The Daily Beast’s Andrew Sullivan had some questions about last week’s Entertainment Weekly story about gay people in public life “who come out in a much more restrained and matter-of-fact way than in the past.”
So Sullivan asked his friend, CNN’s Anderson Cooper for his thoughts. What he got was 700+ word response, published in the Daily Beast, in which Cooper acknowledges publicly, for the first time, he’s gay.
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 says he’s never really hidden the issue of his homosexuality, just that he’s never felt it necessary to be open about it. “Recently, however,” Cooper writes, “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.”
Cooper writes that he hopes this honest admission doesn’t mean giving up his personal privacy.
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.