Kathy Griffin: I Would Never Have Dreamed of Outing Anderson Cooper
Over the years, as the media fixated on Anderson Cooper’s sexuality, Kathy Griffin talked around the questions. Now that he’s come out, she explains why she thinks her friend needs to be careful.
My friend Anderson Cooper is the scion of one of America’s great shipping and railroad families, the Vanderbilts. He’s covered the military coup and eventual unseating of the democratically elected (albeit bat-shit crazy) Haitian president Jean-Bertrand Aristide. He’s covered the small wars in Africa that use children as slave soldiers. He knows more about the women of The Real Housewives than perhaps even I do. He’s covered the seemingly endless large wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. And by “covered,” I mean he’s really gone and covered them—with a security detail and without; embedded with troops and unilaterally—not from the relative safety of the Green Zone in Baghdad or the international zone in Kabul. He’s sat down with despots in countries like Somalia, covered the atrocities in the Balkans and Burma. And he also happens to be gay.
Funny thing, that …
Kicking around for as many years as I have, I’ve done countless interviews pushing Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List, stand-up comedy specials, live comedy dates, the Kathy show, and everything in between. I’ve talked to everyone from a local gay blogger to Time magazine. I’m not really sure at what point it changed, but the press—or at least the press who covered my little carnival—became fixated on Anderson’s orientation. And for years, I talked around it.
Believe it or not, I don’t “out” people. It is neither my business nor my desire. Remember, folks, I am a comedian, not a journalist. These weren’t questions where I could make a joke about Ryan Seacrest getting a mani/pedi. This isn’t a joke I make about whether Oprah and Gayle are gay lovers. I have no idea if Oprah and Gayle are gay lovers. I doubt they are, but as a comedian, I find some comedy in picturing those two girls running the world as a power couple. Anderson is someone who has led a very specific kind of professional life, who never talked and simultaneously exhibited social contradictions. And quite frankly, he never gave me permission to speak about something that represented the one part of his life he was not comfortable having confirmed in the media. But in my dealings with a certain sector of the press, that simply was never good enough.
( And it’s Wichita, Kan., where I was eating recently at a local diner and a patron asked me, “Kathy, how do you deal with so many goddamned fags?Collapse )