CNN host Anderson Cooper is getting candid about when he “truly accepted” the fact that he was gay.
The hunky political commentator was answering viewers questions on his live digital show Full Circle on Monday, when he was asked how he learned to accept being gay and how old he was when he did. Cooper stated that he started to question his sexuality when he was around 7 years old.
“I’m not sure I knew the word ‘gay’ at the time, but I realized something was up. Something was different,” he said, noting that although he did tell people in high school, it wasn’t until his college years that he started “really loving the fact that I was gay.”
The 53-year-old added that he “really struggled in my teenage years,” when it came to being able to embrace who he was, noting that “a lot of things I wanted to do at the time, you couldn’t be gay.”
Cooper revealed that he wanted to join the military, but that was out of the question, and that he felt stifled by the places he could travel due to “safety” concerns. “It felt like there were a lot of limitations on [being gay], and it wasn’t what I envisioned for my life,” he said. “I imagined a family and getting married. All those things weren’t possible at the time.”
The silver fox admitted that it wasn’t until “about a year out of college” that he decided he wasn’t going to “waste any more time” worrying about what people thought about him. “I think being gay is one of the greatest blessing of my life,” Cooper gushed, adding that his perspective has “made me a better person, and it’s made me a better reporter.”
Cooper came out publicly in 2012, writing an email to longtime pal and Daily Beast columnist 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,” Cooper said in a statement, which Sullivan said he had Cooper’s permission to share with the world.
In 2016, the political reporter was the first out gay man to moderate a presidential debate. Cooper welcomed his first child, son Wyatt Morgan, in April of last year. He co-parents his son with former partner Benjamin Maisani.