Although Anderson Cooper was 45 years old when he came out as gay, the CNN host revealed he knew when he was a kid. “I was probably ... I don’t know ... 7, when I kind of realized,” he explained. “I’m not sure I knew the word ‘gay’ at the time, but I realized something was up, something was different. It was probably, yeah, 6 or 7.”
Cooper, 53, spoke candidly about his sexual orientation during “Full Circle” and revealed he had difficulty accepting it when he was a teenager. “It wasn’t what I envisioned for my life,” he said. “I imagined a family and getting married and all those things, which weren’t possible at the time.”
For the New York native, accepting who he is was a turning point in his life. “I think I really, truly accepted it — and just kind of, really not just accepted it but fully embraced it and came around to really loving the fact that I was gay — would probably be right after college,” he said. “About a year after college (when) I realized, ‘I don’t want to waste any more time worrying about this’ and sort of wishing I was some other way.”
After Cooper made peace with his mind and heart, he realized it is a blessing instead of a curse. “I think being gay is one of the great blessings of my life,” he revealed. “And it’s made me a better person; it’s made me a better reporter. When you grow up feeling that you’re on the outside of things, you’re kind of an observer of things or not necessarily in the mainstream; you see society from a slightly different view. And I think that can be very valuable and can impact how you treat other people and how you see things. It’s enabled me to love the people that I’ve loved and have the life that I’ve had. So I’m very blessed.”
In April 2020, Cooper welcomed his first son, Wyatt Morgan Cooper. “As a gay kid, I never thought it would be possible to have a child, and I’m grateful for all those who have paved the way, and for the doctors and nurses and everyone involved in my son’s birth,” he wrote on Instagram, sharing a photo of him feeding his newborn.
“I am grateful to a remarkable surrogate who carried Wyatt, and watched over him lovingly, and tenderly, and gave birth to him. It is an extraordinary blessing - what she, and all surrogates give to families who can’t have children. My surrogate has a beautiful family of her own, a wonderfully supportive husband, and kids, and I am incredibly thankful for all the support they have given Wyatt and me,” he added.