CNN’s Thomas Roberts Comes Out at Gay Journo Confab


I’ve always held a special place in my heart for CNN anchor Thomas Roberts, so I was interested to read a report by Beantown Cuban from the annual National Gay and Lesbian Journalists Association conference that was held in Miami this month.

If he hadn’t made his sexuality known before, he reportedly let it all out in Miami, announcing that the conference was the “biggest step” he had taken to really being out in public, and that he had slowly been coming out at CNN over the years.

Beantown Cuban reports that Roberts (who caused a lot of “swooning in the hotel’s hallways” – no doubt) said he was proud of his partner, and said something that might be taken as words of wisdom to one of his fellow anchors:

“When you hold something back, that’s all everyone wants to know.”

Bravo to Roberts. And if you haven’t tuned in to Headline News to see him, you’d best be touching that dial.

(thanks christine)


  1. says

    Don’t know if this has anything to do with his coming out or not, but Reuters is reporting a shuffling of the desk chairs at CNN/HN. The 4:00 – 6:00et newscast co-anchored by Roberts is being cancelled and he and his co-anchor are being shuttled off to the dreaded “re-assignment” bin.

    Click the URL link for the story.

  2. Kevin says

    Unfortunately from TVNEWSER yesterday…

    Headline News Reformats Dayparts

    CNN Headline News isn’t appointing a replacement for Rolando Santos. (Santos, the “executive vice president and general manager” of the network, is moving to CNNI.) “His duties will be handled” by VP for programming and production Bill Galvin and executive VP Ken Jautz, a CNN rep said.

    Thomas Roberts and Kathleen Kennedy’s 4 to 6pm newscast is being cancelled. (It’s unclear what Roberts and Kennedy will be doing now.) The other two dayparts will expand by an hour each, so Mike Galanos and Christi Paul will anchor from 10am to 2pm, and Chuck Roberts and Linda Stouffer will anchor from 2 to 6pm. The 4 to 6pm staff will be absorbed into the other dayparts.

  3. says

    This is not the first time Roberts has shown courage, and they are related. He testified against a Baltimore priest some time back who had molested him [and several others] as a teenager after he had been sent to the priest for counseling for, among other things, his mother’s concerns about his sexuality. So, more than most of us, he had an extra box of demons to wrestle with in coming out both privately and publicly. Three cheers for him, and, yes, I, too, hope a certain colleague is paying attention.

  4. Ron says

    Let’s hope the cancellation of Thomas’s HLN program had nothing to do with his announcement. I loved watching him on that program, he’s handsome, funny and classy. I certainly wish Anderson (who I also love) could finally get himself together to take the same step that Thomas did.

  5. Sean R says

    A lovely story indeed, isn’t it. Ah, gay journalists, who’d have thought it honey? ;>

    He story supports the view that coming out is a lifelong process rather than a singular announcement.Being gay or lesbian seeps into everything we do and who we are. Good luck to him and his partner on the incredible journey.

  6. Jack says

    OMG! OMG! Several months ago he did news updates for Anderson Cooper 360 and I felt something. I thought Thomas was a bit uncomfortable with Andy. My thinking was that Thomas was totally straight and he knew Andy was gay. I am completely surprised by this. I am so happy that he is happy with being himself. I wish him the best!

    I don’t think his show being cancelled had anything to do with his sexuality. Months ago there were rumors that there would be a major shake up at CNN. That never fully materialized. I think the company wants to cut money by expanding better rated shows. They are seeing that shows like Today, GMA, and American Morning can lengthen and increase ratings. Also they said he would be doing news updates for other CNN shows like Nancy Grace and Showbiz Tonight.

  7. says

    To anyone in the Atlanta area, this doesn’t come as a surprise. Thomas Roberts and his partner are often out and about at gay events, bars, and other social activities.

    Good for him for announcing it publically, that takes a lot of guts. Especially when it doesn’t appear to be on the heels of tabloid rumors like those that “plagued” Lance Bass. He seems to have just done it on his own terms and at his own time.

  8. Rick says

    Thanks towleroad and beantown cuban for the Thomas Roberts story. He always seemed like such a nice guy and he’s hot too! Good for him for attending a gay journalists’ conference and speaking at a panel. And to Johnny Diaz, you have such a beautiful smile. Maybe you should be another gay and out journalist on TV too. 😀

  9. Will says

    FUCK YOU Anderson!!! If you work for people who would fire your ass for being openly gay, then QUIT. Otherwise, you are nothing but a sell-out putting money in the hands of those who want the gays to go away, forever.

    If they would not fire you, then why are such a chicken? Be who you are, not who others want you to be.

    The autobiography that wasn’t truthful and now this, my lack of respect for AC just keeps increasing.

  10. Zeke says

    BRAVO to Roberts indeed!

    It’s a shame that CNN canceled his show. We shouldn’t assume that there is a connection between this cancellation and his coming out without more information to suggest such a connection. Hopefully he will land on his feet and be very successful in his future endeavors.

    There have been rumors that Anderson Cooper has a “No coming out” clause in his CNN contract. I can only hope that the rumors are not true. However, if they are true, CNN AND Coop should be ashamed.

    It IS 2006 for Christ’s sake. It’s a damn shame that still have to “come out” at all. Maybe someday we’ll get to a point where people never have to be IN the closet in the first place.

    I’m not gonna hold my breath.

  11. JT says

    Will: Your sentiment is understandable but problemmatic. It is so easy to tell someone else to give up his or her livlihood (especially a profitable one) because of a moral stance. That doesn’t seem to be realistic, though.

  12. Antaeus says

    Why is it that all the men who testify to molestation as boys turn out to be gay? Is it just coincidence or are the priests to some extent being scapegoated for the homosexuality of the teen? While even consensual sex with minors is illegal, one shouldn’t overlook that important facet of this social phenomenon.

  13. Will says

    JT, I agree, it is problematic and I frankly don’t know how I would handle it, BUT…..I am out at work and all my family knows and my being gay has never hindered my career (lawyer), so I claim the moral high ground (whether people accept it or not).

    No different than gay republicans. We condemn them all the time for putting money first and living a lie. Is AC allowed to a free pass, allowed to have a double standard? Is comission so different here from omission? I don’t know.

    Regardless of being problematic, it doesn’t change the fact that AC is either a sell-out or a coward. In either case, he deserves neither our attention, respect, nor admiration, just our contempt, maybe pity, if one feels charitable. People give up opportunity all the time for their morals, whether left or right, even where we decide to buy things from. Is one allowed a pass just because millions are involved rather than just a twenty?

    My contempt for AC stands.

  14. Dan says

    I applaud him for his courage–one of the highest profile guys on news to come out.

    Is there a pic of his boyfriend somewhere? Supposedly he’s very hot too. I hope TR gets a more high-profile role somewhere soon!

    As for the priest, I am glad he testified, and IMO it was not because of that person that TR turned out to be gay. According to news reports, he consulted the priest because he was ‘struggling with his sexuality,’ a vulnerable gay kid that got preyed upon, like many, sadly.

    But he’s turned out pretty well, it seems! Congrats to him!

  15. rjp3 says

    QUESTION: “Why is it that all the men who testify to molestation as boys turn out to be gay? Is it just coincidence or are the priests to some extent being scapegoated for the homosexuality of the teen?

    Many straight men and women have come forward about priest abuse.
    OUT GAY MEN ARE BRAVE MEN – so they would have less concern than a closeted gay man (who is afraid people will find out he is gay) or straight man (or straight man who is afraid people will think him gay) if they tell people about abuse from an adult man.

    This guy went to a priest … for counseling … and his TRUST was abused.
    Sex is sex but abuse of trust and manipulation is the issue this priest had to pay the piper for.

  16. Flo says

    hey what happened to former CNN anchor Kris Osborn? ***He was as hot as Thomas***

    Anyway, I read that he came out too earlier last year and after that I havent seen him on any other network.

  17. Zeke says

    If what FLO is saying, about Kris Osborn coming out, is true then it would cause me to reasonably question if the rumors about the “No coming out” contract clauses at CNN are true.

    Does anyone know if Osborn came out and what’s happened to him lately? I never heard anything about it and it seems hard to believe that Andy wouldn’t have sniffed it out.

    If the contract clause rumors are true then it’s high time for us to shine some light on CNN.

    If anyone can get some hard EVIDENCE (first hand or second hand knowledge) that they have such a policy please share.

  18. Matt says

    I’ve heard that Anderson never has been out, even in his days at ABC, so it’s not likely that he’d say anything even if there wasn’t this mysterious “don’t come out” clause at CNN. I’m happy to hear about Thomas coming out, but everyone has to do what works for them, so I don’t want to pass judgement on someone like Anderson.

  19. Dan says

    Some hot shirtless pics of TR are out there…

    Also to mention, Miguel Marquez was a member and panelist at NLGJA and was out, he was a reporter for CNN for a number of years.

  20. dj says

    One hot man… I meet him and BF in Atlanta – smart and sharp and deep; not just a pretty face on CNN; true reporter!

    I bet we will see him again on CNN or another MAJOR network.

  21. Jerry says

    Ok…I had no idea that he was family. Did I fantasize about it?…yes. If, however, I looked like that…I wouldn’t just broadcast the news to the world…I would RULE THE WORLD!

  22. FLO says


    I read that Osborn attended a gay pride event and thats where he came out.

    You’re right, if CNN has such a policy and if we can get evidence, CNN should be hearing from us.

  23. Doug Stewart says

    News Release January 12, 2006
    NLGJA News > News Releases > January 12, 2006

    National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association Receives $100,000 Gift from CNN for Journalist Scholarships

    WASHINGTON, DC – January 12, 2006 The National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association (NLGJA) is pleased to announce that CNN will make a $100,000 donation to the NLGJA Scholarship Fund endowment to support the Leroy F. Aarons Scholarship Award. The academic award is named in the memory of NLGJA’s founder, the late Leroy F. Aarons, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and editor.

  24. RP says

    Dan B is right. To anyone that has known or been acquainted with Thom there is no surprise. He used to anchor here in Norfolk, VA before heading down to Atlanta for CNN. He was visible in the community here, so I never knew he “wasn’t out.”
    I think it probably has more to do with the fact that his sexuality has never been brought into question, and quite frankly why should the sexuality of a news anchor matter?
    Futhermore, for the love of god, can we as a community get off the Anderson Cooper speculation trip?

  25. Mark says

    The only people still speculating about Anderson’s gayness are his deluded and pathetic fangurls. I thought everyone knew Thomas Roberts was gay and out, it’s interesting that so many people are surprised by this.

  26. nick says

    um… thomas roberts and myself made eye contact and kept checking each out in the atl airport while we were going through security and all the way to our terminal. damn.

  27. Benson B. Williams says

    Leave Anderson Alone. It’s his life – not yours – live for yourself.
    AND YES, Most major corporations do “get Rid” of openly gay employeesif known at work if not upfront about it them behind closed doors – white so called straight males run the workplace and as with race – nothing much has changed over the years. If you think differently, you arre kidding yourself and sometimes ya just need to make a living. We gays are just so judgemental – looks, age, out, closet dress and on and on. Boring.

  28. cliff says

    Not all of the students that were molested by a priest and several christian brothers at Calvert Hall College in Towson, Maryland, were gay — a good many of them were straight…these molestations took place from 1971 to 1978/79 — I attended the school from ’71 to ’75…my molester was a christian brother and I am gay (but, I am not gay as a result of the molestation — I’ve been this way all of my life)…at least one of the kids that was molested had committed suicide after he graduated.

  29. Zeke says

    It seems hard to believe that the son of Gloria Vanderbilt could possibly be straight; unless you consider the fact that the daughters of Alan Keyes and Dick Cheney are lesbians and the sons of Phyllis Schlafley and Beverly and TimLaHaye are gay.

    All kidding aside, it is my understanding that Cooper, like Roberts, has been openly gay for years outside of his professional life.

    Although I agree that coming out is a personal journey that should not be forced on someone, especially someone who is not anti gay, I don’t understand why so many gay people act as if it is shameful or insulting to wonder about or talk about someone’s sexuality. People talk about celebrity’s private lives all the time, but somehow if you discuss the possibility that someone might be gay it is interpreted as an inappropriate invasion of their privacy, or worse yet, an insult to them.

    It just seems a bit homophobic to me that so many gay people still consider a label of “gay” to be an “accusation” or an insult; especially when no one seems to be as offended when numerous gay celebrities are promoted, marketed and labeled as straight by the tabloid and popular media.

    If we can’t get past our own, deeply instilled homophobia how can we expect straight people to not be homophobic?

  30. Britt says

    Jacob, you live in Atlanta and haven’t seen Thomas out every weekend? You might not recognize him because (hard to believe, I know) he looks 100% hotter in person with his hair all messy and his shirt off LOL! He was always one of my crushes out in Atlanta before I moved. His BF is equally adorable.

  31. MLO says

    Where was it published that Kris Osborn came out at a gay pride event? The only info I can find online about him being associated with any gay-pride event is when he moderated a panel about the GLBT civil rights movement in DC in June 2005, during Gay Pride Week. There’s nothing anywhere about him having come out at that or any other time. Anybody have a solid reference for this?

  32. MLO says

    FYI re Osborn’s career post CNN: He has written for the Washington Times, was briefly at Entertainment Tonight, and was a reporter at KSTP-TV in Minneapolis, but appears to have left that post earlier this year.

  33. EMT says

    > Wow Thomas is one of does guy I would love to meet.
    > He is very hot and so handsome.
    > Does anyone know if they have pictures of him
    > semi nude or shirtless…


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