Anderson Cooper Ben Maisani, Over the weekend several photos of Anderson Cooper’s boyfriend, Ben Maisani, kissing an unidentified man in a New York City park surfaced in the tabloids. Almost immediately my Facebook feed was filled with comments gushing sympathy for Cooper, who, it was assumed, must be locked away in his multimillion-dollar bedroom, alternately sobbing and stuffing his face with thousands of woe-is-me calories in an attempt to dull the pain of this awesome betrayal.
Most believed the CNN anchor was the victim of an incredibly public and callous infidelity — and just weeks after he had so bravely ventured out of the closet (and just weeks before he and Maisani were supposedly going to get hitched). Cooper deserves better than this, they asserted. And what was wrong with Maisani? If your boyfriend is Anderson Cooper, what more could you be looking for in a man?
But I wasn’t thinking about any of that. I was having fantasies about what a radical moment this could be for America. Just days after Mary Gonzalez came out as the United States’ first openly pansexual politician (and in Texas, no less!), we were suddenly being gifted with another chance to challenge how we think about sex, love, relationships, and what it means to be queer in this country.