"Andrew, as you know, the issue you raise is one that I've thought about for years," Cooper responded. "Even though my job puts me in the public eye, I have tried to maintain some level of privacy in my life. Part of that has been for purely personal reasons. I think most people want some privacy for themselves and the people they are close to."
"But I've also wanted to retain some privacy for professional reasons," Cooper continued. "Since I started as a reporter in war zones 20 years ago, I've often found myself in some very dangerous places. For my safety and the safety of those I work with, I try to blend in as much as possible, and prefer to stick to my job of telling other people's stories, and not my own. I have found that sometimes the less an interview subject knows about me, the better I can safely and effectively do my job as a journalist. 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 said he did not come out in his 2006 memoir, "Dispatches from the Edge," because the book was meant to be about war and not about his personal life. But his thinking has since changed:
Recently, however, I've begun to consider whether the unintended outcomes of maintaining my privacy 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. This is distressing because it is simply not true.While it's the first time Cooper has been on the record about his sexuality, it's been an open secret in the media and gay communities for years. In 2007, for example, Out magazine put Cooper on its list of the 50 most powerful gays. In 2011, Cooper gave a winking nod to his homosexuality during a panel discussion with writers from The Onion.