At Last: Anderson Cooper Comes Out
For years, Anderson Cooper has dodged questions about his sexuality, but the journalist put all the rumors to rest on Monday and told gay blogger Andrew Sullivan that he is indeed gay.
"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," he wrote in an email to Sullivan.
The "AC360" host also explains why he has decided to keep quite on the issue for so long.
"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," he wrote. "I’m not an activist, but I am a human being and I don’t give that up by being a journalist."
Over the years, rumors persisted that Cooper is gay, but he eluded the issue, often being coy about it.
In March, 2010, he co-hosted "Live with Regis and Kelly" when Kelly Ripa produced a copy of Cooper’s yearbook picture. When she saw he was embarrassed, she stuck it down her blouse with the words, "You’ll never get this back."
"Sweetie, that’s the last place I’d look," was his quick reply.
According to the New York Times, "Mr. Sullivan said he had asked Mr. Cooper for feedback on an Entertainment Weekly cover story, ’The New Art of Coming Out,’ about the understated ways in which some celebrities now self-identify as gay. Weeks earlier, The New York Times had described how Jim Parsons, a star of ’The Big Bang Theory"’on CBS, had casually identified himself as gay during an interview in a ’no-fuss manner’ that ’demonstrated how, for some gay stars, a new normal exists that avoids the choreographed tap dance out of the closet.’"
The Times report continued: "Mr. Cooper, according to his colleagues, was bothered by news reports of bullying and other forms of discrimination against gays - reports that he has covered extensively on his shows. Those incidents, along with the fact that being publicly gay ’just isn’t a big deal anymore,’ contributed to his decision to speak publicly about his sexuality, one of his former producers said.
"Because of his stature on television, ’he feels that it will make a difference,’ the person added. ’He wanted to help.’"
In 2005, Cooper was more reticent with going public about his sexuality. In a New York Magazine profile, journalist Jonathan Van Meter brought up the topic. Cooper replied: "...I understand why people might be interested. But I just don’t talk about my personal life ... 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."
For some, the announcement wasn’t so much breaking news. Drew Harmon tweeted: "Anderson Cooper is gay. Also breaking: Sun rises in East, sets in West." And Tweeter John Scalzi snarked: "Anderson Cooper comes out of the world’s draftiest closet. Good for him."
Most, though, were highly supportive as tweets from major celebrities - both gay and straight - hit the Internet on Monday afternoon.
"Good for you, @AndersonCooper," posted Neil Patrick Harris. "You’re Awesome."
Out talk show host DeGeneres tweeted, "I’m proud of you, @AndersonCooper."
Kelly Ripa commented: "So proud of you, @anderson cooper."
Anderson’s New Year’s Eve co-host Kathy Griffin posted a pic of her sunbathing with Cooper and added: "Here I am w/ my friend @andersoncooper who I’m so proud of."
And Cooper’s favorite Real Housewife NeNe Leakes tweeted, "That did it...Now I really love @andersoncooper."