Anderson Cooper said he is gay and “couldn't be any more happy,” revealing in an online letter that he had been reluctant to talk about his personal life but realized the value of "standing up and being counted."
"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," Cooper, 45, wrote in a letter to journalist Andrew Sullivan. The CNN anchor and talk show host gave permission for the letter to be published on the Daily Beast website.
Sullivan had asked Cooper to weigh in on the subject of how celebrities have been coming out in recent months, with particular reference to an Entertainment Weekly cover story that addressed the way stars such as Matt Bomer and Jim Parsons have taken a low-key approach to revealing their sexuality in the media.
Cooper, who had never publicly addressed his sexual orientation before, explained his reticence to come out in the past by saying that, "I've always believed that who a reporter votes for, what religion they are, who they love, should not be something they have to discuss publicly. As long as a journalist shows fairness and honesty in his or her work, their private life shouldn't matter. I’ve stuck to those principles for my entire professional career, even when I’ve been directly asked 'the gay question,' which happens occasionally.
He said he did not address his sexual orientation in a recent memoir because that book was "focused on war, disasters, loss and survival."
He went on to write that in his everyday life he has always been open about his orientation with friends, family and colleagues for years, adding that in a perfect world, he still doesn't think it is anyone's business but the individuals involved.
Recently, however, the "unintended outcomes" of staying silent have been weighing on Cooper, who has been a staunch anti-bullying advocate. "I’ve also been reminded recently that while as a society we are moving toward greater inclusion and equality for all people, the tide of history only advances when people make themselves fully visible," Cooper wrote. "There continue to be far too many incidences of bullying of young people, as well as discrimination and violence against people of all ages, based on their sexual orientation, and I believe there is value in making clear where I stand."
Of his personal life right now, Cooper simply writes, "I love, and I am loved." No mention of a relationship or with whom he may currently be involved with is addressed.
Of what this may mean to his privacy moving forward, Cooper said he considered himself a "reserved person" and still wanted to maintain a "small amount of personal space."
"But I do think visibility is important, more important than preserving my reporter's shield of privacy," Cooper wrote.