The long-running speculation about Anderson Cooper‘s sexuality can finally cease: the CNN anchor has revealed he is a gay man. In a classy, heartfelt email written to The Daily Beast‘s Andrew Sullivan, the 45-year-old stated, “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.”
The well-respected journalist, who responded to Sullivan’s query about Entertainment Weekly‘s recent cover story about the new era of coming out in Hollywood, explained why he chose not to reveal his sexuality throughout his career.
“Even though my job puts me in the public eye, I have tried to maintain some level of privacy in my life. Part of that has been for purely personal reasons. I think most people want some privacy for themselves and the people they are close to,” Cooper wrote, “But I’ve also wanted to retain some privacy for professional reasons. 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.”
While Cooper had previously chosen to not come out in public, he noted he has never hid his sexuality from family, friends, and colleagues. But with the recent wave of attention towards the bullying of gay youths and many in the public eye stepping up to plate to do their part. As Cooper put, it, “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.”
You can pull out any number of Cooper’s elegant, eloquent quotes from his statement, particularly the ones on how seriously he takes his responsibility as an unbiased journalist (“It is not part of my job to push an agenda, but rather to be relentlessly honest in everything I see, say and do. I’ve never wanted to be any kind of reporter other than a good one, and I do not desire to promote any cause other than the truth”) but it’s six words towards the end of the letter that speak the biggest volume: “I love, and I am loved.”
The love for Cooper was most certainly felt in response to his coming out. In addition to the response from many supporters in the Twitterverse (including Neil Patrick Harris who posted from his page, “Good for you, @AndersonCooper. You’re awesome”),” GLAAD President Herndon Graddick released a statement regarding Cooper’s news. “Even prior to coming out publically, Anderson’s terrific work has raised awareness of inequalities facing LGBT people,” Graddick said of Cooper, a GLAAD Media Award winner, “I’m proud to call him my friend. He’s a role model to millions and now will inspire countless others.”