Anderson Cooper has spoken out about coming out as gay, and has said that he “couldn’t be more proud” of his sexuality and “being gay is a blessing.”

The TV host who is set to be presented with The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD)’s Vito Russo award later this week at the 2013 GLAAD media awards, spoke about his sexuality in a radio interview with HuffPost Gay Voices.

He said he had always known he was gay from when he was a child, and said: “I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t aware of it, even before I knew what it was or the name of it.”

Saying he “couldn’t be more proud” of his sexuality and that “being gay is a blessing”, he said that there came a point when he thought he was giving a negative impression of his views on his own sexuality by not coming out. He said he didn’t want his personal life to overshadow his career in the public realm.

He said: “At a certain point I realized that by not saying something I was sending a message, or maybe giving some people the mistaken impression that I was uncomfortable or there was something that I was ashamed about. … It saddens me to think that I did give that impression because I think being gay is a blessing and it’s something I am thankful for every single day and have been for my entire adult life. So, you know, I couldn’t be more proud of being gay.”

Speaking in the interview with Huffington Post Gay Voices Editor Michelangelo Signorile, he addressed his brother Carter’s suicide in 1988, and said that had a big affect on his choice to become a journalist.

“If you feel like an outsider, you tend to observe things a lot more,” he said. “Early on I felt very much like an observer, because I knew I was gay, I knew I was somehow different. … If you learn the language of loss early, I think you seek out others who have experienced the same thing, who speak that same language of loss.”

Cooper came out last year via a letter published on The Daily Beast.

GLAAD have confirmed that Cooper will be presented with his award by Madonna.

The LGBT rights media organisation has also announced that it is to present film director Brett Ratner with an award at its 24th annual Media Awards later this month.

Ratner dropped out of directing the Academy Awards in 2012 because the year before he was heavily criticised for, during a press conference, saying “rehearsal is for fags”. He has apologised profusely and has worked with the LGBT community on projects since.