Staffer Outs Himself on Howard Stern Show Without Being Called a ‘Faggot’ or ‘Homo’

Think your coming out story is harrowing? Howard Stern staffer High-Pitch Mike came on The Howard Stern Show aka The Straightest Place in the Known Universe yesterday. Last month, he’d been hooked up to a lie detector test (you know, because that’s what happens on The Howard Stern Show) and failed the “Are you gay?” question. The incident made him reevaluate his life. After the show:

Mike listened to Brian McKnight’s “Never Felt This Way” on repeat and realized he was never going to experience the kind of love Howard and Beth or his parents share: “The song made me realize how lonely I was and how empty my life has been…it’s time for me to come out of the closet and admit…I am gay.”

Because this is a heart-warming coming out story, we’re going to refrain from commenting on the cultural value of “Never Felt This Way” for the moment. Over the holiday, Mike decided to come out to his mother, who had previously said she would disown him if he were gay. Signs you may be gay: Your mother threatens to disown you if you say you’re gay. Also, your nickname is “High-Pitched Mike”. At first Mrs. High-Pitch repeated her threat of disowning Mike, but as he was about to hang up the phone she said, “I love you and I just want you to be happy…I want you to be happy in your life no matter what…I love you more than life itself.”

Stern told Mike “I’m very proud of you and happy for you”, before asking questions about his sex life and who he’s dating. Mike demurred on the sex questions since his Mom was listening in and you know, talking about your sex life on national radio 15 minutes after coming out might be a bit much for anyone. Stern even suggested that High-Pitched Mike’s voice might now deepen because “high-pitched voices are usually the result of stress”. Mike also gave a shout-out to the Matthew Shepherd Foundation.

If you don’t think choosing to come out can have an impact on the way people perceive gays and lesbians, here’s an email we received this morning from Queerty fan Kristal:

“I am a big fan of The Howard Stern Show and although there is a general perception that he is a homophobe he is actually very gay positive and a huge supporter of gay rights in general and gay marriage specifically…A lot of the guys on this show besides Howard make gay jokes constantly and it was sweet to hear them tell this guy they love him and they are proud and happy for him to finally be out of the closet. I am newish to this site but as a straight black christian californian was so saddened by the Yes on Prop 8 vote that I have decided to get more involved in the current civil rights movement. The hot guys on the site help too. Blessings.”

Get Queerty Daily

Subscribe to Queerty for a daily dose of #comingout #high-pitchmike #howardstern stories and more


  • Brandon

    Perhaps everyone should go on Howard Stern then? I need a boyfriend!

  • John

    Howard is a huge gay rights supporter! His show announcer is George Takei – and the bachelor party that the show threw for George was EPIC. Yes, Howard still has lots of tits and ass, but he’s had many out gay guests, including Neil Patrick Harris (another classic interview… did you know NPH lost his virginity to Christine Taylor (Mrs. Ben Stiller)?

  • chuck

    Howard Stern is a pretty cool guy. I had the pleasure of meeting him in my retail store in New York a few years back.

  • St. Francis of a-sissy

    Howard isn’t my style, but I’ve listened to him enough to figure out that he makes fun of ALL sexuality. And why not? Let’s face it, sexuality is a goofy, weird, messy aspect of human life.

  • GranDiva

    I roll my eyes at Howard’s sophomoric humor so much that people might think I’m being possessed by an orisha, but he is pretty cool about the gays.

  • Anarchos

    How very nice of Kristal to write in like that, and here’s hoping there are many more like her out there. We need allies like her.

  • Jon B

    I love Howard, and everyone on the show. While the show does have a very heavy straight-white-male slant, I think there’s a really good argument that it has done more to allow the gay rights movement to move forward than almost anything else in entertainment – certainly radio. The Howard Stern Show was ground breaking in its treatment of sex and sexuality. I mean, we still live in a very sexually repressed country today – imagine going on the radio in the late 70’s and doing what he does (granted it was a bit more tame at the time).

    Maybe on the surface the conversations and skits on the show may seem very sexist, but if you take everything in context, it’s probably one of the more feminist minded programs aimed at straight men. I mean, Robin is arguably the most dominant figure on the show (or tied with Howard), and rather than avoid discussion of sex and sexual desires, everyone (including female guests) is encouraged to discuss anything they want. On one episode an 80 year old woman had her first ever orgasm! Talk about sexual liberation!

    I don’t know why I’m writing all of this… I just get sort of annoyed when people knock Howard, or assume he’d be a homophobe. Sometimes I think we get a little too touchy about gay jokes and straight male humor, which I don’t really think is fair. The intention behind the words or actions should be important as well, and when Howard or staff make gay jokes, it is almost always innocent and with good intent (though generally not in good taste).

    Congrats High Pitched Mike!

  • Darth Paul

    Howard’s great! He’s hilarious.

  • T Mack

    Hey High Mike. I’m single, you’re single, how about a date? Congrats on standing up for Who You Are!!!! Best of luck on your new path in life!

  • Tim

    Straightest Place on Earth? Clearly, this posting was NOT written by a listener. Sal & Richard’s antics? Joey Boots? Siobhan the transexual?? George Takei??? (YEARS of) Lesbians, lesbians, lesbians?

    Queerty – get in touch!

  • Timothy

    I’m not a fan of Howard’s show.

    But when the official voice of straight white “make fun of the fags” America endorses your rights, it does more for equality than ten speeches by a politician.

    I can deal with Howard’s jokes (as long as I’m not forced to listen to them) because his message of tolerance and equalitity reaches folks we could never otherwise reach.

  • Rob

    I have been listening to the Howard Stern Show for many years. Even during my coming out period, some 17 years ago, I always found Howard to be totally cool with the GLBTQ community. I applaud High Pitch Mike, and wish that he didn’t need to go through what he went through. However, many of us have like or worse coming out stories, and we can only LEARN from each other. Howard Stern has always been a real supporter of GLBTQ rights, especially equal marriage rights, and has always given the gay community a real presence on his show. I always applauded Howard for that.

    Some advice for Mike…Don’t look back at the time you missed…Simply start living now…There is so much beauty out there for you, if you are willing to embrace it. There is really no time for regret, and luckily, there are plenty of eligible guys for you in NYC…I am so happy that you can be yourself now…as it truly IS the only thing you own…I want nothing more than happiness for you, success, and much love in your future!!!

    Respectfully submitted by

  • Maplewoody

    I was on the Stern Show back in 1996 when he did a “to tell the Poof” game show. He was very friendly and far from being Homophobic. By the way, I tricked all but Jackie the Jokeman. They all thought I was not the Poofter! Jackie wrote our lines and worked with the contestants off the air prior to the game.

  • Mike

    The last line of this story made my eyes well up.

  • Kid A

    Thanks for the support Kristal! I agree, who can deny Morning Goods?

  • Mike

    Tim is right. Howard is a big supporter of the LGBTQ community and gay rights, and we should all recognize that. It is precisely because of his “heavy straight-white-male” audience that his vocal support for gay rights and marriage equality is so important. For the past several elections, for instance, Howard has been credited with helping turn Pennsylvania and other “purple” states “blue.” I have no doubt that he has made headway with blue collar white workers on the issue of sexuality and gay rights.

    What’s the difference between having High Pitch Mike take a voluntary lie detector test to talk about his sexuality than Harvey Milk telling all gay people they HAVE to come out to everyone they know? The one thing I fault Stern for, is that years ago he said he and Beth would NOT get married until Gays and Lesbians could get married also. Of course they did get married. And Brad and Angelina will probably do the same!

    Look forward to the next sure-to-be segment on The Howard Stern Show: Finding High-Pitch Mike a boyfriend!

    Does anyone know where we can listen to this segment of the episode? (Now that it’s on satellite?)


    @John: I’ve never quite understood the point of “tits and ass” on the radio…

  • greybat

    @HYHYBT: Yes. You’d think they’d stick to the console!

  • seitan-on-a-stick

    No-one said anything about the irony that Brian McKnight has a transgender mistress which he pays an apartment for while his wife collects the Gospel trophies.

  • Caligula

    “The Straightest Place in the Known Universe” Obviously the perosn who wrote this knows nothing about Howard Stern. First of all Howard has been a firm supporter of gays and also his show has had lots of gay antics. Also many famous gays have been on his show and they have been treated with nothing but respect. As a gay supporter myself i feel the people who write news articles like this need to do there research. I hope it was meant as sarcasm….

  • Dizzy D

    @Mike: Buy satellite radio and SUPPORT Howard like he supports gay rights!

Comments are closed.