After years of living in the co-called "glass closet," Anderson Cooper has officially come out.

In a published letter to Andrew Sullivan of The Daily Beast, Cooper says "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."

So why has Anderson kept quiet on the subject in the past?

"Even though my job puts me in the public eye, I have tried to maintain some level of privacy in my life. Part of that has been for purely personal reasons," he says. "But I've also wanted to retain some privacy for professional reasons ... 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."

As for why he chose to come out now, he says "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.

He continues, "In a perfect world, I don't think it's anyone else's business, but I do think there is value in standing up and being counted."

The full letter can be seen here -- it's a great read.

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