Anderson Cooper Comes Out of the Closet
Anderson Cooper strolls out of the closet…
Gay Pride month officially ended this weekend, but one public figure whose sexual orientation has long been subject to speculation made it official on Monday—Anderson Cooper has admitted that he’s gay.
The CNN host came out in a lengthy email to Andrew Sullivan of the Daily Beast. Sullivan, who is also gay, requested a comment from Cooper on a recent Entertainment Weekly story about gay stars.
Cooper replied, “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.”
This isn’t exactly a bombshell, since many people thought Cooper had come out already. Why did it take him so long to admit it? Here’s more of Cooper’s email:
“Since I started as a reporter in war zones 20 years ago, I’ve often found myself in some very dangerous places. 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.”
Since some countries still have a death penalty for being gay, this was probably a necessary choice at the time, but Cooper has since had a change of heart. He continued:
“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.
“There continues 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.”
While there’s certain to be negative backlash from the extreme right, Cooper’s career is not likely to suffer from this revelation. GLAAD President Herndon Graddick offered his good wishes, saying “Even prior to coming out publicly, Anderson’s terrific work has raised awareness of inequalities facing LGBT people. He’s a role model to millions and now will inspire countless others.”