Andy Cohen on coming out at 22: ‘I didn’t guess my friends would accept me’

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( CNN) New York City’s annual Gay Pride Parade Saturday is a chance for the LGBT community to come together and celebrate. For Bravo’s Andy Cohen, 48, it’s a few moments to reflect on what it was like coming out to his family and friends 26 years ago.

“It’s hard to believe I was ever in the closet , nobody knew, ” Cohen told CNN at Ford’s Escape the Room NY experience at Moynihan Station, which is open to the public through June 26. “I ran abroad to London and that’s when I came out. I started to say to people, ‘I’m gay, ‘ and they were strangers … it was very liberate. When I came back to St. Louis over break I told my parents.”

Cohen, who was 22 when he told his family he was gay, says that he kept it a secret because he was scared of not being accepted. “There’s likely no lesbian person that you could ever talk to who wasn’t familiar with people employing lesbian slurs, ” Cohen said. “It happened to me all the time, which is why I was closeted until I was 22. I didn’t think my friends would accept me because I heard them spoke of a certain way.”

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