Anderson Cooper publicly came out last July, and in a few days he’ll be honored with the Vito Russo Award at the 2013 GLAAD Media Awards.
Anderson told Huffington Post Gay Voices Editor-at-Large Michelangelo Signorile that "being gay is a blessing" and he "couldn't be more proud" of his sexuality. He’s always known he was gay, from the time he was a little kid. "I can't remember a time when I wasn't aware of it, even before I knew what it was or the name of it."
People who knew him always knew about his sexuality, but he didn't want his personal life to take over his story in the public realm. However, he explained in his interview, he finally decided he had to come out. "At a certain point I realized that by not saying something I was sending a message, or maybe giving some people the mistaken impression that I was uncomfortable or there was something that I was ashamed about. ... It saddens me to think that I did give that impression because I think being gay is a blessing and it's something I am thankful for every single day and have been for my entire adult life. So, you know, I couldn't be more proud of being gay."
In his radio interview, Anderson also addressed his brother Carter's suicide in 1988, saying it was a big influence on his choice to become a journalist. “If you feel like an outsider, you tend to observe things a lot more," Anderson said. "Early on I felt very much like an observer, because I knew I was gay, I knew I was somehow different. ... If you learn the language of loss early, I think you seek out others who have experienced the same thing, who speak that same language of loss."