Anderson Cooper quietly announced he is gay to avoid embarrassment, Michelangelo Signorile has said.

The 45-year-old Cooper discussed his sexual orientation for the first time in a lengthy e-mail published last week on Andrew Sullivan's blog The Dish, which is hosted by The Daily Beast. Cooper, who had previously ignored rumors about his sexual orientation, said that he is gay and has nothing to hide.

The announcement fueled a flood of headlines, most of which were positive. Many commented on the increasingly low-key coming outs of gay public figures.

Appearing Sunday on CNN, Signorile, the editor of The Huffington's Post's section on gay interests, said gay celebrities are increasingly embarrassed for having remained in the closeted.

“For years they've been told by the powers that be – in Hollywood, in the media, in politics as well – that it's going to harm your career. It's going to hurt you. It's going to be something terrible for much of your working life. And I think that's changed. Certainly we've seen with many of the actors who've come out – Ellen DeGeneres and others. And I think we really sort of moved very quickly on so many issues regarding gay life that suddenly a lot of these people started looking at it and saying, 'Wow, not only would it be okay but in fact it's an embarrassment now to be in the closet.”

“I wrote a piece on Huffington Post about how the new trend is doing it low-key because I think there's an embarrassment to having been in the closet. They just kind of want to slip out.” (The video is embedded in the right panel of this page. Visit our video library for more videos.)