Anderson Cooper wouldn't say he's kicking off the second season of his talk show with a clean slate—because his slate was never messy!
"So, you heard that?" the newsman joked with guest cohost Kristin Chenoweth today on the season premiere of Anderson Live when she asked what prompted him to publicly address over the summer the fact that he is gay. "Everybody in my life...Now I'm all blushing and getting nervous!"
"I came out in high school," Cooper said. "I told my friends, I told my family. I've always been out to my coworkers and stuff. It's just not something I talked about publicly, because as a reporter, I didn't think it was appropriate. It didn't seem like part of my job."
In an open letter to the Daily Beast's Andrew Sullivan, Cooper wrote that he indeed was gay, "always will be, and I couldn't be any more happy, comfortable with myself and proud."
Guess what? Society didn't miss a beat. But, Chenoweth wondered, why now (or then)?
"It just got to the point where, I've been torn for a long time between the desire as a reporter to just do my job and be known as a reporter," Cooper explained. "And, at the same time, I think visibility is important...The tide of history only moves forward when everybody is fully visible...I didn't want to send a message that it was anything I was ashamed about or unhappy about or not comfortable with. And that was the main thing for me. I mean, I appreciate all the support I got and all the encouragement."
"I'm the same person I always was," he added, "I do the job the same way." (CNN's coverage of Hurricane Isaac on the Gulf Coast would certainly attest to that.)
Figuring it might be a good time for her to clear the air, too, Chenoweth (looking fresh as a daisy after spending time in a neck brace following an accident on the set of The Good Wife) chimed in with her own announcement.
"I am not gay," she asserted matter-of-factly. "I'm hetero! I know there's been people who've been wondering, maybe some single men."