The respected CNN journalist, who has long dodged questions about his sexuality in the public eye, opened up to The Daily Beast columnist Andrew Sullivan in a recent email exchange.
In it, Cooper, 45, addresses the issues raised in a recent Entertainment Weekly feature, which chronicled the trend of gay people in public life who come out in relatively matter-of-fact ways.
“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,” Cooper writes in the email. “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 carer, even when I’ve been directly asked ‘the gay question,’ which happens occasionally.”
The daytime talk show host notes that he felt now was the right time to come forward because he has become concerned that his silence on the matter would be misinterpreted as shame.
Cooper, who also hosts his own syndicated talk daytime show Anderson, addressed the subject after Sullivan – a British writer who is openly gay and Catholic – put the question to him after a cover story in the current Entertainment Weekly focused on how gay people in the public life are currently coming out in understated and matter-of-fact manners.
“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,” Cooper began.
“It’s become clear to me that by remaining silent on certain aspects of my personal life for so long,” he continued. “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.”
Its hard to do what Anderson just did – I can only speak for myself when I say, I’m really proud of you Mr. Cooper!