Wonderful news today: famously handsome journalist and CNN anchor Anderson Cooper has come out of the closet. Cooper has been the target of speculation about his sexuality for years and, in an e-mail to the Daily Beast’s Andrew Sullivan revealed that he’s not commented on the rumors for a number of reasons (safety of himself and those around him while reporting in warzones is a major one, journalistic integrity another). The important bit, though, is this:

Recently, however, I’ve begun to consider whether the unintended outcomes of maintaining my privacy outweigh personal and professional principle. It’s become clear to me that 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.

I’ve also been reminded recently that 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.

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.

It’s a big day for LGBTQ visibility. Read the rest of Cooper’s e-mail at The Daily Beast.

(Photo via Wenn)