After years of speculation, CNN anchor Anderson Cooper has come out — “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’s announcement came in the form of an email to friend Andrew Sullivan, a columnist for the Daily Beast, with permission to post.
Sullivan, who is gay, asked Cooper for his thoughts on an emerging trend of high-profile figures coming out in under-stated ways, and suggested that people put their sexuality “on the record” to set an example for others, including bullied gay kids.
“We still have pastors calling for the death of gay people, bullying incidents and suicides among gay kids, and one major political party dedicated to ending the basic civil right to marry the person you love,” Sullivan said. “The visibility of gay people is one of the core means for our equality.”
In response, Sullivan received this email:
Andrew, as you know, the issue you raise is one that I’ve thought about for years.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I love, and I am loved.
In my opinion, the ability to love another person is one of God’s greatest gifts, and I thank God every day for enabling me to give and share love with the people in my life.Full story, The Daily Beast →
A representative for Cooper, who was out of the country on assignment Monday, confirmed that the email was authentic, reported Reuters.
The announcement makes Cooper, 45, host of CNN’s nightly “Anderson Cooper 360″ and the syndicated daytime talk show, “Anderson,” the most high profile openly gay news anchor on television.
Other prominent gay and lesbian newscasters include MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, HLN’s Jane Velez-Mitchell, and MSNBC’s Thomas Roberts.