1. realitythink says

    I think this is the perfect time for AC to publicly state his sexual orientation. We all know that he’s gay and this would be an excellent time for him to shoot one of those “it gets better” videos.

  2. princely54 says

    @REALITYTHINK, I was thinking the same thing. But, with the announcement of his new daytime talk show, I don’t see that happening. At least, not BEFORE the show starts. He’ll maintain that he needs to remain ‘objective’ in every sense of the word for his career.

  3. jason says

    Anderson Cooper is a liberal homophobe. The industry is full of them.

    As for bullying, none of this is going to help fight it. It’s just media sluts talking.

    The only thing that will reduce anti-gay bullying is to address the cultural forces that encourage bullying. The music industry is one of the worst transgressors. MTV and VH1 have spent the last 20 years promoting homophobic rappers and hip-hop performers, not to mention Eminem.

    Member of Gay Inc have failed to see the danger that MTV and VH1 pose to the lives of gay Americans.

  4. princely54 says

    Also, it was obviously what that nutjob Shirvell was alluding to when Cooper interviewed him by saying “I don’t know why you seem to be so upset personally by this Anderson!” He knows, along with the rest of us, that Cooper is gay and he wanted to hint to his nutbag minion that Cooper was simply pushing him on his answers because hes one of the unclean!

  5. nick says

    Anderson Cooper will never come out; it isn’t in his nature to do so. His lineage (the Vanderbilts and Coopers) do not address their personal life in public-period. That is off-limits to the general public. One can argue the merits of it but it will never happen.
    Unfortunately -with his daytime light-weight
    infotainment show coming on- his credibility as a journalist will take another hit.
    The UM student is handling this situation briliantly. Kudos to him.

  6. JTlvr says

    I bet Andrew Shirvell is somewhere beating off furiously in his sad, lonely apartment full of crucifixes and photos of his mother.

    @JIMMY: He’s a 20-something kid being interviewed for the first time on national TV. Cut him a break, Mary!

  7. mcNnyc says

    it’s too bad you don’t have a clue and take some of your own advise cause I don’t know what you are trying to

    CHRIS and Coop….keep doing what you are doing. It is through this story among others that more people can understand a bit more.

  8. Brent Z says

    This story isn’t about Anderson Cooper. Why do commetns always veer toward that subject? I wish Anderson would come out, too, but this clip is not about him.

    I also wish that Chris Armstrong were more articulate. I had a difficult time following what he was saying. Anderson had to prompt him.

  9. patrick nyc says

    Well said JTLVR. This guy is not only 20 years old, he reluctantly has been dragged into the national spotlight, all the while being stalked by a fucking mentally disturbed nut case. I’d like to see you hold up that well douche bag.

    As for Cooper coming out, yea I’d like to see him be brave enough, but it is his choice, he is not one of the right wing closet cases bashing us, he is one of the good guys people. Granted he’d be a great guy if he did, perhaps the weight of his family and history keeps him from doing so. How many of you witnessed your brother jumping to his death out of your apartment window?

  10. Jim says

    I agree with the basic idea of jtlvr’s comment. I saw an interview with Shirvell the other day and he came across as a really closeted (and conflicted) person.

  11. Jon B says

    @Jimmy: You try being a 21 yo gay, and sitting in the pressence of the hottest (sort of out) gay celebrity out there, while discussing personal issues on national TV. I for one would be speaking jibberish.

  12. says

    Having been interviewed on both radio and TV I can tell you that it’s not easy to answer question on the spot. Journalists do not tell you the questions they are going to ask beforehand, this helps them to get a more candid answer. You also have to take into consideration the fact that he is also in a legal dispute with Andrew Shirvell and has to be very careful about what he does and doesn’t say.

  13. Andalusian Dog says

    That’s all very nice. This kid is…um, like…unlistenable…to. Public speaking would help him immensely. I know he’s nervous, I don’t want to be unfair, but it’s MADDENING how young people talk these days.

  14. TampaZeke says

    Anderson is getting all these kudos for taking on the issue of gay teen suicides but the one thing he hasn’t done is probably the one most important and effective thing he could do to help gay teens; COME OUT!

    His coming out as a successful, happy gay man would do more than all of his shows, all of his guests and all of his reports combined.

    October 11 is National Coming Out Day Anderson. Take advantage of it!

  15. patrick nyc says

    That’s all very nice. This kid is…um, like…unlistenable…to. Public speaking would help him immensely. I know he’s nervous, I don’t want to be unfair, but it’s MADDENING how young people talk these days.

    Yea, because our last President, GWB, was so articulate.

  16. Enzo In Omaha says

    Please don’t describe someone as cool, collected and well spoken when the video that you post indicates exactly the opposite. (The petition for a protection order that Armstrong submitted proves he can’t write, either.) This was a terrible interview. No substantive questions or answers.

    Having said that, I hope Armstrong GETS the order and then sues Andrew Shirvell for libel, harassment, stalking and whatever else applies, and wins in court. I just hope he doesn’t have to take the stand.

  17. says

    The comments on this article are pretty telling. People who think a 20 year old forced into the national spotlight giving an interview on national television should be a smooth talker, as if he were in some sort of debate. Then all the talk about Anderson coming out of closet.

    Focus girls, FOCUS!

    If anyone has been following Phelps vs. Snyder at the Supreme Court, which boils down to “free speech” vs. “outrageous speech” expect a ruling in favor of Mr. Snyder, the father of the fallen solider, whose funeral the Phelps clans protested at and subsequently made disparaging remarks on their blog.

    This plays right into this case and could very well open up this asswipe Shirvell to a lawsuit. If our resident legal analyst would like to way in, that would be appreciated.

  18. Joe says

    Personally, I am glad that his speech is all “UMS” and “LIKES.” He is a college kid and talks accordingly. What I took from this is that he is a kid. One loses that in all the media, but hearing him speak changes it. It really humanizes the situation. His nervousness and almost lack of understanding of why he is targeted really is something that needed to be seen.

  19. Gabe R L says

    What a handsome, wonderful kid. Shirvell must be very jealous of him and has a crush on him. That could be the only reason a grown man his age would tareget an innocent kid for such treatment. How sad.

    As for Chris’s articulateness, I understood him very well, and I liked the fact that he was not a smooth talker. He is being harassed by a crazy, self-loathing closet case, a man in a position of power, and this situation and his sexuality are forced out into the national spotlight, at least. Then he is talking with the very attractive, and famous gay guy Anderson Cooper. Cut him a little slack people. I have to wonder if a lot of you are picking on him because of his speech simply because the topic of bullying and harassment makes you uncomfortable, given that at some point you may have experienced the same treatment or worse; it serves as a distraction from a painful issue. I also have to say that if Armstrong were a smooth talker a lot of people would say that he is using his sexuality and his situation with Shirvell to get attention for himself, attention he did not want and was unprepared for. Queens always have to complain about something, I guess.

    As for Anderson coming out nationally or internationally, why should he? He has a boyfriend, whom he has been spotted with, and does not pretend to be straight. He was also raised not to publicly discuss his romantic life. I was brought up the same way, and this dictum applied whether a person was gay or straight. And even if a person has small or large fame it is still distasteful to publicly to talk about one’s love life. I just bet that when Chris came out he didn’t put an announcement in the paper for all the world to know; he just gradually told those whom mattered most in life. Isn’t that what most gays, private or public individuals, do? The very fact that Anderson is willing to devote so much time to the issue of gay/possibly gay kids being bullied, their suicides,attempted suicides, met with Armstrong, and denounced Shirvell, already makes him a role model for all people, not simply gays. If you want a gay role model, Armstrong himself is a good candidate. Again, it is an inspiration to see such a hansome, intelligent, well-mannered guy be out and proud.

    You could see in Anderson’s eyes as he talked to Chris that he was very moved by his situation, and felt it personally. Chris knew it too, and that was why the interview went so well. You could also see that at the end of the interview, both Anderson and Chris understood each other and admired each other. It would be more helpful if people tried to be more understanding to Anderson.

    I do think that all bullying at the secondary school level shoud be addressed, not just that of gay/possibly gay kids. All bullying causes great emotional damage, and plenty of kids commit, or at least attempt, suicide. We should all address the matter

  20. db says

    Wow, this is the site for bitter queens to post! All the criticism of this kid and Mr. Cooper (a liberal homophobe? give me a fucking break) just show that the internet is perfect for people who just want to sit on their asses and not do anything. I’ve got to stop reading the responses because this is just sad.

  21. Helio says

    The vitriol I read here is, at best, ridiculous. The issue here is homophobic bullying by a figure of authority, not public speaking or celebrities in closets.

    On the comment about young people, I must say that it is highly disingenuous. Check your statistics please. Never this many people spoke this well and were this well informed and educated, in the history of the world…

  22. crispy says

    @DB: The person who called Anderson Cooper a “liberal homophobe” is Towleroad’s very own gimp. We try to keep him locked in a cage under the stairs with a ball-gag tightly fitted into his mouth, but he occasionally escapes. Just smack him a few times with a broom and he’ll go back to his home.

  23. Zlick says

    I don’t think observations are necessarily criticisms. I was taken aback by Armstrong’s near stuttering nervousness and poor speaking ability. I base my comparison on PLENTY of 20-something kids I know who are amazingly articulate and able public speakers. Not every kid has to have that ability and I don’t judge Armstrong poorly because he does not. But since he is in this situation because of being Student Body President, I guess I just assumed he’d have better public speaking skills.

    That’s a quibble. More to the point was that the interview was kinda vague, but it’s wonderful that Armstrong broke his silence and has added to the chorus of voices coming out, better late than never, against bullying and intimidation.

  24. Joe says

    @Reallythink, I kind think it would be great if Anderson came out, but as I think about it I think he is in a more powerful position because he isn’t out (though everyone knows).

    I think groups like NOM and other anti-gay hate groups would refuse to come on his show – making it impossible to crush them. I also think that him being in his glass closet makes it easier for him to do these reports on bullying (which he has always done) because it keeps his execs from wondering if he is being “too gay.” I think it makes it easier for him to discuss gay issues on his show. Because of this, I actually think his ally status (and the fact that everyone who isn’t a straight woman or a christianist knows he is gay) helps him to reach out and push these issues in the media.

    Also to be fair to Armstrong, I would be pretty nervous sitting across from someone as beautiful as Anderson Cooper.

  25. DR says

    It’s really sad and pathetic that instead of commenting on the fact that this young man has the balls to go on national tv and talk about what it feels like to be cyber-stalked, all we get to see are nasty comments about his public speaking ability.

    It takes YEARS to develop the poise Cooper has, and even he let the occasional “uhm” escape his lips during the interview.

    How about we stop chopping people down for a few seconds and focus on the fact that we have someone who is willing to get on camera to be interviewed about his experiences being stalked and harassed.

  26. mad1026 says

    Ladies! Now that you’ve recrucified a young man who’s being stalked by a psycho who makes Norman Bates look sane, do you feel better about yourselves? I hope so. I’m glad the internet wasn’t around 50 years ago when I was being bullied; talk about eating your young! Chris Armstrong needs love and support and you queens turn into English teachers? Is that really what’s important? Think about it!

  27. David says

    “cool, collected, well-spoken” <- This description might be a little bit off base. He’s young and comes off quite nervous, but I’m sure he’ll get better with experience.

  28. BobN says

    “His lineage (the Vanderbilts and Coopers) do not address their personal life in public-period.”

    Yeah, I used to buy that line, too. Until he was talking to “Dr.” Phil about his own brother’s suicide.

  29. jamal49 says

    Armstrong might have been “cool, collected and handsome”, but he certainly was not well-spoken. The guy was somewhat inarticulate. Perhaps he was nervous to be on national TV and couldn’t keep his thoughts focused. There were just way too many “like, you know, um, sort of, kinda, and so forth”. Makes one wonder how he got elected student body president. Personal charm must go a long way in campus elections. Still, he was courageous to go public on CNN and present himself as charmingly as he did. Andrew Sharvell needs to be fired and we need to harass Sharvell until that ass-wipe breaks under the strain.

  30. simon says

    I agree with Joe. It is more refreshing to see a real person in interviews instead of some prepared and scripted speech. It probably won’t help TV ratings as most people don’t have patience and expected only smooth talks.

  31. Chase says

    It is sad that a state official has resorted to becoming a bully when in fact we have a bully watch going on in this country. I believe that Shirvell is a sad individual that needs to become open-minded before someone files a lawsuil against him and he loses his job. In fact, he should lose his job due to the neglect and abuse of his “power” as an authority figure. Mike Cox should also be held accountable for his actions in the fact that he isn’t disciplining shirvell. I will not vote for Cox since he cannot fix the members of his staff. How can he be trusted to fix Michigan’s economy? Hmmm…
    With Armstrong, he is doing his best in the position that he was elected for and thus a true leader. He should take shirvell job!! Bullying has no place, not even in congress!

  32. nic says

    the man is still a kid. he is confronting a strong armada. let us be real, here. when we were in college, testing the waters of fresh-found liberty, which one of us thought that we would be plunged into the bright lights of infamy. the bully here is the deranged man who stalks the young man. anderson is shining the bright light of sanity into this abyss. it makes no never mind whether cooper comes out as gay. that is a side issue. the issue before us is whether a demented individual can stalk someone with impunity.

    i get so tired of the sissies that make anderson cooper the story. whether he comes out is neither here nor there. let us not lose sight of the message: college student being stalked by an employee of a state government.

  33. oliver says

    @Jimmy, did you by any chance hear Andrew Shirvell on this very same show? A man whom is considerably older than Chris Armstrong and is an Asst District Attorney, and sounds like he’s 12 years old.

  34. Vinny's Boyfriend says

    You guys are so critical of Chris but he’s handling it well and for being on national television and having a stalker who’s also a government official, I think he sounds great. I understand that people who have been torn down often want to tear down others, but really? You sound like a bunch of bitter comment trolling queens.

  35. says

    Oh, where to begin. First I’ll start with the obvious: Mike Cox’s name. Heh heh. What a dumbass he is. He expressed embarrassment for Shirvell not for his conduct but for the attention he was receiving, which is completely self-created. Cox described him as a “front line grunt” whose work is “satisfactory.” Not the way I’d like to be described by an employer. Nice that he also went on national television oblivious to the fact that Shirvell was banned from stepping foot on U of M soil – Shirvell’s own alma mater, as Shirvell pointed out. Whereas Cox is a dumbass, Shirvell is a full-tilt dumbass who needs an IQ a good 30 points higher to be just a regular stupid person. My crazy radar beeped right away just in the way he said “Hello Anderson.” No leg to stand on, no facts to support his behavior; just a disaster. The sad thing is that this level of stupidity is being legitimized in this era of politics. You can know nothing and behave horribly as long as you hide behind values, the Bible, or the “G” word. By the “G” word, of course, I mean Geezus. That’s how Jesus will be correctly spelled if we continue on our current track of allowing idiots to hijack the national discourse, which they are doing.

  36. pete says

    bad interview. unwatchable. uninteresting. i wouldn’t have aired it. and yes, i also expect the SBP of such a good school to be more articulate than this kid. especially in a softball interview with an ally.

  37. Brent Z says

    I’m definitely on the kid’s side in all of this but now I know why he has resisted talking to the media until now. He should have kept resisting.

  38. TJ says

    I don’t see it as being bitchy when one states the obvious. Certainly, being nervous during an interview is completely understandable, and I won’t judge this guy for this or any other reason that affected how he came off in the interview. But he clearly was not articulate. And I don’t think I’m a bad person for wishing he had been more so. Unrealistic as hopes can be, mine include wishing that anyone who speaks to issues so important to us all does so clearly, succinctly, and – most importantly – effectively.

  39. nyrkr says

    Chris Armstrong did just fine in that interview. Did he have a few “ums” and “likes” sure he did… people he is 20 years old and has been the target of a focused harassment campaign by the AG’s office (I don’t believe that Shirvell was ‘acting on his own tinme’) for 8 months now and now finds himself in a national spotlight on a national news program,and he really didn’t want to be there. Get a grip and cut the kid some slack, I doubt if any of his critics on this site would have done nearly as good a job when they were 20 and put in his situation.

  40. Trailrunnr says

    Hello? Did anyone actually comment on the subject matter? yes, chris isn’t well-spoken on national tv. yes, anderson cooper hasn’t come out. yes, they’re cute. yes, shirvell talks like an autistic queen. BARF. Shallow much? Cox, tee hee. Oh brother.

  41. Joe says

    This kid has been elected as President of a huge campus. He obviously must have some public speaking skills. And, I know plenty of college kids (since I am one) who are articulate.

    Again, I think he was just nervous. First time on television and first time meeting the silver fox. I almost never use the word “um” in real life but I’m pretty sure I’d be stammering over myself too.

  42. Paul R says

    I bitch about poor speaking skills all the time, but not among young people. I really cannot believe the animosity and idiocy directed toward a 20-year-old being interviewed by Anderson Cooper, especially after all the crap the guy has had to go through.

    He ran for student body president, not god. And one of my roommates in college was student body president at a major college and received hate mail from strangers for supporting gays (and he was straight) after getting interviewed on CNN. He was similarly bright but also freaked out, and that was nearly 20 years ago.

    Put yourself in their positions. Armstrong was not elected to advance gay rights. He just happens to be gay and became president, and is being haunted by a state official. I cannot believe that so many gay men are castigating him for his less than perfect speech. Based on the comments here, I’d guess he has more support from straight people, who—honestly—are more supportive and way less bitchy.

  43. Gloria in Excelsis says

    Nick (9.10:20AM) … with all due respect, a major correction regarding your statement that the Vanderbilts and the Coopers represent a reticent “lineage” … Mr Cooper’s mother, artist-designer Gloria Vanderbilt, has written extensively about her highly public personal life in a series of unexpectedly revelatory memoirs. (In one, for instance, she describes one of her numerous lovers as “a Nijinsky of cunnilingus,” adding, “What more does a girl want?”) As for his father, Wyatt Cooper wrote a fine autobiography detailing his humble childhood and youth as a farmer’s son in Mississippi and Louisiana, as well as his boldface marriage to Ms Vanderbilt; it is called “Families: A Memoir and A Celebration” (Harper, 1975).

  44. says

    Here we go again with the bitchy attacks. Of course he’s nervous- he’s young, not used to the spotlight, and has a creepy-assed stalker harassing him. I’d be nervous too!

    Why is it whenever a successful Gay man is put in the spotlight, the first people to put the boot in can always be counted on to be other Gay men?! Save the vitriol for Shirvell and other homophobic arsehats who are harming us…

  45. Rin says

    Anderson Cooper WILL come out when he is no longer a newscaster and just a television personality.

    I completely respect him for not talking about his private life in any respect: sexual orientation, political orientation, etc.

    I want to just hear the goddamn news without commentary. He is doing it better than Fox.

    Newscasters should be a blank slate so we believe we are getting just the facts and not facts shaded with opinion. This was his point and I agreee with it.

    I firmly believe when he stops reading news he will come out.

  46. JON says

    First of all, Jimmy, I agree with you–Chris used the word “like,” “um” and “you know” at least 10-12 times. But it was probably his first time on TV and he was definitely nervous, so lets give him some credit.
    And sparks flying between them also. very cute

  47. rick says

    I agree that it would have been nice if Mr. Armstrong could have been more articulate. I know plenty of college age individuals, especially those that are politically active, who are great public speakers. Nevertheless, he came across as a genuine, young man who is being harassed by a government official, an AG no less. I think he did a great job and I’m proud he is representing our community.

  48. UMStudent says

    As a student at the University of Michigan, I had the privilege of watching Chris in the MSA debate, before the election last spring. He was brilliant, and inspiring. He was well spoken and composed and passionate about everything of which he spoke.

    After watching the debate I decided to help his campaign. There, I had the pleasure of meeting him, and when he found out I was helping his campaign, he thanked me warmly and was sincerely touched that I, a stranger, would help.

    Chris is a phenomenal student, president, and man.

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