- The TV news anchor says he wishes he’d come out sooner as he talks about life as a new dad in lockdown.
CNN anchor Anderson Cooper has described being gay as a ‘great blessing of my life’ as he talks about being a new dad.
Cooper was speaking to fellow LGBT+ TV celebrity Ellen DeGeneres. They both conducted the interview from home as both are under coronavirus pandemic lockdown.
Cooper started by talking about the birth of his first son. Wyatt Morgan Cooper was born via a surrogate mother on 27 April. He shared the news in an emotional speech to CNN viewers a few days later.
The 52-year-old new dad said: ‘I am blissfully happy. I can’t stop smiling.
‘I was actually going into work up until a couple of days before he was born. But now I am working from home and it’s just amazing. I just stare at him and can watch him for hours and hours.
‘He goes through a whole range of emotions on his face when he’s sleeping. It’s better than Netflix.’
Like all new parents, Cooper has had some learning to do.
He explained: ‘He’s already changed so much. He got baby acne today. I didn’t know it was a thing and I had to Google it. But apparently it is a thing and it will go away.’
‘I’m gay and I’m proud of it. It’s fantastic’
Ellen joked that most people were just adopting pets during the virus crisis. And Cooper replied: ‘The shelter was all out of puppies so I took the extra step.’
The chat show host then asked him about coming out. Cooper’s last time on The Ellen DeGeneres Show was 10 years ago. That’s before he came out publicly in 2012.
Cooper told her: ‘I came out in high school to my friends and family and stuff and was open at work. But in a public way I was not. I hadn’t made a statement about it. I never said I wasn’t gay or tried to hide it or pretend anything, I just didn’t want to talk about it.
‘But it got to the point in my life where not saying something seemed like I was saying something.
‘By not saying something, that seemed like I was indicating that I was somehow ashamed of something or not happy being gay. The complete opposite has always been the case. I consider it, along with Wyatt, one of the great blessings of my life to be gay.
‘So even though I am painfully shy and introvert and stuff, I thought I want to say something and I did. And I couldn’t be happier.
‘Even though you think you are out and you think everybody knows and it doesn’t matter, it does matter and it makes a difference. I think it’s important for me to have said the word “gay”, that I’m gay and that I’m proud of it. It’s fantastic.’
‘CNN is seen globally and I am glad it sends that message’
DeGeneres, who came out as a lesbian in 1997, shared her view that it’s important for people to see themselves represented in the media.
She said: ‘There are a lot of people out there who don’t feel like they are represented enough on television. So that’s to me the reason to do it.’
In response, Cooper said: ‘I wish I’d done it sooner.’
He admitted: ‘It’s made some things more difficult in terms of work and where I travel. Because I travel to a lot of places where it is illegal and where they kill people because of it or jail them. So that’s something I have to take into consideration. But I wouldn’t change it for the world.
‘I work for CNN and it’s seen globally around the world so I am glad it sends that message around the world.’