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Anderson Cooper Confirms: 'I'm Gay'

"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."

That's CNN's Anderson Cooper in an email to The Daily Beast's Andrew Sullivan, which Sullivan posted this morning.

Why say that now? As Cooper says in the email, he's been asked "the gay question" before about what had been an open secret for years and not publicly addressed it.

Now, he says in the email:

-- "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 as a society we are moving toward greater inclusion and equality for all people, the tide of history only advances when people make themselves fully visible. There continue to be far too many incidences of bullying of young people, as well as discrimination and violence against people of all ages, based on their sexual orientation, and I believe there is value in making clear where I stand."

Update at 1:50 p.m. ET. Some Reactions:

Our colleagues at KQED in San Francisco are storyfying the reactions of Bay Area Twitter users. Many were not surprised by the announcement since his sexual orientation had been such an open secret. "Man, I didn't know Anderson Cooper WASN'T gay. Talk about awkward," says one tweet. He's also being praised.

Update at 1:30 p.m. ET. CNN's Don Lemon Went Public Last Year:

NPR's David Folkenflik reminds our Newscast Desk that "last year, CNN anchor Don Lemon revealed his own homosexuality and told NPR he had kept it secret because he feared viewers might no longer accept him. Cooper similarly wrote he had always been private about his orientation because he thought the more he became a story, the more it might interfere with his ability to cover others."

Update at 12:30 p.m. ET. American TV's "Most Prominent Openly Gay Journalist":

The New York Times' Decoder blog says Cooper's announcement "makes him the most prominent openly gay journalist on American television."

He had already been on Out's "Power 50" list.

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