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Anderson Cooper: Why I Decided to Come Out Publicly

USMagazine, Monday, September 10, 2012, 2:00pm (PDT)
  • Anderson Cooper is ready to share his side of the story.

    In early July, the CNN journalist and daytime talk show host came out of the closet publicly when he gave The Daily Beast permission to reprint an email to political blogger Andrew Sullivan. "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 Sullivan, a longtime friend.

    PHOTOS: Out and proud stars

    During the second season premiere of "Anderson" on Sept. 10, the 45-year-old host explained why he finally decided to share the news with the world.

    "Now I'm blushing and I'm getting nervous," Cooper giggled when guest co-host Kristin Chenoweth, 44, asked him about his summer. "I came out in high school. I told my friends, I told my family. I've always been out to my co-workers and stuff. It's just not something I talked about publicly, because as a reporter, I didn't think it was appropriate. It didn't seem like part of my job."

    VIDEO: Anderson Cooper dishes with Us

    "It just got to the point where -- I've been torn for a long time between a desire as a reporter to just do my job and be known as a reporter -- and at the same time I do think visibility is important. I do think that the tide of history only moves forward when everyone is fully visible," Cooper explained. "I didn't want to send a message that there was anything I was ashamed about or unhappy about or not comfortable with. That was the main thing for me."

    PHOTOS: Celebrity LGBT allies

    "I appreciate all the support I got and all the encouragement," said Cooper, who is the son of heiress, fashion designer and philanthropist Gloria Vanderbilt. "I am the same person I always was, I do the job just the same way."

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