September 10, 2012 3:15pm PT by Erik Hayden
Anderson Cooper Explains Timing of Decision to Come Out (Video)
Anderson Cooper's mid-summer decision to officially end rumors and reveal that he was gay was a topic of conversation during the season premiere of his daytime program Anderson Live.
"I think we both had big summers," prompted co-host Kristen Chenowith. Laughing, the CNN personality explained that family and friends had already known about his sexual orientation but for a time he wanted to keep his private life just that.
"It just got to the point where I’ve been torn for a long time between a desire as a reporter to just do my job and be known as a reporter and, at the same time, I do think visibility is important," he explained.
"I do think that the tide of history only moves forward when everyone is fully visible. ... I didn’t want to send a message that there was anything I was ashamed about or unhappy about or not comfortable with."
Cooper officially came out to Daily Beast blogger Andrew Sullivan in a letter posted on the news website in early July. At the time, Cooper similarly explained about the timing of his decision that he didn't want his "privacy [to] outweigh personal and professional principle."
"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," Cooper said in the letter.
"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," he wrote.
Watch the Anderson Live exchange below: