In an emailed response to Andrew Sullivan, who had asked for feedback on a story about gay celebrities coming out, Anderson Cooper gave Sullivan permission to publish the fact that he is a gay man. The email in its entirety:

Andrew, as you know, the issue you raise is one that I’ve thought about for years. Even though my job puts me in the public eye, I have tried to maintain some level of privacy in my life. Part of that has been for purely personal reasons. I think most people want some privacy for themselves and the people they are close to. But I’ve also wanted to retain some privacy for professional reasons. Since I started as a reporter in war zones 20 years ago, I’ve often found myself in some very dangerous places. For my safety and the safety of those I work with, I try to blend in as much as possible, and prefer to stick to my job of telling other people’s stories, and not my own. I have found that sometimes the less an interview subject knows about me, the better I can safely and effectively do my job as a journalist. 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. Since my early days as a reporter, I have worked hard to accurately and fairly portray gay and lesbian people in the media – and to fairly and accurately portray those who for whatever reason disapprove of them. It is not part of my job to push an agenda, but rather to be relentlessly honest in everything I see, say and do. I’ve never wanted to be any kind of reporter other than a good one, and I do not desire to promote any cause other than the truth.

Being a journalist, traveling to remote places, trying to understand people from all walks of life, telling their stories, has been the greatest joy of my professional career, and I hope to continue doing it for a long time to come. But while I feel very blessed to have had so many opportunities as a journalist, I am also blessed far beyond having a great career.

I love, and I am loved.

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.

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Comments

  1. Jerry Buie
    July 2, 2012 at 3:48 pm

    So who gets the toaster oven?

  2. Michael Aaron
    July 2, 2012 at 3:49 pm

    Andrew Sullivan comes out.

  3. Chris Jensen
    July 2, 2012 at 3:50 pm

    Who is Andrew Sullivan?

  4. Glen Da
    July 2, 2012 at 3:52 pm

    It has been known for many years that he was gay, glad that he finally made the decision to publicy announce it. Another fact he keeps very secret about his personal life is that he comes from a very prominent and famous family & his mother is a very well known and famous women in her own right, for she is the Original "Poor Little Rich Girl".

  5. QSalt Lake
    July 2, 2012 at 3:52 pm

    Andrew Sullivan officially comes out.

  6. Brandon Hobbs
    July 2, 2012 at 3:55 pm

    Way to go, Coop.

  7. Amy McClintock
    July 2, 2012 at 3:57 pm

    Ho hum, but good news.

  8. John Jeffers
    July 2, 2012 at 4:01 pm

    Ho hum is right. I can't wait for the day when someone being gay isn't a major news story.

  9. QSalt Lake
    July 2, 2012 at 4:04 pm

    Anderson Cooper comes out (oops. Andrew Sullivan has been out for decades).

  10. Michael Aaron
    July 2, 2012 at 4:06 pm

    Anderson Cooper comes out.

  11. Michael Aaron
    July 2, 2012 at 4:07 pm

    Don't post news while on Dayquil. I posted "Andrew Sullivan comes out." Twice. He's been out for decades. Ugh.

  12. Glen Da
    July 2, 2012 at 4:49 pm

    We all know anderson has lived in a glass closet for yrs! Now they gonna tell us Wolf Blitzer is really not a wolf?

  13. Jan McClintock Ibarra
    July 2, 2012 at 5:28 pm

    Anderson's response was honest and open. I respect him tremendously.

  14. JP Allen
    July 2, 2012 at 5:36 pm

    Not that I'm dissin the guy, but doesn't that kind of warrant a "duh!" response?

  15. Budhi W O’Connor
    July 2, 2012 at 5:45 pm

    He's cute!

  16. Ben Harvell
    July 2, 2012 at 5:54 pm

    And the world said a collective "DUH!"

  17. Narvit Acevedo
    July 2, 2012 at 6:46 pm

    Smart, cute, n he is dating?.. media wont stop now, he has done so many good researchs, investgations etc…

  18. Narvit Acevedo
    July 2, 2012 at 6:47 pm

    I like him…

  19. Noble Bonsai
    July 2, 2012 at 7:03 pm

    Anderson Cooper and Ryan Seacrest would make some hot babies together… Tag, your next Ryan!

  20. Timm H. Sheehan
    July 2, 2012 at 10:49 pm

    I'm tickled pink….Big Crush not totally wasted now that he has officially announced his sexual orientation…..

  21. Pingback: Most commented Q stories of 2012 | Gay Salt Lake - Utah Gay and Lesbian News, bars, views, arts

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