go, mom!

Newsman Gio Benitez reveals how his mom reacted when he came out as gay


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A post shared by Gio Benitez (@giobenitez)

ABC news reporter Gio Benitez was reporting on Pride festivities in New York City over the weekend. Whilst doing so, he shared a story about his mom’s reaction when he came out to her, aged 24.

The clip was re-shared by Good Morning America on social media.

Benitez says of his coming out, “I went into it knowing you had to give room and space to understanding. I did not expect her to understand in 24 hours what took me 24 years.

“But incredibly, when I told her …  it was a very emotional experience, she was scared when I was struggling to get the words out. And I told her and I said, ‘I’m gay’, and she … had a sigh of relief and said, ‘I thought you were going to tell me something is wrong’.”

At this point, Benitez becomes choked up with emotion.

“And I knew then it was going to be this really understanding moment and she immediately was learning all about it.”

Online, viewers praised his mom’s reaction.

“Your mother sounds wonderful!! A parent’s love should be unconditional like this! I’m so happy this was your experience!!” said one.

“I love your mom and I don’t even know her😭” said another.

Related: It’s Official! Gio Benitez Is A Married Man And The Wedding Photos Are Absolutely Adorable

A couple of years ago, Benitez wrote a letter to his 12-year-old self. It was shared by Good Morning America to mark Coming Out Day.

In it, Benitez spoke about realizing he felt different, and others picking up on it.

“Your community sometimes uses tough language.

“A beautiful Spanish accent doesn’t mask ugly words.

“When you hear these words, you laugh, you deflect, you distract.

“You don’t know any better.

“You’re scared, and just doing the best you can.

“The kids at school use the word “gay” as if it’s synonymous with “eww.”

“They’re pointing their fingers directly at you.


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A post shared by Gio Benitez (@giobenitez)

“They make fun of everything: your hair, your teeth, your skinny frame. But that word, ‘gay,’ sticks the longest. It hurts.

“After school, you escape it all with TV shows, books, and your own imagination.

“Mom asks, ‘how was school?’

“You always say it was great.

“You’ll spend years trying to be more ‘manly.'”

Benitez went on to tell his younger self, “it will all be OK,” that his mom embraces his sexuality, and it doesn’t harm his career in any way.

“In fact, when you get engaged and ultimately marry your husband, your colleagues will show your photos and congratulate you on America’s No. 1 morning show, ‘Good Morning America.’


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“Don’t rush it, kid. You don’t need to reveal your secret just yet, if you don’t want to. You’re only 12. Just know that you’re special, and someday you’ll feel that too, and everything will be OK.”