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Anderson Cooper reveals how Richard Gere helped realize he is gay

Anderson Cooper and Richard Gere
Anderson Cooper and Richard Gere at different red carpet events. Pic credit: ©ImageCollect.com/Kristin Callahan/ACEPicturesBrent Perniac/AdMedia

Anderson Cooper recently shared the story of the moment he realized he was gay, which involves a shirtless Richard Gere.

The 55-year-old CNN journalist Cooper came out as gay in 2012. Anderson Cooper welcomed a baby son named Wyatt Morgan Cooper in April 2020.

Earlier this year, the CNN anchor announced the birth of his second son.

Anderson Cooper talks about meeting ‘beautiful’ Richard Gere

Cooper spoke with Andy Cohen during a Live Pride Special on SiriusXM’s show Radio Andy about meeting Richard Gere and coming out as gay.

He recalled attending a play starring Gere at the age of 11 with his mother, Gloria Vanderbilt’s two gay friends — photographer Paul Jasmin and his boyfriend.

“And they took me to see Richard Gere in ‘Bent,’” he said to which Andy reacted with shock that he watched the play at that age.

Cooper continued, “Which if anyone doesn’t know about the play ‘Bent,’ it’s about two gay guys in the concentration camp,” Cooper said.

“I mean the opening scene… It is the gayest thing you can imagine,” Cooper joked.

He went on to praise sex symbol Richard Gere for his handsome looks.

“And this was Richard Gere in 1977, ‘Looking for Mr. Goodbar.’ He was so beautiful. And I’m there. My mom didn’t go. It was just me and my mom’s two gay friends,” he went on.

He said watching the raunchy opening made him realize his sexuality. “And I just remember being like, ‘Oh my God, I’m gay. … I’m totally gay,'” he said, getting a laugh from the audience.

Jasmin had photographed Gere for the film American Gigolo, which granted Cooper backstage access to see a shirtless Richard Gere.

“I couldn’t speak,” Cooper said. “And I had my Playbilland I wanted to get him to autograph it, but I was too — I just couldn’t stop staring at his chest.”

Cooper reveals he would meet Richard Gere again for an interview, and he brought up their first meeting.

 “I took out the Playbill, and I told him the whole story, and I had him sign it. Yeah. He was very tickled with it.”

Anderson Cooper explains how he came out to his mother

In the same interview, Cooper recalled telling his mother about his sexuality after graduating college.

He said he lived with his boyfriend and stayed in the same room but recalled that she never asked about his sexuality. 

“I simply said I think I’m gay,” Cooper recalls telling his mother, to which she replied, “well, don’t make any definite decisions.”

Vanderbilt died at her home in Manhattan in June 2019 at the age of 95 due to stomach cancer.

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