Anderson Cooper announced to the public that he is gay when he sent an email to writer Andrew Sullivan. The email to Sullivan said, “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 never publicly confirmed the rampant media speculation about his sexuality until this week.
“I just don’t talk about my personal life,” he said in an interview with New York Magazine in 2005. “The whole thing about being a reporter is that you’re supposed to be an observer and to be able to adapt with any group you’re in, and I don’t want to do anything that threatens that.”
Cooper said the following on Monday, reversing his course:
“I have always been very open and honest about this part of my life with my friends, my family, and my colleagues. In a perfect world, I don’t think it’s anyone else’s business, but I do think there is value in standing up and being counted. I’m not an activist, but I am a human being and I don’t give that up by being a journalist. 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.”
Cooper, the CNN anchor and daytime talk show host, has been linked romantically to Benjamin Maisani. Maisani is the co-owner of two gay bars in New York City. Those two gay bars are Bedlam and Eastern Bloc. Cooper is the sixth openly gay anchor in the cable news industry. He joins CNN colleagues Jane Velez-Mitchell and Don Lemon along with MSNBC anchors Rachel Maddow, Thomas Roberts and Steve Kornacki.
Sullivan noted in his article that Cooper is the latest celebrity to announce he is gay in an incredibly understated method. Ellen DeGeneres came out using magazine covers and major publicity 15 years ago. Stars are finding it easier to come out in today’s world a little more quietly than in the past. Cooper received well-wishes from Roberts, Lemon and DeGeneres via Twitter. The gay rights group GLAAD issued a statement when Cooper’s announcement became public. The statement reads as follows and was issued by GLAAD President Herndon Graddick.
“Even prior to coming out publically, Anderson’s terrific work has raised awareness of inequalities facing LGBT people. I’m proud to call him my friend. He’s a role model to millions and now will inspire countless others.”