Anderson Cooper Talks Coming Out: 'I Think Visibility Is Important' (VIDEO)

Anderson Cooper used the relaunch of his talk show on Monday to make his first public comments about coming out since his statement announcing he was gay earlier in the summer.

In July, Cooper confirmed what had long been an essentially open secret when he sent a long statement to blogger Andrew Sullivan.

"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 wrote.

Since then, though, Cooper has remained silent, focusing instead on his work for CNN and "60 Minutes" and the revamping of his new talk show. (He did take the time to go on vacation with Andy Cohen and see rumors about his private life splashed all over the press.)

On Monday, though, Cooper's guest co-host Kristen Chenoweth broached the topic with him.

"I think we both had big summers," she prodded. Someone in the audience gasped loudly.

"Am I wrong?" Chenoweth joked. "I guess I did have a big summer," Cooper said, starting to blush.

"You ... came out ... and talked," Chenoweth went on. "So you heard that?" Cooper replied.

As the audience applauded, he explained what was behind his decision:

"Everybody in my life ... since I've been an adult and since I was a kid, I mean, I came out in high school," he said. "I told my friends, I told my family, I've always been out to my coworkers and stuff. It's just not something I talked about publicly because as a reporter I didn't think it was appropriate. It didn't seem part of my job."

Chenoweth asked what had been the tipping point that made Cooper decide to go public.

"I've been torn for a long time between a desire as a reporter to do just do my job," he said. "And at the same time, I think visibility is important -- that the tide of history only moves forward when everybody is visible ... I didn't want to send a message that there was anything I was ashamed about."

Jim Parsons, 2012

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