In a recent email to the Daily Beast‘s Andrew Sullivan, Anderson Cooper revealed that he is 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,” reads the email, republished with Cooper’s permission. He expressed his desire to maintain his personal and professional privacy, saying, “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’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,” he continues. “I’ve stuck to those principles for my entire professional career, even when I’ve been directly asked ‘the gay question,’ which happens occasionally.” Cooper says he didn’t address his sexual orientation in his 2006 memoir Dispatches From the Edge: A Memoir of War, Disasters, and Survival because the book focused on the issues featured in the title, not on aspects of his private life.
The CNN anchor made his desire for journalistic integrity clear, writing, “I’m not an activist, but I am a human being and I don’t give that up by being a journalist . . . 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.”
Cooper concluded his email by expressing hope that he will maintain a small space of privacy in the future, though he ended by saying, “I do think visibility is important, more important than preserving my reporter’s shield of privacy.”