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Anderson Cooper said he first realized he was gay as a young child.
“I mean, I was probably, I don’t know, 7, when I kind of realized — I’m not sure I knew the word ‘gay’ at the time, but I realized something was up. Something was different,” he answered to a viewer’s question on CNN’s “Full Circle” on Monday.
The CNN anchor, 53, said he came out to some people in high school but didn’t come “around to really loving” that he was gay until he graduated from Yale University in 1989.
“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 said.
“You know, I kind of struggled in my teenage years, certainly, but even a little in college,” he continued.
Cooper explained he had many interests at the time — and considered joining the military — but felt he couldn’t because he was gay and worried for his “safety.”
“It felt like there were a lot of limitations on it, and it wasn’t what I envisioned for my life. Or, I imagined a family and getting married. All those things which weren’t possible at the time,” said Cooper, who welcomed son Wyatt via surrogate last year.
The broadcaster also said that being gay has made him a better reporter because it gives him a different perspective.
Cooper came out publicly in an online letter in 2012.
“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,” he wrote.
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