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Anderson Cooper thought he'd never be a father.
"When I was 12 years old and knew I was gay and thought about my life, it always upset me because I thought, 'I will never be able to have a kid,'" the CNN anchor told People in the cover story for its first Pride issue. "This is a dream come true."
The dream is his newborn son, Wyatt Morgan Cooper, who he is raising with his ex-partner Benjamin Maisani. The experience has changed his life.
"It feels like my life has actually begun," Cooper told People. "And I sort of wonder, what was I waiting for? This is a new level of love. It's unlike anything I've experienced, and yet it's also very familiar and incredibly special and intimate. It's really extraordinary."
"I cry at things I never cried at before," he added. "And Benjamin, I've never seen him cry, but I couldn't believe how weepy he gets with Wyatt. I find myself being overwhelmed with emotion, and it's a lovely thing."
In May, the 53-year-old reporter told Ellen DeGeneres that he considered coming out as gay, "along with Wyatt, one of the great blessings of my life." As he told People, it's also an experience that has changed his view of the world as well as the events he's reported on that have rocked it, including a global pandemic and protests in the wake of George Floyd's killing.
"I feel invested in the future in a way I hadn't really before," he said. "There's something about having a child that makes you feel connected to what is happening and you want to make sure that the world this child is growing up in is a better one. You suddenly worry much more about the future of all of us."