Becoming a first-time father during the coronavirus pandemic has put Anderson Cooper in a reflective mood.
Appearing on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” this week for the first time in 10 years, the CNN anchor looked back on his 2012 decision to come out publicly as a gay man. DeGeneres reminded him that, at the time of his 2010 appearance on her show, he had yet to go public about his sexuality.
“I came out in high school to my friends and family, and was open at work, but, yes, in a public way, I was not,” he said. “I hadn’t made a statement about it. I never said I wasn’t gay or tried to hide it or pretend anything else. I just didn’t want to talk about it.”
“It got to the point in my life where not saying something seemed like I was saying something,” Cooper continued. “By not saying something, that seemed like I was indicating that I was somehow ashamed of something or not happy being gay.”
“The complete opposite has always been the case,” he added, before mentioning his son. “I consider it ― along with Wyatt ― one of the great blessings of my life.”
Watch Anderson Cooper on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” below.
Cooper publicly announced his sexual orientation in an email to writer 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,” he wrote in the email, which he gave Sullivan permission to publish.
Eight years later, Cooper “couldn’t be happier” about that decision, even if he sometimes wishes he’d done it sooner.
“It makes a difference,” he told DeGeneres. “I think it’s important for me to have said the word ‘gay.’ That I’m gay and I’m proud of it.”
Elsewhere in the interview, Cooper shared about his experience welcoming his new son, Wyatt Morgan, whom he is raising with his former partner Benjamin Maisani.
“I’ve wanted to have a family of my own forever,” he said. “I love kids. I never thought it would be possible, and it’s just incredible.”
Wyatt’s arrival during a global crisis has, of course, presented a fair share of challenges. For Cooper, however, it’s a necessary part of the cycle of life.
“Even when there is sadness and suffering, there’s also joy and beauty,” he said. “I think it’s important to be able to recognize both, and live in a world that has both of those extremes.”
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