Out CNN anchor Anderson Cooper said in a recent interview that he wishes he had publicly come out gay sooner.

Cooper came out in 2012 after ignoring rumors about his sexuality for years.

Speaking with Ellen DeGeneres on her daytime talk show, Cooper, who recently became a father, said that being gay and having a child were his “great blessings” in life.

“I never said I wasn't gay or tried to hide it or pretend that [I was] anything else. I just … didn't want to talk about it [publicly],” Cooper said. “But it got to a point in my life where … by not saying something, that seemed like I was indicating that I was somehow ashamed of something or not happy being gay. And the complete opposite has always been the case.”

“[I] wish I had done it sooner,” he said of coming out.

“I consider it, along with [son] Wyatt, one of the great blessings of my life to be gay. Even though I'm kind of painfully shy, an introvert and stuff, I thought, 'OK, well, I want to say something.' And so I did. And I couldn't be happier,” Cooper said.

(Related: Anderson Cooper says he will co-parent son with ex-boyfriend.)