Anderson Cooper went into great detail about his coming out story and the things that happened before, during and after on Monday, January 11.
The 53-year-old fielded a fan question during a segment on CNN’s Full Circle where they asked him the following: “How did you learn to accept being gay? How old were you?”
“I’m not sure I knew the word ‘gay’ at the time, but I realized something was up. Something was different,” he began. Anderson knew from an early age that he was different compared to the people around him but it wasn’t until much later in life where he learned to accept who he authentically was and is.
“I think I really, truly accepted it — and not just accepted it, but fully embraced it and you know, came around to really loving the fact that I was gay — would probably be right after college,” he continued.
“You know, I kind of struggled in my teenage years, certainly,’ he also said, “but even a little in college.”
Years later and Anderson is considered to be one of the most prominent and respected openly gay journalists out there. He even credited his sexuality with helping him in his profession.
“I think being gay is one of the blessings of my life,” he said during the video. “And it made me a better person, it made me a better reporter.”
“When you grow up feeling like you’re on the outside of things, and you’re kind of an observer of things or not necessarily in the mainstream, you see society from a slightly different view,” he continued.
“And I think that can be very valuable, and can impact how you treat other people, and how you see things. So yeah, it’s enabled me to love the people that I’ve loved and have the life that I’ve had, so I’m very blessed.”
A blessing that began for Anderson recently was the birth of his son Wyatt who he welcomed into the world via surrogate last year. He was later crowned The Cutest Baby Alive by People Magazine, an honor his BFF Andy Cohen‘s son Benjamin won in 2019.
You can visit CNN.com for the video of Cooper answering questions on CNN