Robin Roberts attends the Oscars held at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 2, 2014 in Hollywood, California Source: Jason Merritt/Getty Images

'Good Morning America' Co-Host Robin Roberts Says Career Concerns, Religion Delayed Her Public Coming Out

Kilian Melloy READ TIME: 2 MIN.

"Good Morning America" co-host Robin Roberts was not entirely closeted before she came out in 2013, but fear around the professional toll and her religious beliefs delayed her public embrace of authenticity, The Hollywood Reporter said.

"The media personality admitted on a recent episode of Jamie Kern Lima's podcast that while her 'Good Morning America' colleagues were aware of her sexuality prior to coming out publically in 2013, she still feared public acknowledgment could negatively impact the ABC show," THR detailed.

Roberts told the podcaster that "there are so many people whose livelihoods depend on the success of our show. And so, if I do something that hurts the show, that hurts them."

Roberts had been a sportscaster with ESPN while also reporting for "GMA." She also hosted "ABC's Wide World of Sports." She became a co-host for "GMA" in 2005.

Still, behind the scenes Roberts was committed to now-wife Amber Laign, and didn't try to keep their relationship a secret prior to coming out.

But the balancing act around her public and private lives was complicated by another factor: religion. Roberts sees no contradiction between being queer and Christian, but, she explained, many people don't share her perspective.

"I was afraid," Roberts said bluntly. "I was so fearful that I would be shunned."

Those worries evaporated "when she received 'a beautiful letter' from the National Office of the Presbyterian Church after coming out," THR relayed. Looking back, Roberts rued "all those years I wasted [on] needless worry," THR quoted her saying.

But queer people in the public eye, like anyone else, need to find their own moment to come out. In Roberts' case, that moment arrived after a diagnosis of breast cancer in 2012, and after she was approached about interviewing President Barack Obama about his evolving views on marriage equality.

Roberts recalled feeling concerned about what such an interview might mean for her own life and career. "Will that out me?" she remembered thinking.

"The nerve for me to be selfish and thinking, 'How is this going to impact me' when the Commander in Chief was going to say to the world that people like me are worthy – are worthy of being married," Roberts exclaimed. She went ahead with that interview, but she still didn't feel ready to come out publicly until the following year.

"I'm so glad I did it," Roberts continued, referencing "the young people, especially growing up in the South, who didn't have a role model like myself... I'm so glad that I found the courage to be my authentic self."

"This was the time in my life that was right," Roberts said of her coming out in 2013. "It felt good.... And you know what's so freeing about it also? It's like, 'Bring it on. You know everything about me. And I have nothing to hide.'"

Watch Roberts' appearance on "The Jamie Kern Lima Show" below. Her comments on coming out start shortly after the 16:00 mark.

by Kilian Melloy , EDGE Staff Reporter

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Associate Arts Editor and Staff Contributor. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.

Read These Next