Sally Ride sparks posthumous debate on coming out

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“The activist in me thinks it’s a missed opportunity,” Browning said. “But she did the right thing at the end.”

Some of the same issues involving privacy and openness surfaced in early July when CNN journalist Anderson Cooper, after years of reluctance to go public about his personal life, confirmed that he is gay.

Cooper wrote in an online letter that he had kept his sexual orientation private for personal and professional reasons, but eventually decided that remaining silent had given some people a mistaken impression that he was ashamed.

“I hope this doesn’t mean an end to a small amount of personal space,” Cooper wrote. “But I do think visibility is important, more important than preserving my reporter’s shield of privacy.”

Two days later, there was another revelation: fast-rising R&B star Frank Ocean announced on his Tumblr page that his first love was a man.

“I don’t have any secrets I need to keep anymore,” Ocean wrote at the end of his post. “I feel like a free man.”


David Crary can be followed on Twitter at

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