"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," Anderson Cooper writes in an open letter to Andrew Sullivan, published this afternoon.
Cooper's coming out won't be a surprise to anyone who's paid attention to the career of the silver fox of TV journalism. But it is a reversal of a long-held policy of privacy about the intimate details of the anchor's life.
"As long as a journalist shows fairness and honesty in his or her work, their private life shouldn't matter," Cooper writes. "I've stuck to those principles for my entire professional career, even when I've been directly asked 'the gay question,' which happens occasionally."
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Cooper says he worried that keeping his sexual orientation a secret was sending the wrong message -- that he was ashamed of being gay. "There continue to be far too many incidences of bullying of young people, as well as discrimination and violence against people of all ages, based on their sexual orientation, and I believe there is value in making clear where I stand."
The letter itself is worth a read -- it's a simple, straightforward statement of personal acceptance and gratitude for a life filled with loved ones and a pretty awesome job to boot. So congrats, Anderson. Some folks in the Bible Belt might look at you a little sideways from now on, but here in Miami, you just earned some serious credibility -- and fulfilled the fantasies of news-watching gay dudes everywhere.