July 2, 2012 at 2:35 pm EDT | by Lou Chibbaro Jr.
CNN’s Anderson Cooper: ‘The fact is I’m gay, always have been…and proud’
Anderson Cooper, Andrew Sullivan, gay news, Washington Blade

Gay conservative advocate and commentator Andrew Sullivan posted Cooper’s statement in his regularly published column “The Dish,” on online news site, The Daily Beast. (Photo by Craig O’Neal via Wikimedia)

Anderson Cooper, the internationally acclaimed journalist and war correspondent with the Cable News Network, disclosed publicly for the first time on Monday that he’s gay, ending years of speculation by the public and prodding by gay activists that he come out.

“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,” Cooper wrote in a statement published July 2 in The Daily Beast, an online news site with millions of readers.

Gay conservative advocate and commentator Andrew Sullivan posted Cooper’s statement in his regularly published column “The Dish,” on online news site, The Daily Beast.

Sullivan explained in his column that he invited Cooper to comment on an article published last week in Entertainment Weekly, which reported how the public reaction to gay people in public life who come out has become less of a big deal that in past years.

“Andrew, as you know, the issue you raise is one that I’ve thought about for years,” Cooper wrote in an email to Sullivan, which he gave Sullivan permission to publish.

“Even though my job puts me in the public eye, I have tried to maintain some level of privacy in my life,” Cooper wrote. “Part of that has been for purely personal reasons. I think most people want some privacy for themselves and the people they’re close to.”

Cooper said that from a professional standpoint, he believed keeping his personal life private would better enable him to report on difficult-to-cover stories such as wars that have taken him to places that have placed him and the CNN staff in danger.

“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 wrote in his 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 career, even when I’ve been directly asked ‘the gay question,’ which happens occasionally,” he said.

“Recently, however, I’ve begun to consider whether the unintended outcomes of maintaining my privacy outweigh personal and profession principle,” he continued. “It’s become clear to me that by remaining silent on certain aspects of my personal life for so long, 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.”

Cooper said he has “always been very open and honest” about his sexual orientation with his friends, family and professional colleagues. He said that since his early days as a reporter “I have worked hard to accurately and fairly portray gay and lesbian people in the media and to fairly and accurately portray those who for whatever reason disapprove of them.”

Herndon Graddick, president of Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, an LGBT media watchdog group, called Cooper’s official coming out an important development.

“Even prior to coming out publicly, Anderson’s terrific work has raised awareness of inequalities facing LGBT people,” Graddick said in a statement. “I’m proud to call him my friend. He’s a role model to millions and now will inspire countless others.”

Fred Sainz, spokesperson for the Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest LGBT civil rights organization, called Cooper’s statement “a big deal.”

“The fact that it will receive scant negative attention – and his career will more than likely be enhanced and his relationship with his viewers strengthened – is the real victory,” Sainz said.

“It’s proof that our culture has changed for the better, that one of our country’s most prominent journalists can share an important aspect of his life without retribution.”

Cooper for years has been among CNN’s most prominent reporters covering stories ranging from foreign wars to Hurricane Katrina’s devastation of New Orleans.

Earlier this year GLAAD named Anderson Cooper 360, Cooper’s nightly news program on CNN, as the recipient of its annual GLAAD Media Award for the category of Outstanding TV Journalism – Newsmagazine.

A spokesperson for CNN couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.

Lou Chibbaro Jr. has reported on the LGBT civil rights movement and the LGBT community for more than 30 years, beginning as a freelance writer and later as a staff reporter and currently as Senior News Reporter for the Washington Blade. He has chronicled LGBT-related developments as they have touched on a wide range of social, religious, and governmental institutions, including the White House, Congress, the U.S. Supreme Court, the military, local and national law enforcement agencies and the Catholic Church. Chibbaro has reported on LGBT issues and LGBT participation in local and national elections since 1976. He has covered the AIDS epidemic since it first surfaced in the early 1980s. Follow Lou

  • Dear Mr. Cooper:
    The reality is Chris Doner was telling the truth of how some departments of law enforcement are corrupted was “True”. I was ‘Wrongfully” Terminated in 2006 from the Department of Probation, Riverside Juvenile Hall. Two employees were having an affair and I was best friends with the husband who I worked with. The wife found out because she tape recorded the mistress. The mistress was married and when the wife confronted the husband he denied it. When the wife called and asked me was her husband cheating, I told her ‘No’ because I didn’t want to jeopardize my job. The mistress attempted to cover up the affair because she was Hispanic and he was African American and both married. The Assistant Director was very good friends with the mistress and started the investigation. In the month of December 2005, the duty log notes came up missing. I was scheduled to work the duty desk for December and the assistant director was notified. Who was good friends with the mistress? Several Days later my duty log notes appear? The husband was with the department for over 20 years at the time and has been under numerous investigations for excessive force, and was arrested October 7, 2005, for resisting arrest with the police. He assaulted his wife on that Saturday because she confronted him about the affair. She drove to my house and when the police arrived at his house she wasn’t there. My husband at the time wouldn’t let me call the police on the husband because he said he would lose his job. Yet, this man needed to be arrested and go to jail. The husband was finally fired three years ago because he finally got on tape for excessive force on a minor. The mistress lied and said I put a note in her mailbox (size of a notepad) off the job. My attorney Stephen Horvath told the arbitrator that I didn’t write the note or put it in the mistress mailbox and this incident occurred off the job. The mistress ‘Never called the police to get a police report’ or contact the ‘Post Office’. The department contacted the police department and they said, ‘There was no DNA’ of my fingerprints. Yet, this was the reason for my termination. My attorney Stephen stated, ‘This man was arrested, numerous investigations for excessive force and you find him credible? The judge said, ‘Well, I don’t care what happens off the job, yet he held me accountable for a false allegation off the job? The Chief now for Riverside use to work with this man and ‘Knew’ that he use to use excessive force on the minors. The Assistant Director would get irritated because I told her how this man was mistreating the minors. I was an ‘Outstanding’ employee. They had my supervisor summons to the arbitration hearing in hopes of painting a picture of me being a bad person. She didn’t. She bragged about me and said, ‘Val’ often had problems with some employees because she would stand up for’ Right’ and she put it in my evaluation.They forced my supervisor to retire after the testimony in my behalf. I thank her so very much for being honest. The other man that lied on me during the investigation has been in numerous investigations for excessive force. Yet, he’s still employed. The mistress goes out ‘Stress’ and never had to testify during my hearing for the Riverside hearing.
    I know there is a ‘God’ because the ‘State” EDD/San Bernardino Arbitration Judge Karas heard my case because Polluted Riverside refused to pay my unemployment benefits. Judge Karas blatantly stated, ‘How do you go from perfect employee running the institution to Fired? What documents do you have to substantiate to support the allegations? They didn’t have ‘Absolutely Any’. Judge Karas made the ‘Mistress’ testify. Because he knows when you “Lie’ you can’t remember ‘Anything’. She was so non credible and attempted coercion for the investigator until Judge Karas told the mistress if she told her investigator anything else she would have to ‘Leave’. I submitted all my evaluations/ plus they had my personnel file of ‘Zero’ discipline. I thank Judge Karas because he ruled in my ‘Favor’ because of the ‘Burden of Proof’ and not in Favor of corruption. My understanding the arbitration judge from Riverside was going up for re-election and the department ‘Voted’ him in? Judge Karas was a ‘State’ arbitrator.I ‘Won’ my EDD case. It no longer matter about the ‘Corruption’ of the investigator who was promoted for ‘Wrongfully Terminating’ me. This investigator is now acting chief. One of my friends who was also ‘Wrongfully Accused’ in the investigation;Pollution said they didn’t have enough evidence about her spreading a rumor about the ‘Affair'( that in ‘Fact’ was true.) was not terminated. Yet, my friend had an brain aneurism after this happened. They made her remove her calendar of ‘President Obama’ that was on her wall at the office. My friend called the union and they allowed her to put it back up. The same investigator that terminated me. The Fed’s do need to go to Riverside County and seize ‘All’ records for any ‘Wrongful’ termination and I guarantee you they will be in disbelief. I thank God for the support of my ‘Family’, ‘Friends’ Judge Karas, Superivsor. My attorney and union who fought a good fight but you can’t win corruption. My attorney was Stephen Horvath and he was in disbelief because at the time I was the first case and woman of color that he represented that had an ‘Awesome History and Record’ with the department and was terminated because of a note (the size to write a phone number down). There needs to be a law pass that when someone is terminated from there job the case heard in the same county. They need to have Arbitration Judge Karas do all wrongful termination because color or politic doesn’t matter. Burden of Proof does….The sad part in the end Chris Doner became part of the corruption….My Hearts go out to all the families……..

  • Amendment of Posting: The cases should not be heard from arbitrator Judges of the same county.

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