Written to Cooper's longtime friend, Beast columnist Andrew Sullivan, the e-mail was a response to a recent EW.com article about a trend of high-profile figures such as Jim Parsons casually confirming they are gay instead of announcing their sexuality in media interviews or being outed by tabloids as has been common 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. I think most people want some privacy for themselves and the people they are close to," Cooper wrote in the e-mail.
"But I've also wanted to retain some privacy for professional reasons. Since I started as a reporter in war zones 20 years ago, I've often found myself in some very dangerous places. 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," Cooper said.
"As long as a journalist shows fairness and honesty in his or her work, their private life shouldn't matter. I've stuck to those principles for my entire professional career, even when I've been directly asked 'the gay question,' which happens occasionally. I did not address my sexual orientation in the memoir I wrote several years ago because it was a book focused on war, disasters, loss and survival. I didn't set out to write about other aspects of my life," he said.
"Recently, however, I've begun to consider whether the unintended outcomes of maintaining my privacy outweigh personal and professional principle. 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. ...
"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. I have always been very open and honest about this part of my life with my friends, my family and my colleagues. 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."