Anderson Cooper Wishes He Came Out Sooner: 'It Makes a Difference' [Video]

“I never said I wasn’t gay or tried to hide it or pretend anything else. I just didn’t want to talk about it.”

Anderson Cooper said he wished he had announced he was gay to the world “sooner.”

During a guest appearance on Thursday’s “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” the CNN anchor revealed his journey to coming out of the closet to the public, as he had done so to family and friends while in high school.

“I was open at work, but, yes, in a public way, I was not,” he told Ellen DeGeneres during an online interview. “I hadn’t made a statement about it. I never said I wasn’t gay or tried to hide it or pretend anything else. I just didn’t want to talk about it.”

“By not saying something, it seemed like I was indicating that I was somehow ashamed of something or not happy being gay,” he continued. “The complete opposite has always been the case.”

“So I felt bad. By not saying something, I seemed to be saying something.”

Anderson and Ellen recalled how he was on her show back in 2010, two years before he came out publicly, but the pair had discussed his sexuality privately.

By 2012, Anderson was ready for the world to know with the help of his then-boyfriend, Benjamin Maisani.

“I thought, ‘OK, well, I want to say something.’ So I did and I couldn’t be happier. Even though you think you’re out, you think everybody knows, it doesn’t matter, [but] it does matter. It makes a difference.”

He added, “And I think it’s important for me to have said the word ‘gay.’ That I’m gay and I’m proud of it.”

The pair have since broken up, but are co-parenting their son Wyatt, whom they welcomed just a few weeks ago.

Meanwhile, Ellen added how it is important for gay people to feel represented, especially on television.

“To me, that’s the reason to do it,” she said.

Anderson agreed, adding, “I was late, I wish I had done it sooner.”

When Anderson did finally come out, he confirmed it via email to his friend, Andrew Sullivan, who had permission to announce it on his website.

“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,” Cooper said in the email.

Watch the interview above.

[via TooFab]

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