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It wasn’t really a secret. But now Anderson Cooper has officially come out of the closet and fully acknowledged that he’s gay. After so many years of thinly veiled hints, uncomfortable questions, and non-denials, the CNN anchor chose a rather unexpected venue to set the record straight: Andrew Sullivan’s Daily Beast blog. Sullivan apparently asked Cooper (the two have allegedly been friends for “more than two decades”) for feedback on the issue of coming out and gay visibility, and the news anchor gave the blogger permission to publish his emailed response.
Cooper explains he always wanted to keep a zone of privacy, not only for personal reasons but also professional ones. Considering his experience in conflict areas and war zones, he’s often found that “for my safety and the safety of those I work with,” it was always best to “try to blend in as much as possible.” Often, “the less an interview subject knows about me, the better I can safely and effectively do my job.”
Now, however, he has come to realize there could be “unintended outcomes” to his insistence on this zone of privacy.
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.
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 emphasizes that he has never hidden “this part of my life” from friends, family members, or colleagues.
Questions and speculation about Cooper’s sexuality have become quite common in recent years, getting to a point where it seemed clear he wasn’t really trying to hide anything even if he didn’t actually say the words.
Last year, in a review of his syndicated daytime talk show, the New York Times’ Alessandra Stanley pointed out that while Cooper was opening up about many different parts of his life, he was obviously keeping his love life under wraps.