When asked, “Which celebrity or public figure had the most inspirational coming out moment?”, a plurality of respondents to a survey commissioned by LGBTQ Nation picked Anderson Cooper. Cooper received twice as many votes as the second place pick, Jodie Foster.
Cooper came out publicly in 2012 in a letter to a journalist. “The fact is, I’m gay, always have been, always will be, and I couldn’t be any more happy, comfortable with myself, and proud,” he wrote.
Foster came out publicly at the Golden Globes in 2013, where she declined to give a “big coming out speech” as she accepted her Cecil B. DeMille award, saying she’d actually been out in her own personal life for years. “If you had been a public figure from the time that you were a toddler, if you had to fight for a life that felt real and honest and normal against all odds, then maybe then you too might value privacy above all else.”
The next year, the actress and filmmaker tied the knot with her girlfriend Alexandra Hedison in a private ceremony.
Cooper and Foster were selected in a survey of LGBTQ Nation readers by polling firm SurveyMonkey in partnership with Q.Digital, LGBTQ Nation‘s parent company, for the Oct. 11, 2017, National Coming Out Day. Kristen Stewart (4%) and Tim Cook (3%) were next on the list of public figures whose public declarations were considered significant breakthroughs.
Other key findings from the survey:
- 78% said their employers are not doing enough to support their LGBTQ employees.
- 52% of respondents said they would want a prospective employer to share their nondiscrimination policies before accepting a position with the company.
- 23% said they would have to accept the job no matter the policies, however.
- 8% of respondents identified as transgender. Trans workers report challenges finding employment after transitioning.
- 86% said they had heard of National Coming Out Day, and continue to think coming out is necessary (80%) despite recent progress toward legal equality.
- 45% percent reported that they had been treated differently based on their sexual orientation or gender identity since real estate developer Donald Trump was elected president.
- When asked where they see social acceptance of LGBTQ people in the United States in a decade, the overwhelming majority saw a brighter future. 87% of respondents said the US would be more accepting of LGBTQ people while only 4% thought it would get worse.
For National Coming Out Day, Q.Digital, LGBTQ Nation’s parent company, commissioned a survey to find out your thoughts about coming out . This survey of nearly 600 respondents was sourced by a partnership between LGBTQ Nation’s online platforms and the SurveyMonkey Audience panel.