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Commentary: Robin Roberts comes out, America still has good morning

December 30, 2013

hollar.38@osu.edu
Robin Roberts arrives at the 85th annual Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center in Los Angeles Feb. 24. Roberts came out on Facebook Dec. 29.  Credit: Courtesy of MCT

Robin Roberts arrives at the 85th annual Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center in Los Angeles Feb. 24. Roberts came out on Facebook Dec. 29.
Credit: Courtesy of MCT

When ‘NSYNC’s Lance Bass came out as gay back in 2006, it was a big deal.

Around the country, one could almost hear the crushes of a generation of young girls being stomped on by reality. Today, however, saying something against homosexuals is more shocking than announcing your being one (looking at you, Phil Robertson of “Duck Dynasty”).

“Good Morning America” anchor Robin Roberts came out Sunday in a Facebook post in which she mentioned her “long time girlfriend.”

To clarify, the post was not about Roberts’ sexuality. It was an expression of gratitude for the supportive people in her life.

“I am grateful for my entire family, my long time girlfriend, Amber, and friends as we prepare to celebrate a glorious new year together,” the post by the 53-year-old journalist said.

That’s it. The only mention in the entire post of Roberts’ girlfriend of 10 years is right there.

How’s that for a subtle coming out?

As LGBT rights continue to be a politically salient topic, the response to Roberts’ coming out captures the changing attitudes on homosexuality in America.

No one (to my knowledge) has organized a boycott of “Good Morning America” or ABC because Roberts loves a woman. No riots have begun, no protests have been organized. Instead, Roberts’ coming out has been met with a collective “Huh? I didn’t know you were gay,” and a “Good for you. Glad you’re healthy.”

That’s the way it works now: You tell us you’re gay, we accept it and we all move on.

When someone comes out, it’s no longer met with shock and awe. Coming out isn’t cover-of-People magazine important anymore.

Polls show that more and more people are in favor of gay marriage, and more and more states are voting to legalize gay marriage.

There are, of course, those still not tolerant (back to you, Phil Robertson), but they are a dwindling minority, demonstrated by the backlash they receive for voicing their archaic worldview.

If you’re a celebrity, telling the world you’re gay today is as difficult as telling the world you’re not a natural blonde. Regardless of if we expected it or not, we’ll tuck the fact in the back of our mind and move on with our day.

It’s OK to be gay, and it’s OK to tell us about it. We’ll still manage to have a good morning, America.


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  1. Deb says:

    I remember years ago when my Buckeye former student athlete and J school grad told me she admired Robin and prayed for her success in a “very” difficult biz that hires on “looks” than a BRAIN!!! Secondly OMG Robin and Queen Latifah didn’t fool REAL FANS!!!! hahahaha Next get off Duck Dynasty. There is a reason this family is worth $400 mil (I aint mad for his thoughts because I got a few of my own I wouldn’t want on reality TV!!!). Finally I agree with the TMZ reporter. It is sad with so many celebs who are “out” and all the shows I watched with Robin sharing her struggle she still felt the need to keep the “secret (come on Robin if Amber were a MAN you would have shown her sooner and that is SAD.)” I don’t care who is in Robin’s bed!!! I care she live life to the fullest and take care of her health!!! Exhale Robin Exhale. Now let Oprah interview you and Amber (she did a great job with other PARTNERS!!!!)!

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