CNN anchor Anderson Cooper was honored at the GLAAD Awards on Saturday night and openly acknowledged and thanked his partner, nightclub owner Ben Maisani, during his acceptance speech.
Cooper, who accepted the Vito Russo award for openly gay journalists, kept quiet about his sexuality until last July when he wrote an open letter to political blogger Andrew Sullivan.
He accepted the award from Madonna, and said, “Do I have lipstick from Madonna on me?” he joked as he wiped his mouth. “It’s a first. Kissing a woman, that is.”
”I’m only here because of what others have done — so much more than I will ever do,” he said. “As a gay person, it’s important for me to remember that all of us come from a community whose stories for too long have been forgotten or ignored. …I’ve had so many blessings in my life. Being gay is certainly one of the greatest blessings.”
“It has allowed me to love and be loved, to open my head and open my heart in ways I would have never predicted,” he continued in his heartfelt speech. “The ability to love one another, the ability to love another person is in my opinion one of God’s greatest gifts and I thank God every day for the ability to give and share love with the people in my life. My family, my friends, my partner Benjamin, thank you very much.”