Anderson Cooper on Coming Out: 'By Not Saying Something, I Was Saying Something'
By Antoinette Bueno
Anderson Cooper is opening up about his decision to publicly come out as gay in 2012.
The 48-year-old journalist came out in an email published on his longtime friend Andrew Sullivan’s blog The Dish, but had been open about his sexuality with friends and family for decades. The usually private Cooper says he made the decision because "visibility is important."
"At a certain point it started to feel like by not saying something, I was saying something," Cooper tells The Daily Beast. "It seemed like I was uncomfortable about something, which wasn’t the case. I was leading a very open gay life with my partner in New York, we'd go to gay bars."
Cooper has been dating bar owner Benjamin Maisani since 2009.
"I'm certainly not one to preach to anybody about what they should do with their lives, but I do think visibility is important,” he adds, praising Olympic skier Gus Kenworthy, who came out last October. "I understand that people were critical of me for not doing it sooner, and I understand the desire to have people who are visible in the public sphere, but I think we do what we can.”
Cooper is optimistic about the issue of diversity in media, even though currently, the landscape seems bleak.
"There's not enough diversity, but there’s greater diversity than ever before," the CNN anchor explains. "I’m talking about racial diversity, I’m talking about gender, sexuality, economic, geographic, all sorts of diversity, all of which is important to have in a newsroom. And there are more options than ever before. That’s all to the good."
"If anything, I think there’s too much information that it’s hard to figure out where the information is coming from, who’s actually behind it, what is their agenda, what is their bias if they have a bias," he continues. "But I think diversity is important. The more diverse we are in our media, the richer we all are."