When Anderson Cooper announced on Monday that he was in fact a gay man, and proud of it, he was showered with supportive tweets. But the CNN anchor didn't exactly out himself in the most hostile industry. There are plenty of openly gay and lesbian cable stars, from political commentator Rachel Maddow and talk-show host Suze Orman to CNN newscaster Don Lemon.
Other sectors aren't so accepting, have few openly gay employees, and are frequently mired in discrimination suits. This isn't just bad news for gay workers, but their employers too. Closeted employees are 73 percent more likely to say they'll leave their company in the next three years, according to a 2011 study by The Center for Work-Life Policy. Almost half of college-educated professionals aren't open about their sexual orientation at work, and only a third of closeted employees said they were satisfied with their careers, compared to two-thirds of their openly gay co-workers.