By James Hibberd
Updated July 02, 2012 at 03:42 PM EDT
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CNN anchor and daytime talk show host Anderson Cooper has publicly declared he’s gay.

In discussing last week’s Entertainment Weekly cover story on the emerging trend of celebrities nonchalantly coming out of the closet, Cooper revealed his sexuality to Daily Beast blogger Andrew Sullivan. Sullivan emailed Cooper about the story, noting that public figures revealing their sexuality still matters, even if many are no longer startled by the news. The 45-year-old newsman has always been private about his personal life and has long been rumored to be gay.

“We still have pastors calling for the death of gay people, bullying incidents and suicides among gay kids, and one major political party dedicated to ending the basic civil right to marry the person you love,” Sullivan wrote. “So these ‘non-events’ are still also events of a kind; and they matter. The visibility of gay people is one of the core means for our equality.”

Cooper’s full statement to Sullivan is here.

To read EW’s cover package on The New Art of Coming Out in its entirety, including a timeline of how celebrities have handled the issue in recent years, you can download this issue at the Apple Newsstand or Kindle Fire Newsstand.

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