Just trying to imagine the Anderson Cooper of old doing his now-famous eye roll during an interview with Kellyanne Conway is enough to realize that coming out was the best thing to happen to the veteran journalist and anchor. On TV he is more relaxed, more enjoyable, more, dare we say, himself. There’s always been a refreshing spontaneity and transparency to his best reporting, as with the Pulse shootings last year when he teared up while reading the names of the victims, or in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, when his coverage steered CNN firmly away from the Tom Brokaw school of stentorian stoicism. His ratings soared then, and they soared again this year, with his show recording its highest quarterly performance on record, up 19% in viewers over last year. And while the election may have left the highest and hardest glass ceiling intact, Cooper still managed a professional breakthrough of his own during campaign season, becoming the first openly gay man in history to moderate a presidential debate (with ABC News’s Martha Raddatz). In June, Cooper found himself having to navigate a trickier situation when he was forced to distance himself from his friend and longtime co-host of CNN’s New Year’s Eve broadcast, Kathy Griffin, over a photo shoot in which the comedian held up a faux head of Trump, severed at the neck. Eye-rolling is one thing; heads rolling another. Even an emo-newsman must maintain a veneer of neutrality.