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Anderson Cooper just revealed how early on in his life he knew he was gay–even if he didn’t quite have the words for it at the time.

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The conversation about him coming out and first realizing he was gay came up on Monday, when he answered a viewer’s question during an episode of CNN’s Full Circle.

“I mean, I was probably, I don’t know, 7, when I kind of realized — I’m not sure I knew the word ‘gay’ at the time, but I realized something was up. Something was different,” he revealed on the show.

The CNN anchor went on to say that he came out to some people in high school, but didn’t come “around to really loving” that he was gay until he graduated from Yale University in 1989.

“I think I really, truly accepted it — and not just accepted it, but fully embraced it and you know, came around to really loving the fact that I was gay — would probably be right after college,” he said.  “You know, I kind of struggled in my teenage years, certainly, but even a little in college.”

Anderson also explained that was considered joining the military at the time, but felt like he couldn’t because of the fact that he was gay, which made him worried for his own safety.

“It felt like there were a lot of limitations on it, and it wasn’t what I envisioned for my life. Or, I imagined a family and getting married. All those things which weren’t possible at the time,” he said.

Anderson Cooper came out publicly in 2012.


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