“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,” writes CNN’s Anderson Cooper in an email to The Daily Beast‘s Andrew Sullivan today. His revelation comes on the heels of a story Entertainment Weekly ran about gay people in the public eye. Sullivan says that his coming out is important, especially with ongoing backlash from the religious right upon the LGBT community, as well as suicides among gay youth.
His sexuality is something fans have been speculating about for years.
Cooper admits that up until now he’s wanted to keep his personal and professional life separate for journalistic reasons. “Since I started as a reporter in war zones 20 years ago, I’ve often found myself in some very dangerous places,” he says. “For my safety and the safety of those I work with, I try to blend in as much as possible, and prefer to stick to my job of telling other people’s stories, and not my own. I have found that sometimes the less an interview subject knows about me, the better I can safely and effectively do my job as a journalist.”
But certain events have changed his mind.
“Recently, however, I’ve begun to consider whether the unintended outcomes of maintaining my privacy outweigh personal and professional principle. It’s become clear to me that by remaining silent on certain aspects of my personal life for so long, I have given some the mistaken impression that I am trying to hide something – something that makes me uncomfortable, ashamed or even afraid. This is distressing because it is simply not true,” says Cooper. “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. 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.”