It's been a subject of speculation for years, but Anderson Cooper has finally come out and said it: He's gay. Coop publicly broke the news in an email to Andrew Sullivan, who had asked him about the trend of high-profile gay people coming out in a less headline-grabbing way. Sullivan sees this as a good thing since "we're evolved enough not to be gob-smacked when we find out someone's gay," but he also thinks it's still important to have it on the record since the subject is still so controversial to some. Cooper explained in his response why he's kept his personal life private up til this point—and why he's opening up now.
Cooper's main concern, he writes, was keeping himself and his team safe as he went about his job as a reporter, often in dangerous areas. He preferred to "blend in as much as possible," for reasons of safety as well as a belief that a journalist's personal life, politics, religion, and other matters should not become issues of public discussion. But he recently started to realize that his silence gave 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 simply is not true," he writes. "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." Click to read his email in full.