Anderson Cooper reveals when he first knew he was gay – and how his life could have turned out very differently

CNN anchor Anderson Cooper

CNN anchor Anderson Cooper has spoken about first realising he was gay at the age of seven, and how long it took him to come to terms with it.

The proud gay journalist and bona fide daddy opened up about his experiences on-air in response to a viewer question during an “Ask Anderson Almost Anything” segment on CNN’s Full Circle.

Asked when he came to accept being gay, Anderson Cooper explained: “I was probably seven when I realised… I’m not sure I knew the word gay at the time, but I realised something was up, that something that was different.

“So [I realised] at probably six or seven, and I told some friends in high school. I think I truly embraced it, and came around to really loving the fact that I was gay, right after college.”

Anderson Cooper struggled to reconcile himself with ‘limitations’ of being gay.

Cooper explained that it took him years to grapple with the constraints of society, adding: “I kind of struggled even in my teenage years and a little in college.

“The things I wanted to do at the time, you couldn’t be gay. I was interested in joining the military, but you can’t be gay and join the military.

“I felt like there were a lot of places that I was limited in travelling to for safety reasons. I just felt like there were a lot of limitations on it, and it wasn’t what I envisioned for my life.

“I imagined a family and getting married, and all those things which weren’t possible at the time, so it took me a while to kind of fully embrace it.”

CNN anchor Anderson Cooper

CNN anchor Anderson Cooper (Getty/Angela Weiss)

CNN anchor learned to love himself after years of worry.

Of how he came to terms with himself, Anderson Cooper added: “At a certain point, about a year after college, I realised… I don’t want to waste any more time worrying about this, and wishing I was some other way, and I want to embrace who I am.

“As I’ve said before, I think being gay is one of the great blessings in my life, and it’s made me a better person and it’s made me a better reporter.

“When you feel growing up like you’re on the outside of things, and you’re kind of an observer to things and not necessarily in the mainstream, you see society from a slightly different view, and I think that can be very valuable.

“It’s enabled me to love the people that I’ve loved, and live the life that I’ve had, so I’m very blessed.”

Last year, Cooper welcomed a baby son, Wyatt, and the proud dad has previously spoken about fulfilling his dream of becoming a parent.