I met Anderson Cooper in 1978 when we were both preteen boys attending Camp Pinnacle in upstate New York. We got along pretty well, as we were both strong swimmers and natural bullies, and have been carrying on a correspondence ever since. Here are some of the letters that we have shared over the years:
September 27, 1978
Summer Camp was awesome!
I’ll never forget Camp Pinnacle or the excellent times we shared. I am disappointed that we never got to see Bigfoot or a UFO, though. But just so you know, I would play Cowboys and Indians with you anytime!
You will always be my cowboy.
April 16th, 1981
Just so you know, I like girls. I really do. I don’t know, maybe you think that what took place between us (and it was only in the water!!) was like, homo or something, but it wasn’t. I like girls.
I kissed one last week. Her name was Padmakshi and it felt different but good. I haven’t yet felt her boob, but I know the day is coming. Do you think about Camp Pinnacle a lot? I do. Your eyes are as blue as the waters of Lake Wantok.
April 19th, 1981
Turns out Padmakshi was a whore! I saw her necking and getting felt up
by James Trylowsky last night! I hate her and I hope her house burns
down! I didn’t really like her anyway as her skin was too dry. I mean,
what does she wash with, sandpaper?
PS: My parents just got a dog and we named her Cooper!
October 25rd, 1986
I’m at university in Montreal now and the babes are wild! Man alive! I’m drunk all the time and the chicks are just all over me. I can’t keep them away in either French or English! Not that I’d want to. I mean, there’s no way I’d want to keep the girls away, because I love
I love them for sex!
I think I’m going to be a lawyer when I get out of school. What about you, what do you want to be? Do you still have that cowboy outfit you used to wear back at Camp Pinnacle?
October 3, 1991
I’m working as a waiter and living with my parents. How are you?
July 6, 1996
Wow! I just saw you on TV and I have to say, you look fucking fantastic! You’re all famous and everything. I always knew that you would be. You were the best swimmer in camp! I always thought that you just had good manners, but now I know it’s because you came from money and had been to Europe and stuff. You’re quite the catch! (Ha-Ha)
I should let you know that it’s also pretty great to be me, too. I still like girls quite a bit, even though the recurring dreams and migraines continue. Ha, it’s funny, but I didn’t even notice that I chewed my nails until my therapist pointed it out to me during a session. She’s big into dream analysis, this one, and she wants me to focus on a dream I’ve had about twice a month ever since, well, I guess roughly the time we attended Camp Pinnacle.
Tell me what do you think?
I am a boy and I’m swimming in a lake. I don’t know how but I can tell that Jesus is watching me and that it’s his strength that’s giving me the power to swim. I’m swimming so fast! My mind and body are in perfect concert and I can do anything that I want in the water. It’s sunny and perfect, life at it’s best, and then I see another boy, Anderson, and he’s underwater tugging at my trunks. We begin to play and suddenly Jesus appears in the form of a shark and he’s swimming right at me and then I wake up screaming and covered in sweat.
PS: The family dog Cooper died three months ago and we’re all very sad.
December 21, 1999
Dear Cooper Anderson the Superstar:
Is Y2K anything to really worry about?
PS: I am including a picture I drew of you as a rugged tank commander.
February 17th, 2005
It’s been a big year for you!
You covered Hurricane Katrina, the tsunami in Thailand, that revolution in Beirut, the death of the pope and the marriage of Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles. That was so romantic, don’t you think? I mean, after so many years their love still burned brightly and they were able to finally get married! It fills my heart with hope to watch that. And the outfits, the outfits were just awesome. If I ever get married I think I’m going to have a theme wedding, something fun. Maybe one half of the wedding party will dress up as cowboys and the other half as Indians? What do you think of that?
By the way, The Mole was awesome and I really miss it!
June 1st, 2012
Well, I’m glad that you came to me with that question.
It’s true that your sexuality has nothing to do with your career, but at this point you’ve become such a well-known figure that to not address it seems a tacit admission of shame. People are going to love Anderson Cooper whether he’s gay or not, and they are always going to respect what you have to say. The truth is that it’s just not that big a deal— at least not for you— although it might be for others who for whatever reason keep things repressed and bottled up until they think that they’re going to explode and murder their parents whom they still live with. You should just say, “Look, the fact is I’m gay, always have been and always will be, and I couldn’t be any more happy, comfortable with myself and proud.” And then just leave it at that.
That’s what I would do if I was gay, but of course, I’m not.
I’m still very straight and the migraines are still very bad.
I’ve been eating a lot of Kale, hoping that might help.
You might be interested to hear that after seeing Moonrise Kingdom I went and visited Camp Pinnacle. I sat on the dock by the lake (remember?) for a long time just staring out at the waters and thinking about all that lay beneath the surface.