Celebrities have congratulated CNN anchor Anderson Cooper for finally coming out publicly as a gay man.

Cooper has long been rumoured to be gay but he only confirmed this on Monday in an email to The Daily Beast’s Andrew Sullivan.

Cooper was commenting on the subject of openly-gay celebrities and told Sullivan that he could publish his e-mail.

“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,” wrote Cooper (45).

He explained that while he had never hidden his sexual orientation from his friends, family, and colleagues, he had not discussed this in the media because he had “tried to maintain some level of privacy” in his life.

He said, however, that recently he’d begun “to consider whether the unintended outcomes of maintaining my privacy outweigh personal and professional principle”.

He went on to say: “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.

“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. 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.”

A host of celebrities tweeted their support for Cooper’s public statement.

“I’m proud of you, @AndersonCooper,” tweeted talk show host Ellen DeGeneres, while How I Met Your Mother’s Neil Patrick Harris wrote, “Good for you, @AndersonCooper. You’re awesome.”

Modern Family’s Jesse Tyler Ferguson commented: “One of the reasons I look up to my friend @andersoncooper is his amazing eloquence. Very proud of him!”

Fellow CNN anchor Don Lemon, who came out as gay last year, also tweeted about the news, saying: “We should all be supportive.”

Cooper is an award-winning journalist and author. He is the main anchor of the CNN news show Anderson Cooper 360° and also hosts a daytime talk show, Anderson.

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