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Chris Armstrong Talks Gay Bullying With Anderson Cooper


Chris Armstrong, the University of Michigan student body president who has been targeted by homophobic Michigan assistant attorney general Andrew Shirvell, appeared on bully-fighting hero Anderson Cooper's CNN show last night to discuss the trauma he's endured since Shirvell began his anti-gay blog.

The cool, collected, well-spoken and handsome Armstrong used the opportunity to highlight the plight facing gay teens around the world:

But, you know, I felt that, like, seeing these kids, you know, they feel like they need to take their life. It's important to understand that things can get better. And it's important to know that you can reach out in your community. You can reach out to friends, and they can -- they can support you.

Watch Armstrong and Cooper's entire exchange, AFTER THE JUMP...

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  1. 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.

    Posted by: Brent Z | Oct 7, 2010 4:50:10 PM

  2. 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.

    Posted by: TJ | Oct 7, 2010 6:27:57 PM

  3. 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.

    Posted by: nyrkr | Oct 7, 2010 7:52:14 PM

  4. 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.

    Posted by: Trailrunnr | Oct 7, 2010 8:14:39 PM

  5. 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.

    Posted by: Joe | Oct 7, 2010 9:21:20 PM

  6. 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.

    Posted by: Paul R | Oct 8, 2010 12:12:01 AM

  7. 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).

    Posted by: Gloria in Excelsis | Oct 8, 2010 12:15:40 AM

  8. GAYFACE and Gay Accent.

    Shirvell is clearly Gay...and he's obsessed with Armstrong.

    Posted by: MarkDC | Oct 8, 2010 12:38:20 AM

  9. Mr. Shrivel Dick obviously want to suck the guys cock and this has dranged him. Pathtic.

    Posted by: me | Oct 8, 2010 1:25:21 AM

  10. 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...

    Posted by: wirrrn | Oct 8, 2010 4:16:53 AM

  11. Is it me or does it seem like this Chirvil guy is a big closet case? AND this guy named Cox...the irony!

    Posted by: john sulpy, jr. | Oct 8, 2010 9:04:35 AM

  12. 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.

    Posted by: Rin | Oct 8, 2010 11:02:54 AM

  13. 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

    Posted by: JON | Oct 8, 2010 11:03:36 AM

  14. Anderson Cooper has come out!.......on Oprah

    Posted by: Brains | Oct 8, 2010 2:25:46 PM

  15. Amazing. After reading these comments I am ready to go jump off a bridge.

    Posted by: JPR | Oct 8, 2010 5:51:55 PM

  16. 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.

    Posted by: rick | Oct 9, 2010 2:14:45 AM

  17. I am a current student at the high school that Chris Armstrong attended. Ridgefield supports Chris Armstrong!

    Posted by: dsfklj | Oct 12, 2010 11:38:43 PM

  18. 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.

    Posted by: UMStudent | Oct 14, 2010 5:18:18 PM

  19. great comments good blog

    Posted by: jockstrap | Nov 4, 2012 9:13:13 AM

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