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.”
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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.