Overheard: Celebs, readers ‘proud’ of Anderson Cooper

Story highlights

Anderson Cooper's announcement that he's gay has brought waves of support

Stars like Ellen DeGeneres and Kelly Ripa have tweeted how proud they are of Cooper

Readers have thanked the anchor for his courage

CNN —  

There’s been an outpouring of support from celebrities and CNN readers alike after CNN’s Anderson Cooper publicly acknowledged Monday that he’s gay.

The “AC 360˚” anchor wrote in an e-mail to the Daily Beast’s Andrew Sullivan that was posted online Monday, saying that in a perfect world, no one would care about his sexuality, but he’s come to understand the “value in making clear where I stand.”

“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,” Cooper wrote.

His readers and fellow media personalities have commended his move to publicly come out, sharing what his friends, family and colleagues already knew:

Jesse Tyler Ferguson (@jessetyler)

“One of the reasons I look up to my friend @andersoncooper is his amazing eloquence. Very proud of him!”

Kristen Bell (@IMKristenBell)

“A bold and beautiful statement by someone who is smarter than all of us, journalist @andersoncooper.”

Tyra Banks (@tyrabanks)

“Congrats for sharing your truth @andersoncooper. You’ll always be the Silver Fox!”

Neil Patrick Harris (@ActuallyNPH)

“Good for you, @andersoncooper. You’re awesome.”

Joan Rivers (@Joan_Rivers)

“Thrilled @AndersonCooper came out! So, THAT’S why he never wanted to date me! I would’ve loved having Gloria Vanderbilt as my mother-in-law.”

NeNe Leakes (@NeNeLeakes)

That did it……Now I really love @andersoncooper.”

Sara Bareilles (@SaraBareilles)

“I applaud @andersoncooper for being authentic and honest with the public. It helps others feel brave too.”

Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow)

“I’m proud of you, @AndersonCooper.”

Kelly Ripa (@KellyRipa)

“So proud of you @andersoncooper. Always have been, always will be.”

Wanda Sykes (@iamwandasykes)

“Proud of you @andersoncooper. Thank you.”

LeAnn Rimes (@leannrimes)

“Rock on @AndersonCooper for being a brave, classy man. Much respect!”

Those sentiments were echoed on CNN.com Monday, with many thanking Cooper for being open and honest about his sexuality, hoping that it will give others the courage to do the same:

• macbil: “Thanks Anderson. There was a time not too long ago in this country when young men who realized they were gay had no role models. It took courage to do what you did. It would be hard to calculate the positive image you’ve set for young gay men.”

• Proud To Be Gay: “It took me 67 years to embrace myself as a gay man. I wish I had done it sooner, such as Anderson has. Thanks for making us proud, Anderson.”

• Toronto Guy: “Tireless anchor. Intrepid news journalist. Puts himself in harm’s way more times than I can count. Caring and committed soul. And his tailored suits are always great! Thanks for coming out, bud. Let’s hope your colleagues over at Fox and other news orgs do the same.”

• Dave: “Thank you Anderson for putting another prominent face on our comunity. I’m so proud. I can’t amagine the weight that’s off your shoulders.”

• John Summers: “I have to say I THANK YOU Anderson Cooper for your public announcement. Bringing a face to the GLBT community can only inspire the gay youth of the country to have someone to look up to. I am very proud of what you have done today. I wish you the best and happy life. You have always had me as a loyal viewer and shall continue my loyalty.”

Still others noted that his sexuality really doesn’t impact how they view the journalist:

• caninelady: “I liked him before; I like him now. Since I had no desire to marry him or have any kind of relationship with him, it doesn’t disappoint, upset or bother me. People should be allowed to live and love as they choose. There is way too much hate and judgment in society. I care only what people do with our life, what they contribute to society and not who they love. But, then I’m just a 60+, basically conservative old Christian grandmother.”

And then there was the contingent who couldn’t believe this story counted as “news”:

• Jon: “WHAT? HE’S GAY?! Geesh, that’s old news! I knew he was gay the first time I saw him in a tight fitting t-shirt reporting from the middle east years ago. He ‘s a good reporter and news anchor and the fact that he likes men, does not change my opinion of him.”

But there was also an important discussion sparked by Cooper’s decision to share his e-mail to Sullivan with the world: Why is it important for people to acknowledge their sexuality in the first place?

• Commenter Puddin wrote the question this way: “I have wanted to ask this question for a long time: why do people who are gay or lesbian, etc. feel they have to announce it? I have never heard a straight person do this. No one has a need to know!”

The responses, from fellow CNN.com commenters, were varied:

• Jeff: “Because people ask. When people stop caring enough to no longer ask because it doesn’t matter then gays will stop ‘announcing it.’ (coming out.).”

• wcbhwk: “Couple of good reasons. First, the more people who do this, especially prominent people in our society, the more others will understand that being gay is not that unusual. Second, and more importantly, through our close mindedness and repression, both tacit and direct, we have forced many of those who are gay to live this aspect of their lives secretively. It takes courage to be openly gay, even today. While that is sad, it is still reality. So by showing courage to come out publicly, it sends a message to others to also have courage.”

For his part, Cooper tweeted on Tuesday, “I appreciate all the nice tweets. I am in Botswana working but want to wish everyone a great 4th of July!”

CNN’s Nicole Saidi contributed to this report.