Sexual orientation and gender identity are the focal points of most media today, as Gen-Z controls the narrative. The countless coming-out stories in the past decade were the gateway to normalizing homosexual representation.
But these ‘2010s’ could run because the ‘2000s’ had to walk the most challenging path. The history of Hollywood dealing with LGBTQ+ depiction did nothing but put the community on the back burner. Moreover, the stigma of coming out in early Hollywood until the 2000s cost an individual’s career, mental and financial stability, or, worst cases, their lives.
Amidst a turbulent period, a young man in his 20s created history on the reality/ news scene. Andy Cohen, now a household name, was a closeted gay intern who took the courageous steps of coming out. Let’s get a glimpse of his inspiring story:
Early Life: Who is Andy Cohen
Andrew Joseph Cohen, born on June 2, 1968, lived a merry childhood under the care of Evelyn and Lou Cohen and his lifelong accomplice sister Emily. He was brought up with Jewish beliefs.
With a seemingly normal adolescence, he first got in touch with his sexuality between 12 and 13. These feelings manifested in the men’s locker room at his dad’s tennis club, which instead of being a revelation, was rather devastating news for him. The 80s scene shunned the LGBTQ community to the extent of debarring the individual from the social group. For a young, impressionable mind, the HIV/AIDS plague was a dreadful consequence of his orientation.
In a candid interview with Oprah Daily, he said–
“I thought – If I’m gay, I’m gonna die. My friends were all constantly saying fag, and they said it on TV all the time—it was in the vernacular, and it was not shocking. I would kind of shut down when I’d hear it; I just didn’t think my friends and family would accept me.”Andy Cohen Via Oprah Daily
However, as an Undergrad student at Boston University, he was liberated from his limiting beliefs with his free expression of sexual activity. At this point, he came out to his close friends and family at 20.
“After my mom found it, I came out to her—and she later wound up getting involved in an AIDS charity in St. Louis because she wanted to get involved in my community. The rest is history.”
Andy Cohen’s Career and Identity
Even with the rampant tragedy of the AIDS epidemic in the 80s, Andy Cohen participated in New York Pride Parade as a sign of his self-acceptance. As a fresh intern at CBS, he was still closeted to avoid any ramifications on his career.
However, pop culture, politics, and societal reforms gave him the courage to hold his truth. Ellen Degeneres coming out in 1997 was monumental in television history. Even after her show was canceled, her perseverance to start afresh made her a gay icon. Andrew was producing shows like ‘The Early Show,’ ‘CBS this morning,’ and ’48 Hours‘ while still hiding his identity. But after the micro-aggressions towards other openly-gay celebrities, he finally came out to his colleagues.
Andy Cohen Coming Out On National Television
With a staggering career as a TV show host, Andy Cohen glamourized the ordinary with “The Real Housewives” series. His quick wit and engaging interviews made him a household name. But during the Real Housewives of New Jersey reunion in 2009, his spontaneous decision to disclose his true self shocked the nation.
“Teresa Giudice’s husband said something that Danielle Staub thought was homophobic, or disrespectful to gays. We had a conversation about it, and Theresa said it wasn’t offensive. I said—and this is way before I started inserted myself into anything—’Look, I have to say, I’m the only gay guy in the room. I am gay, and it was not comfortable to me.’ At the time, it was kind of a big deal, because I hadn’t come out publicly on TV. This was way before Watch What Happens Live, and I guess I had never said it. Weirdly, that was kind of my ‘public’ coming out.”
Are Andy Cohen And Anderson Cooper a Couple?
With hit Radio Shows (Andy Cohen’s Deep And Shallow), award-winning producer credits (Top-Chef, The N-word, Miss USA, Miss Universe), and late-night show (Watch What Happens Live), Andy Cohen marked his name in the reality TV scene. Soon, he amassed an influential friend circle.
Another popular openly-gay host Anderson Cooper formed a deep friendship with Andy Cohen. However, both have denied being in a relationship. But their friendship has become a history of gay pop culture.
Who Does Andy Cohen Have a Child With?
Cohen again made history with minority representation of ‘single gay dads’ as he welcomed his first child, Benjamin Allen, via surrogacy, and later Lucy Eve Cohen. His best-selling book, The Daddy Diaries- The Year I Grew Up, chronicles his journey as a single father and represents gay parenting.
Did you find his coming-out story inspiring? What are some courageous coming-out stories you have heard?
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