By Jason Merritt, WireImage
(USA TODAY) - That headline takes you right back to Ellen DeGeneres' 1997 Time magazine cover, doesn't it?
Always seemingly single Anderson Cooper, 45, has never talked about his private life. But he recently made Out magazine's Power 50 list. And he has long been rumored to be gay. Now, his friend of more than two decades, writer Andrew Sullivan, has asked Cooper about it for The Daily Beast.
And Cooper gives a lengthy reply, including:
"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.
"I have always been very open and honest about this part of my life with my friends, my family, and my colleagues. In a perfect world, I don't think it's anyone else's business, but I do think there is value in standing up and being counted. I'm not an activist, but I am a human being and I don't give that up by being a journalist."
Cooper, who has not been obvious about a partner but has been linked to Benjamin Maisani, says, "In my opinion, the ability to love another person is one of God's greatest gifts, and I thank God every day for enabling me to give and share love with the people in my life. I appreciate your asking me to weigh in on this, and I would be happy for you to share my thoughts with your readers. I still consider myself a reserved person and I hope this doesn't mean an end to a small amount of personal space. But I do think visibility is important, more important than preserving my reporter's shield of privacy."
Update:GLAAD President Herndon Graddick released a statement after Cooper's news made headlines. It reads:
"Even prior to coming out (publicly), Anderson's terrific work has raised awareness of inequalities facing LGBT people. I'm proud to call him my friend. He's a role model to millions and now will inspire countless others."
And Ellen cheered Cooper on Twitter, writing:
"I'm proud of you, @AndersonCooper.I'm proud of you, @AndersonCooper."