Anderson Cooper Says He Came Out As Gay At 11 Because Of His Fame

While chatting with Andy Cohen at New York’s Stonewall Inn on Friday, Anderson Cooper stated that meeting Richard Gere shirtless when he was 11 years old confirmed his homosexuality. Cooper, now 55 years old, recalls that he met gay writers like Truman Capote, Gore Vidal, and Paul Jasmine who were friends of his mother Gloria Vanderbilt. Anderson Cooper 360 host said that when he was eleven, his mother Jasmine and a friend went to see a Broadway production where he witnessed Richard Gere portray a gay man.

Cooper: “They took me to see Richard Gere in Girl, which is about two gay men in a death camp if anyone doesn’t know about a girl play.” I’m talking about the very first scene; it’s hilarious.

This is Richard Gere in 1977 trying to track down Mr. Goodbar. It was hard to look at him since he was so handsome. The end result is that I am right where I am supposed to be. My mother stayed at home and didn’t attend. My boyfriend and I raised me like we were our own children.

Richard Gere Confirmed For Anderson Cooper’s Playbill

Cooper continued by explaining how he knew he was gay after he approached Gere to have him sign his Playbill but froze up in front of him.

His mother Gloria Vanderbilt had a number of LGBT friends, including writers Truman Capote and Gore Vidal and photographers Paul Jasmin and his companion, who took young Cooper to watch a Broadway show.

“And they took me to see Richard Gere in Bent, which if anyone doesn’t know about the play Bent, it’s about two gay guys in the concentration camp,” Cooper recounted. “I mean the opening scene… It is the gayest thing you can imagine. “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 continued.

In the opening scene, a man gets out of bed completely naked and dons an SS outfit after having a sexual relationship with another man the night before, according to Cooper. “And I just remember being like, ‘Oh my God, I’m gay. … I’m totally gay.’ And afterward, Paul Jasmin was friends with Richard Gere,” he said. “Cause Paul Jasmin took the pictures for American Gigolo and we go backstage and Richard Gere is shirtless in his dressing room.

“And I couldn’t speak. And I had my Playbill and I wanted to get him to autograph it, but I was too — I just couldn’t stop staring at his chest. And so, fast forward to 10 years ago, I was interviewing Richard Gere and 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,” Cooper added.

“I’ve always believed that if you’ve been with somebody and that ends, in terms of an intimate relationship, if you love somebody, there’s no reason why that love shouldn’t continue,” Cooper said in September.

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