CNN’s Anderson Cooper, who has been the subject of speculation about his sexuality for years, has come out as gay, the Daily Beast reports.
Cooper made the revelation in an email exchange with the website’s Andrew Sullivan. The two men are longtime friends.
Cooper sent a long email to Sullivan on the subject, which Sullivan posted on the site — with Cooper’s permission.
Cooper, the son of railroad heiress Gloria Vanderbilt, writes in his email to Sullivan: “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 adds: “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.
“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.
“I’ve always believed that who a reporter votes for, what religion they are, who they love, should not be something they have to discuss publicly. As long as a journalist shows fairness and honesty in his or her work, their private life shouldn’t matter.”
The story notes that Cooper’s relatively low-key revelation is part of an emerging trend.
Commenting on the trend, Sullivan writes: “Last week, Entertainment Weekly ran a story on an emerging trend: gay people in public life who come out in a much more restrained and matter-of-fact way than in the past. In many ways, it’s a great development: we’re evolved enough not to be gob-smacked when we find out someone’s gay. But it does matter nonetheless, it seems to me, that this is on the record. 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. So these ‘non-events’ are still also events of a kind; and they matter. The visibility of gay people is one of the core means for our equality.”
The context of Cooper deciding to come out as gay was when Sullivan asked him to comment about the trend Entertainment Weekly wrote about last week.