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CNN reporter Anderson Cooper is the latest celebrity to announce that he is gay.
In a message to The Daily Beast columnist Andrew Sullivan, the AC360 anchor spoke about his sexual orientation publicly for the first time, as a response to Entertainment Weekly’s cover story on the subject of celebrities coming out. The story covers how the public’s reactions to celebrities coming out has changed since Ellen DeGeneres announced that she is gay.
Cooper wrote to Sullivan that he had long thought 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.”
He adds that by not revealing aspects of his personal life, it may seem to some that he is hiding something, which was never his intention. “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,” he adds. “There continue to be far too many incidences of bullying of young people, as well as discrimination and violence against people of all ages, based on their sexual orientation, and I believe there is value in making clear where I stand.
“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 concludes, “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.”
According to The New York Daily News, Cooper gave Sullivan, a longtime friend of the reporter, permission to publish the email in its entirety.
Cooper’s announcement follows White Collar and Magic Mike star Matt Bomer’s. The actor first spoke about his sexuality in a speech in February when he accepted the New Generation Arts and Activism Award for his work fighting AIDS. In May, The Big Bang Theory’s Jim Parsons revealed to The New York Times that he is gay.