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.
I did not even know he was gay.
Dam me neither. Boy I betcha there more coming out and it SHOCKING
I’ve always wondered about him but this confirms it.
I already knew he was gay plus, if you watch TMZ his co-host/employees drop hints all the time.
Mykel C. Johnson
Please. Anyone this devoted to celebrity drama has to be gay.
PRINCE OF SNARKNESS aka DIVKID
Perez Hilton minus the integrity…. and with even less charm
He can be my “daddy” any day. What a sex, intelligent man.
huh… I was unaware he was gay. Gaydar did not go off. Doubt it’s ever come up on his other show, The People’s Court (w/Judge Marilyn Milian) which is on right now.
@PRINCE OF SNARKNESS aka DIVKID: Well if Alec Baldwin hates him he can’t be all bad!
He’s a hottie! Yum.
@onthemark: Why would it come up on The People’s Court? All he does is interview people in the outside crowd.
Well running a celeb gossip site is kind of a giveaway. lol
John Wesley Anderson
I didn’t know Levin was gay. That’s awesome!
@Xzamilio: Oh I suppose he could work it in casually, if it seemed pertinent for some reason. They have a lot of cases with gay litigants.
Joseph C Landis-Midnight
I thought he’s been out for years.
Can he UN-found TMZ? I can think of few more USELESS stupid piece-a-shit enterprises than TMZ and ALL of its broadcast/print/on-line ilk. I’d love to see all that bullshit go out of business.
He has always been a big nelly…everybody knows he´s gay
omg, i’m an idiot. i thought he was straight! lol!
I had no idea
He went from having a respectable career to stalking celebs. Smh The idiocy of America.
Just goes to show gays are normal people, too. Evil disgusting people.
I always thought he was gay, but his remarks on most things suck.
Thank God times have changed and everyone can be who they are in comfort.
I was under the impression this was common knowledge.
And I still don’t care. No thank you.
I knew he was gay, but that does not mean I like or even respect him. I would never call what he does journalism.
I had no idea. He’s perfected tabloid internet and TV news, if you can call it that.
I never knew he was gay
How funny is it that two of the most repulsive individuals in the web media are gay-identifying?
Always loved u, ever since people’s court and still one HOT SEXY STUD. Xo
Jay A. Scaramazzo
Now he should talk on growing up as a POS.
His story is a lot of people’s story. Good for him.
I had no idea
Posting on Queerty doesn’t make you a member of the “web media”, Briana. But everyone around here does, in fact, think you’re repulsive.
@Glücklich: Ha. That was good.
We always laugh at him on the Peoples’ Court, out there on the street in the crowd, asking tourists their opinions on the case. He always goes after the hunkiest, most gentile-looking, guys.
@Brian: Who is the other one?
@PRINCE OF SNARKNESS aka DIVKID: Perez Hilton has integrity? Really?
You’d think that someone who went through that trauma wouldn’t have made a living hounding other people. Comes off as kind of a douche.
Harvey is a major douche. Besides TMZ’s methods being completely unethical, he and his minions hound people to the point that it is dangerous, and the celebs can’t even live their lives. Famous or not, no one deserves to be hounded like that. It endangers the celebs, their families, the photographers, etc. Whenever a reporter or photographer does something wrong, TMZ immediately proclaims that it’s not one of theirs. However, they would gladly buy a piece of dirt from that person, even if they aren’t officially in their employ. Also, they put the spotlight on people on their gross site who don’t deserve it. The relative of someone who won a gold medal in the Olympics who got a DUI in their small town. Why does that person deserve to be humiliated like that? Someone is doing a tell-all article on Harvey and his methods — I can’t wait. It will show him for the evil snake that he is.
I had no idea he was gay!
Eddie Schwartz Jr.
Thank You, Harvey for telling the same as a lot of us went thru, but did not know what to. So proud of you. God bless you!!
Thank you, for your honesty! I know how hard that is!!!!!!
Josh Baker Aaron Harrison
I didn’t know he was gay until my sister told me recently.
Very surprised he would speak of this. He’s out but never hints of it on his show.
I often thought that he was gay as the past episodes show him from head to toe and he always has to move around to show a box…..If you can get ahold of those older episodes you’ll see what I am talking about which why the brought the camera closer so he won’t have to move around so much to show his box….
I have heard him mention it on TMZ I think when nothing else is on to watch. I need to Google how old he is. That period of growing up was so different than today. He works out. That’s a giveaway for gay. Lol
So he was bullied as a kid and now he bullies celebrities? Guess you shouldn’t bully people unless it pays.
Some of the birdbrain comments are a riot:
“I had no idea he is gay”.
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