Ending years of speculation, one of CNN’s brightest stars has come out as gay, instantly becoming the most prominent openly gay TV journalist ever seen.
“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,” Anderson Cooper wrote to the Daily Beast blog writer Andrew Sullivan, who is a long-standing close friend of the 45-year-old anchorman.
“Even though my job puts me in the public eye, I have tried to maintain some level of privacy in my life,” he explains of his reluctance to come out earlier. “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.”
But: “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.”
Rumours about Cooper’s sexuality have been rife for years – even before he came out, Out magazine put him on their list of influential LGBT Americans, and he’s even been a gay magazine coverboy before.
Among the many celebrities to welcome Cooper out of the closet in recent hours has been comedian Kathy Griffin, who posted this picture of the two mates together. Her caption read: “Here I am with my friend Anderson Cooper who I’m so proud of.”