to flip the situation and to assume that everyone is gay until they come out as straight. (OK, that’s a BIT of an exaggeration).

    A final note: there are two groups of people against whom it is not only legal (in most states) but encouraged to discriminate: homosexuals and smokers. I quit smoking but I sure as hell ain’t going to quit the other!

  61. Zeke says

    JT, you are absolutely right my friend. In my defense, my response to you was based entirely on your original comment:

    “How many of you who are so indignant about people not coming out are using pseudonyms? How many of you have the guts to use you REAL NAMES on Towleroad? How many of you would be willing to post your actual names and locations today.

    That’s what I thought.”

    and was written before, or while, you wrote your clarification.

    I don’t fall into the category of those who are indignant over people not coming out, and I’ve never been a proponent of outing but even still I felt that the comparison to people using pseudonyms on discussion boards, especially when they are often linked directly to email addresses, was weak, as it was originally stated. I still do.

    However, I was typing my “bushel barrel of pears” response when you expanded and clarified your statement. I didn’t notice it until a moment ago. I better understand the relevance of your analogy now. Apologies for the misundertanding.

    For the record I never defended “outing” anyone. I just questioned what the definition of “outing” is and questioned if reporting, or discussing, or acknowledging a closeted celebrity’s sexuality is necessarily “outing” them, especially when they are open about it outside of their public persona. I don’t necessarily think so.

    There is a little thing called “intent” that
    in my opinion, determines the difference between “outing” and “reporting”. I already made clear where I thought OUT magazine did BOTH in the same issue of the magazine. I have no problem with the “reporting” of including them in the “Power” list but I did take issue with the cover picture that I felt was inappropriate in that it was clearly intended to make their supposed “closets” an issue and therefore I interpreted it as a mean spirited “outing”.

    I don’t mean to split hairs but, to me, the differences are clear and significant.

  62. anon says

    Kat: If I can add, there are many “levels” of press coverage, so even though a celeb might be “out” locally to friends, family and the gay press, unless they get that People mag cover, the larger str8 world will not know anything about it. This leads to making a formal statements and such. Out mag has almost no readership in the str8 world and this list will go almost unnoticed. “Bigger” news outlets also follow stricter reporting standards. Standards go: word-of-mouth forums, blogs, gossip rags, gay press, indie press, elite gossip, mass market gossip, mainstream press, mass market press. Where the latter are more reluctant to report anything beyond press releases. Stories “fall” onto one of these levels and do not go higher.

  63. RB says

    Zeke, my brother, I am humbled by your response but yet I cannot agree with your every word this time. You know I always have your back, but coming out is the MOST PERSONAL thing anyone can do! It is personal. It is hard to do and should only happen when the person is willing and ready!

    I do not believe that anyone, celeb or not, is required to be a role model. If Jody wants to die of old age and NEVER talk about her personal life it her decision to make period. The cover of this magazine was rude, inappropriate and poor jounalism beyond a doubt in my opinion!!! I absolutely believe it was so wrong. Unless you are Ted Haggard preaching out against the very thing you are then who are they harming? It only makes those feel better about themselves to out someone else. It is absolutely wrong!

    And as you know Zeke, I am here under my real name and answer the emails I get. I also know it is no secret here that I live in Atlanta…However, you are still the coolest person I know!

    Take care


  64. Zeke says

    I’m not sure where the disagreement is.

    Let me say, for the third time now, that I am not in favor of outing people. However, I think people are using “outing” to refer to things that I simply don’t see as outing and I think we purpetuate the idea that their is something awful about being gay when we go apoplectic at every report, discussion or speculation about the personal life of a celebrity.

    Let me also say once again that I think the Out magazine cover crossed the line from report to a juvenile jab and inappropriate and not so subtle editorial on their “out” status. I think that was poor journalsm, sensationalistic and wrong.

  65. Amanda says

    I have to say its surprising that the Out Magazine is hunting for blood. Its obvious Out Magazine really wants to sell more copies of their publication. Cooper and Foster may sue Out Magazine or they may ignore it. For Anderson Copper this is a tough one because I wonder if Showbiz Tonight a CNN entertainment show will discuss this? Or will CNN ignore it? Eonline already has an article up about this piece. I was shocked by some of the people Musto outed in the article. But I wonder why does Out go after a woman Jodie Foster yet doesn’t go after Kevin Spacey a homosexual and male Oscar winner? Why the double standard? Unlike Spacey, Jodie Foster is an incredible actress, she is well respected in the industry. I don’t know why Out would OUT Jodie. Now Anderson Copper is another story I don’t feel sorry for Cooper he has been very hypocritical in the past.

  66. Johnny says

    chi chi really? no wonder i never read out. and i really wish musto would stop talking

  67. says

    It was great to see Irshad Manji on the list, but only at #42? She has been an advocate for not only women’s rights, and not only gay women’s rights, but Muslim women’s rights, an advocacy position that results in continual death threats. She has a film titled “Faith Without Fear” appearing as part of PBS’s “America at a Crossroads” series in a couple of weeks. There is some more info on her and her film on the PBS website: http://www.pbs.org/weta/crossroads/about/show_faith_without_fear.html

  68. Matty says

    They might be “gay gay, gay,” but that’s their business and I think it’s in bad taste that a publication such as Out has resorted to such sensational tactics just to sell magazines. As far as I’m concerned they just put themselves on the same level as trash heaps like The National Enquirer and Star magazine.

  69. Scott says

    Why do people continue and CONTINUE to assert that Anderson Cooper is not out?

    This is NOT TRUE.

    The man IS OUT.

    I MET HIM at SPLASH bar in NYC years ago. He used his real name and was very courteous.

    I SAW HIM waving from a float on the Gay Pride Parade in NYC years ago.

    Just because the man hasn’t made himself the great spokesperson we all really want (and need) doesn’t make him a closet case.

    ENOUGH!!! He’s out! Now show some gratitude, respect, tact and leave the guy alone.

    End of rant.

  70. says

    I was so dissapointed by the response of our rights organisations in light of Out’s stunt cover in the NY Daily News.


    Essentially, all of them are cautioning Out’s tactics, on the pretext that we need more people to be out.

    GLAAD’s Neil Giuliano claims he “does not condone or participate in the outing of individuals,” but he doesn’t think Cooper and Foster are defamed, because that would presume “it was a bad thing to be lesbian or gay.”

    Now, I don’t want to hate on GLAAD just because it’s trendy, but:

    -How shortsighted is it to frame the issue in terms of being “defamed” by the gay label or not? The cover isn’t merely saying they’re gay; it’s meant to point fingers at them, and paint them as cowards who hide themselves behind masks. It is vicious and cruel.

    -Out has been notorious (according to many in this thread) for its exclusion of gays from their covers; so isn’t it hypocritical in their case to pretend that being gay cannot be held against you or be bad for business, since *they* do not put gays on their covers?

    -GLAAD itself was recently exposed by Here! for their exclusion of gay media at their awards, so same deal..how can they be an authority on this question?

    It’s truly my belief that our rights orgs are being completely irresponsible (and even complicit) in this outing biz – because it serves their own elite interests of recruiting ‘spokepersons’ in Hollywood, while they’ll not make any efforts to include the rest of us.

    But I have bad news for them: gay rights go further than just H’wood and its lavish awards season. And by continually pointing the fingers at closeted stars, what our leaders are doing is DISEMPOWERING the community at large. ie by making them believe it’s the others fault if we’re not advancing. “it’s the closeted who are the problem!” a lot of the people have come to believe..But in fact, it’s all of us who have a role to play, and if we were all doing it, we would not need anyone or stand back waiting for celebs to come out.

    If Out or GLAAD think outing a couple of (not-so) closeted Hollywood celebs is the equivalent to challenging the status-quo, then I really feel sorry for them and the rest of us.

    Want to challenge the status quo? Then address the homophobia that is prevalent within your own media. Do a cover story about it, and bravely put it out there. Then I’ll believe in their desire to bring about a change.

  71. Kenneth Wilcox says

    Micheal Musto can shake his finger at whomever he chooses, but it still doesn’t change the fact that Out Magazine is pointless and irrelevant.

  72. varga says

    it’s different for these people. they are already residing in a very different realm altogether. so impertinent straights & gays better lay off their cases. it’s just a simple case of over-reaching on our part, those who reside in the plainer, more mundane realm.

  73. frank says

    I wonder what would happen if a gay community fundraiser/event would invite one one or the other to lend their support,AND their answer is …NO… 1 wonder why?

  74. Olivier says

    It is SO BORING to read the constant complaint that Out ony puts straight people on the cover. Besides being untrue, if there were interesting A-list gay celebs who would go on the cover of gay magazines, Out (and others) would snap them up in a minute. Fact is, if they put only out people on the cover, few of you would ever buy the issues: It’s a matter of economics. The cover choices are 1) gay-friendly celebrities, 2) sexy models (they’re eye candy–who cares if they’re gay?), and 3) and gay people of marginal celebrity who wouldn’t sell many issues. It’s a no-brainer. Why hold any magazine to the standards of a non-profit LGBT organization? They’re hardly the same thing.

  75. anon says

    The Toothy Tile saga has been heating up again this past week. Ted C can barely constrain himself.

  76. dobber says

    Nobody has bandied about the name John Roberts, soon to replace Soledad O’Brien on CNN morning news. He was known in the White House to have had a very “special” relationship with Jeff Gannon. If a former CBS White House correspondant doesnt have some power and panache in the gay world I’m late again.