"I've always known I was gay from the time I was a little kid. I can't remember a time when I wasn't aware of it, even before I knew what it was or the name of it."
- Anderson Cooper
CNN Anchor/Reporter Anderson Cooper, winner of the 2013 GLAAD Vito Russo Award, has opened up to Sirius XM radio host Michelangelo Signorile about winning the GLAAD award, being gay, and Madonna.
Cooper, currently in Rome covering the Vatican conclave for CNN, called in to Signorile’s OutQ radio program and said that being gay “is a blessing.” On the award, Cooper stated, "It has tremendous meaning, I wish I knew him (Vito Russo). The work he did founding GLAAD and producing The Celluloid Closet, to get more people to know who Vito Russo was … I certainly don't think I'm worthy of it, but if it helps GLAAD and if it helps have more people know who Vito Russo is, then I think it is certainly worthwhile."
Past winners of the award include Rosie O’Donnell and Ellen Degeneres.
Cooper talked about coming out to his closest friends in high school and to his family in college. He remained closeted professionally until just last year (Cooper stated that reporting from war zones around the globe was a major factor in not addressing his sexuality publicly). On finally coming out he said, “over time I started to realize that by not saying something I was sending a message or giving some people the mistaken impression that I was uncomfortable or ashamed and that made me really sad because I really didn’t want to give that impression. I think that being gay is a blessing. I couldn’t be more proud of being gay.”
Further discussing his coming out, and whether others should follow his lead, Cooper stated that “as a community I think we are all better off, gay people and straight people, when we are all visible.”
Cooper also said it was “amazing and crazy” to learn that Madonna would be presenting the award to him, and said he is a “huge fan” of her music.
In a particularly touching part of the interview Cooper also discussed his bother’s suicide and the effect that it has had on his life.
You can listen to the entire interview HERE.
Boston Spirit magazine's 2013 LGBT Executive Networking Night originally scheduled for March 7th has been rescheduled for Wednesday night March 20th. For more information and to RSVP visit www.bostonspiritmagazine.com
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