Cooper's silence sent a loud if unintentional message to the straight people who still think gays are different and threatening, and to the gay kids who still don't have enough public examples of successful, happy people who happen to be gay. I was that kind of gay kid.
"Who cares?" said people on Twitter. "Isn't this old news?" said people on Facebook. "When is a person's sexuality going to stop making headlines?" said commenters on Web posts. But Anderson Cooper officially coming out is important, and I'm going to tell you why.
When I was in middle school, homeroom was my favorite part of the morning, because I got to watch Channel One. I remember being infatuated with Anderson Cooper's hair, for starters, and even then, before I truly understood that I was gay, I saw something in him that I saw in myself.