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On season premiere of talk show, Anderson Cooper opens up about coming out

'I've been torn for a long time between a desire as a reporter to do just do my job'

Anderson Cooper showed right away Monday that the second season of his syndicated talk show, now called Anderson Live, will be different from the first.

In addition to the new name (the show was previously simply called Anderson), Cooper will now have various co-hosts joining him and started with beloved LGBT ally Kirsten Chenoweth who was able to quickly draw out a more personal side of the host.

Cooper came out publicly as a gay man over the summer in an email to journalist Andrew Sullivan but had not commented further until Monday when Chenoweth brought it up.

'So you heard that?' said Cooper who then received applause from the audience.

Cooper shared with the audience that he had been out in his personal life since he was in high school.

'I told my friends, I told my family, I've always been out to my coworkers and stuff,' he said. 'It's just not something I talked about publicly because as a reporter I didn't think it was appropriate. It didn't seem part of my job.'

Chenoweth asked what made him decide to finally go public.

'I've been torn for a long time between a desire as a reporter to do just do my job,' he explained. 'And at the same time, I think visibility is important - that the tide of history only moves forward when everybody is visible. I didn't want to send a message that there was anything I was ashamed about.'

'I appreciate all the support I got and all the encouragement,' Cooper added. 'I am the same person I always was, I do the job just the same way.'

The talk show, nominated for an Emmy this year, has moved from Time Warner Center to a new set at Manhattan’s CBS Broadcast Center where it has a live studio audience and the capability of incorporating feedback in real-time via social media like Twitter and Facebook.

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