CNN anchor Anderson Cooper has confirmed to Andrew Sullivan that he is openly gay. In a lengthy email describing his discretion, Cooper confirmed that he is gay, he always has been, he always will be, and proudly so:
COOPER: 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. I’ve stuck to those principles for my entire professional career, even when I’ve been directly asked “the gay question,” which happens occasionally. I did not address my sexual orientation in the memoir I wrote several years ago because it was a book focused on war, disasters, loss and survival. I didn’t set out to write about other aspects of my life.
Recently, however, I’ve begun to consider whether the unintended outcomes of maintaining my privacy outweigh personal and professional principle. 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’s sexual orientation has long been speculated and he has even been listed on Out magazine’s “Power 50″ list, but he has never publicly acknowledged the question until now. His prominent public trust and visibility in the media will surely help spur new conversations about the LGBT community across the country.