In a major role reversal, Harvey Levin, who has built a media empire as founder of TMZ by breaking the juiciest of celebrity hijinks, has shared a candid story about what it was like for him to accept that he is gay.
Writing for Vanguard Now, Levin explains why he is a donor of the Los Angeles LGBT Center by taking a trip down memory lane:
When I was a teenager, I found myself in a profound internal struggle—what I perceived as a mandate to live a “straight” life, despite contrary feelings that were welling to the surface. I thought I did a pretty good job sublimating those feelings, but someone close to me had a good sense of what was really going on. That person went on with what felt like a homophobic campaign, denigrating LGBT people with epithets and snide comments—without ever confronting me directly.
That was my first encounter with anyone who suspected I was gay, and it scarred me for many, many years. I tried harder than ever to lead a “straight” life.
When I finally began to experiment, I felt such shame. If I went to a gay bar, I would wait—sometimes for half an hour—just to make sure cars weren’t passing by the front door for fear a driver might see me enter. When I met someone, I would often use an alias so I could easily cut ties. It actually makes no sense, but that’s what I did.
Levin first publicly confirmed he’s gay in 2010 during a speech he gave to the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association, discussing his fears that his sexual orientation could tank his career.
Prior to TMZ, Levin was a practicing lawyer and a legal reporter, rising to national prominence when he extensively covered the O.J. Simpson murder trial for KCBS in 1995.
We’ll refrain from including Alec Baldwin’s strong opinion of Levin, but you can Google it — just don’t choke on your lunch.
Head here to read Levin’s full post.