When he came out in July 2012, Anderson Cooper was responsible for yet another normalization of LGBT presence in mainstream media — but that’s not to say that he’s the only one to have done so.
Far from it, LGBT celebrities are coming out regularly now, strengthening the already strong LGBT movement across the country, showing people that there is no shame — and there’s indeed pride — in being themselves. The Mirrorhas compiled a short list of other newsworthy news people who’ve come out in stride, other than the famous Cooper.
Here they are…
Maddow was ok with coming out all the way back in college, and even offered her college newspaper at Stanford University the expose. Her only condition: That the paper wouldn’t print the interview until she came out to her parents.
But they did.
Maddow wrote about the experience in a March 2012 editorial for the Daily Beast. Here’s an excerpt from the piece in which Maddow talks about her parent’s reaction to the student newspaper article:
They would have had a hard time with me coming out anyway, but this was a particularly nasty way for them to find out. They’re wonderful now, and couldn’t be more supportive, but they took it poorly at first, which I don’t fault them for. They were shocked and upset and hurt.
Maddow is host of the Emmy Award-winning “The Rachel Maddow Show” on MSNBC. “The Rachel Maddow Show” features Maddow’s take on the biggest stories of the day, political and otherwise, including lively debate with guests from all sides of the issues, in-depth analysis and stories no other shows in cable news will cover.
She also authored “DRIFT: The Unmooring of American Military Power,” which debuted at #1 on the New York Times bestsellers list in March 2012. “The Rachel Maddow Show” has been nominated twice by the Television Critics Association for the “Outstanding Achievement in News and Information” category and the show took home a GLAAD award in 2010.
Lemon, over at CNN, came out publicly in 2011 through his memoir “Transparent,” but said in subsequent interviews he’d always been out to his CNN co-workers. The coverage reached the pages of the New York Times.
Lemon had been with CNN since 2006. He now anchors CNN Newsroom during weekend prime-time and serves as a correspondent across CNN/U.S. programming. Among his reporting notches, as listed in his biography: “He’s reported and anchored on-the-scene for CNN from many breaking news stories, including the George Zimmerman trial, the Boston marathon bombing, the Philadelphia building collapse, the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, the Colorado Theater Shooting, the death of Whitney Houston, the Inaugural of the 44th President in Washington, D.C., the death of Michael Jackson, Hurricane Gustav in Louisiana, and the Minneapolis bridge collapse. Whew.
In 2009, Ebony named him as one of the Ebony Power 150: the most influential Blacks in America. He has won an Edward R. Murrow award for his coverage of the capture of the Washington, D.C. snipers. He won an Emmy for a special report on real estate in Chicagoland and various other awards for his reporting on the AIDS epidemic in Africa and Hurricane Katrina.
Roberts publicly came out at the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association in 2006 (in Miami). And six years later married his partner of 12 years, according to the Daily Mail:
Mr Roberts and Mr Abner, both 40, followed each other as their careers exploded -- moving the couple from Virginia to Philadelphia to Atlanta to Washington to Los Angeles and finally New York.
They often found themselves separated by hundreds of miles and battling the exhaustion of maintaining a long distance relationship.
Roberts left his gig at CNN in 2006 and joined up with NBC four years later, the departure having nothing to do with his orientation.
Here’s a piece of trivia: Roberts co-hosted (with Spice Girl Mel B.) the 2013 Miss Universe pageant.
It wasn’t intentional or pre-meditated, but when Velez-Mitchell was on the radio discussing an anti-gay senator who’d been caught in what seemed like a gay scandal (he brushed a man’s foot in the bathroom, possibly signaling that he wanted a sexual encounter), she felt it was wrong to leave this pretty big detail about herself out. Here’s an excerpt from a piece she wrote for the Huffington Post about her big reveal:
We were talking -- on air -- about the hypocrisy of people like Craig who had a long record of antagonism to gay rights, having voted against gay marriage and having supported banning gays from serving in the Boy Scouts.
Here I was, on the radio, chatting -- at length -- with an openly gay talk-show host about Senator Larry Craig's hypocrisy, and I hadn't said a word about being gay myself. Meanwhile, Al was regaling his listeners with the story of how he came out. As the conversation wore on, minute after minute, I became increasingly uncomfortable attacking the Senator for dishonesty while I, myself, was lying by omission.
So during a commercial break, she told the host she’d be coming out. And she did.
The Headlines News anchor took over for Glenn Beck when he left for Fox in 2008.
This guy is the third one to come from NBC (where LGBT people do exceptionally well, it seems).
He’s been published in the New York Observer, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, the New York Daily News, the New York Post, the Boston Globe, and the Daily Beast.
His big deal job was with Salon, where he was a senior political writer. Kornacki’s big reputation, though, is really for being a brainiac of sorts when it comes to American history, according to the Daily Beast:
As a columnist for Salon, occasional contributor to the Gotham-focused politics and culture website Capital New York, and former columnist for the New York Observer, Kornacki does analysis without sources whispering in his ear, or really, for that matter, doing many interviews of any kind.
The political climate in which he grew up and came to his professional mastery brought with it hurdles to his coming, but he did in, of course, a Salon editorial:
I’ve read stories from people who say they always knew they were attracted to the same sex, or that they figured it out at a young age. I’m not one of them. I had practically no idea until one night in my sophomore year of high school. I was at a basketball game, and the guys around me started pointing out cheerleaders from the other team they thought were hot. I began to wonder: Why wasn’t I looking at the cheerleaders that way? And why was I sometimes noticing the other team’s players instead? My heart rate quickened and my mind spun until a thought surfaced: This is what it means to be gay.
In a way, I can’t even explain why I kept this part of myself private for so long. But whenever I would contemplate a change, I would think back to my youth, and the fathers, teachers and coaches who had been my adult role models, all of them old-fashioned family men. How could I possibly be so different?