Veteran news anchor comes out as gay in moving address to viewers
A long-serving Canadian news anchor has come out as gay, revealing he was previously banned from telling viewers.
Leslie Roberts, who has anchored Canadian news shows for decades, spoke about his identity during a segment on CTV Morning Live in celebration of National Coming Out Day on Friday, October 11.
The host explained that he has been living as an openly gay man for years, but was banned from mentioning his sexuality on air earlier in his career.
Leslie Roberts: ‘I was told coming out would kill my career.’
He told CTV: “I want to live an authentic life, and I want everyone who is watching this morning to know that I’m a gay man, and have been [out] since 1989.
“This discussion is 30 years in the making, because when I did come out, we weren’t able to have this kind of discussion.
“Starting out in the TV news business, I was told if I shared it publicly, it would be career-limiting if not killing.
“But my friends and family have always known, I have been surrounded by people I love.”
News anchor has been with his husband for 18 years.
Leslie Roberts, who is happily married to husband Chris, explained: “We got together almost 18 years ago, but never even dreamed we could get married because it wasn’t an option.
“We got married four years ago, and I started my vows by paying tribute to those who came before us, and said we’re standing on the shoulders of those who struggled, who were harassed, who went to jail.
“Friends and family were in tears, and I could see how moved they were. To me, it’s not new, but I was like, wow, they really get it. They understand where we’ve come and that the fight is not over.”
He added: “As we speak, conversion therapy is still legal in a lot of provinces of our country.
“There are still people who are shunned, and there are still people who are misunderstanding what it is.”
“We have politicians running to be Prime Minister of Canada right now who don’t personally understand that gay marriage is equal marriage in the eyes of the majority of Canadians.
“I find it really tough, because if you said, ‘I don’t believe in mixed marriage’, we wouldn’t stand for it.”