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Canadian News Anchor Leslie Roberts Comes Out As Gay

The longtime news anchor came out as gay to viewers in Ottawa on National Coming Out Day…
 
Leslie Roberts came out as gay to viewers in Ottawa earlier today. The longtime news anchor, who now hosts CTV Morning Live in the nation’s capital, timed his announcement with National Coming Out Day.
 
Roberts has been living as an openly gay man for many years, but he’s never talked about his sexuality with his audience, until today.
 
“I’m a news anchor who just happens to be gay. I’m not a gay news anchor.”
 
The former award-winning Toronto news anchor resigned from Global Television Toronto in 2015 following conflict of interest allegations. He joined CTV Morning Live in Ottawa in June as co-host.
 
This morning Roberts spoke to CTV’s Graham Richardson and shared his experience of coming out as a gay man in the workplace 30 years ago. He reflected on how when he came out privately to work colleagues back in 1989, he found the reaction chilling, especially since conversations weren’t as focused on inclusion and acceptance as they are now.
 
“I was married at the time. I had a young daughter. And the first thing everybody said was this is career suicide. This will not connect with the viewers. This will mean the end of your career in television. Things have changed”.
 
“Those awful jokes, those horrible words that would further drive the shame into you. They’re not being used anymore” Roberts said.
 
Roberts knows some younger people may not think this is a big step for him. But he points out older people remember and understand the pressure gay people in the public eye were under.
 
“When I told my father the first thing he said to me was ‘your life is going to be harder because of this’ He didn’t know how to help.”
 
“I had no role models I had absolutely no one to talk to. I knew I was different, I knew that I was not like everybody else.”
 
He regrets it has taken him this long and admits when Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson, someone he covers every day in the news, came out it gave him a bit of a nudge.
 
“I owed it to the audience to be more authentic. I also owed it to my soul.”
 
October 11th is National Coming Out Day, a day to celebrate the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer identities that make up our diverse communities.
 

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