Anderson Cooper Reveals He's Gay

'I couldn't be any more happy, comfortable with myself and proud,' CNN anchor says.

Anderson Cooper has finally publicly acknowledged the long-standing speculation about his sexuality by coming out of the closet as a gay man.

In a lengthy email to Daily Beast political writer Andrew Sullivan, the CNN anchor and daytime talk-show host discusses his reluctance to directly address the issue until now and admits that he has long been open about his sexuality in his private life.

"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," Cooper wrote. "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.

"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 continued.

Cooper's sexuality has been discussed at length in the press, most famously in a 2008 cover story for Out magazine titled "The Glass Closet," about stars whose sexuality is well-known but not publicly acknowledged. The issue's cover featured a man and woman covering their faces with cutout images of Cooper and Oscar-winning actress Jodie Foster.

The Emmy winner's decision to come out was instigated by Sullivan's request that Cooper, his longtime friend, comment on the impact openly gay public figures have on the LGBT equality movement.

"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," Cooper told Sullivan. "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."

Concluding his statement, Cooper does not specifically reveal whether he is involved romantically but does say, "I am also blessed far beyond having a great career. ... I love, and I am loved."