The worst kept secret in the news and entertainment world is no longer a secret at all. In an e-mail to long-time friend, Andrew Sullivan, CNN news anchor and talk show host, Anderson Cooper admits he is gay. With his permission, Sullivan posted the letter in its entirety in his Daily Beast column on Monday.
“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 wrote to his friend.
Citing his intent to remain neutral as a journalist as his reason for not coming out sooner, Anderson said he became worried that the general perception had become that was “trying to hide something – something that makes me uncomfortable, ashamed or even afraid.” He clarifies, “This is distressing because it is simply not true.”
In the e-mail, Anderson explains why he believes certain aspects of as neutral journalists life should remain private .
“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.”
Now, however, Cooper says the time has come for him for him to allow others in on this part of his life.
“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.”
Cooper goes on to explain why he didn’t reveal his sexual orientation in his autobiography published many years ago.
“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.”
In a letter that clearly comes straight from the heart, Cooper sums up why he decided that now is the time to open up about his person life now.
“In my opinion, the ability to love another person is one of God’s greatest gifts, and I thank God every day for enabling me to give and share love with the people in my life. I appreciate your asking me to weigh in on this, and I would be happy for you to share my thoughts with your readers. I still consider myself a reserved person and I hope this doesn’t mean an end to a small amount of personal space. But I do think visibility is important, more important than preserving my reporter’s shield of privacy.”
Arguably the strongest message in the entire letter, Cooper says, “”I love, and I loved.”