Though being a father is one of the blessings of his life, having welcomed his son into his life just last year, Anderson Cooper says that being gay is one of his biggest blessings as well. In a new Ask Anderson (Almost) Anything segment on CNN's Full Circle, a viewer named Micki asked Cooper "How did you learn to accept being gay? How old were you?" In his reply, Cooper opened up about his early life.
"Let's see, I was probably seven when I kind of realized," he responded on-air. "I'm not sure I knew the word gay at the time but I realized something was up, something was different." While he opened up about it during high school to a few friends, it took a little longer for him to lean in to his identity.
"I think I really, truly accepted it. And not just accepted it, but fully embraced it and came around to really loving the fact that I was gay right after college," he said. The longtime anchor said that what he struggled with were limitations that society had placed on gay people at the time. He had wanted to join the military, but that dream was dashed, as well as other things like travel.
"It wasn't what I envisioned for my life," he said. "I imagined a family and getting married and all those things which weren't possible at the time." While Cooper is not married he has begun to build his family. He welcomed his son Wyatt Morgan Cooper last year and at the time opened up about the fact that he had previously grieved over the thought of not being able to become a father as a gay man. He now co-parents Wyatt with his ex, with whom he is building a chosen family.
"About a year out of college I realized I don't want to waste any more time worrying about this and wishing I was some other way," he said. He notably came out publicly, years later, in 2012. "I want to embrace who I am and as I've said before, I think being gay is one of the blessings of my life. It's made me a better person, it's 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 and you're not necessarily in the mainstream, you see society from a slightly different view and I think that can be very valuable."
"It's enabled me to love the people that I've loved and have the life that I've had," Cooper said. "So I'm very blessed."