Cooper said his longstanding silence on the question of his sexual orientation was motivated in part by his personal desire for privacy and for his neutrality and personal safety as a journalist.
He wrote: “Since I started as a reporter in war zones 20 years ago, I’ve often found myself in some very dangerous places. For my safety and the safety of those I work with, I try to blend in as much as possible, and prefer to stick to my job of telling other people’s stories, and not my own.”
He said he had come to consider, however, whether “the unintended outcomes of maintaining my privacy outweigh personal and professional principle”.
Cooper said he was “distressed” that his silence could be construed as him “trying to hide something – something that makes me uncomfortable, ashamed or even afraid”.
He continued: “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.”