“Courage is contagious. I have felt that way since coming out publicly in 2006. I’ve never regretted it. This November, I will co-host Miss Universe in Moscow partly because it is a huge, visible opportunity for LGBT people. Everywhere. [snip] So people may wonder: ‘Thomas, how can you accept this assignment? Shouldn’t you boycott Russia?’ I am not going to boycott. Boycotting and vilifying from the outside is too easy. Rather, I choose to offer my support of the LGBT community in Russia by going to Moscow and hosting this event as a journalist, an anchor and a man who happens to be gay.
“Let people see I am no different than anyone else. All kids—Russian, American or otherwise—need hope. I am a happy, healthy, gainfully employed, educated and married man. And yes, I am gay. These new Russian laws won’t stop Russians from being born LGBT and growing up to identify as such. Russia’s treatment of its LGBT citizens is unacceptable, unrealistic and only promotes homophobia and intolerance for a community that does and will continue to exist. [snip] We do them no favors by turning away now. We must be visible, we must show up, and, as Harvey Milk said, we must ‘give them hope.’ I go to prove there’s hope.” – News anchor Thomas Roberts, writing for MSNBC.
RELATED: In August, Bravo host Andy Cohen announced that he would not be returning to host Miss Universe, saying that he “didn’t feel right as a gay man stepping foot into Russia.”