While it was only for a single day, this past Saturday, Thomas Roberts made history by becoming the first openly gay man to anchor the NBC Nightly News. Prior to that time, no openly gay person had ever anchored the news hour for one of the big three networks: ABC, NBC, or CBS.
For Roberts, the event was a milestone in his career as it would be for any journalist. The 42-year-old currently anchors the weekly program “MSNBC Live With Thomas Roberts”, but that network has a small and shrinking audience. It goes without saying that Roberts was able to reach a much larger audience with the “NBC Nightly News” program.
Despite the historic nature of the event, the network did not make any fanfare about Roberts anchoring the news. For his part, Roberts went about covering the major new headline which was Donald Trump’s assessment that Senator John McCain is not a war hero in the strictest sense because he was merely captured by the enemy. Trump would go on to dominate the news cycle nationally for days following his remarks.
It is often the case that a person reaching a milestone may find it to be somewhat anti-climactic. That’s not to say the path to the top was easy for Roberts. Life began with him enduring unspeakable abuse at the hands of a Catholic Priest during his high school years. He also struggled to embrace his sexual orientation before finally coming out in the open. He also waited twelve years before he was able to legally marry his partner Patrick D. Abner. Watch the video and see history quietly in the making.