CNN anchor, journalist and daytime talk show host Anderson Cooper has publicly declared that he is gay, in a post about "the new art of coming out" on The Daily Beast
.The Daily Beast
's Andrew Sullivan, who writes he's "known Anderson Cooper as a friend for more than two decades," asked Cooper to comment on a recent Entertainment Weekly story
about the emerging trend of homosexual celebrities nonchalantly declaring their sexuality, as a way of saying (quoting EW
), "This is part of who I am, I don't consider it a big deal or a crisis, and if you do, that's not my problem."
But as Sullivan writes, "We still have pastors calling for the death of gay people, bullying incidents and suicides among gay kids, and one major political party dedicated to ending the basic civil right to marry the person you love. So these "non-events" are still also events of a kind; and they matter. The visibility of gay people is one of the core means for our equality."
Cooper, 45, who is widely known as an intensely private and professionalism-focused journalist, responded (in part): 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.
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. 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.
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 ended his full statement to Sullivan, which can be found here
, with this message: "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." To which Sullivan responded simply, "Me too."(Image courtesy of WENN)