Thomas Roberts Explains Himself Not Explaining Himself

Former CNN newsman Thomas Roberts makes no secret of his homosexuality. The man came out at a National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association conference, for fuck’s sake. His sexuality did not come up, however, when Roberts sat down with journalistic peer, Anderson Cooper.

You may recall that the two men chatted about Roberts’ experience being sexually abused by a priest – certainly a topic often – and dangerously – discussed in tandem with homosexuality. AfterElton thought so, too, and wrote a post in which they questioned why neither Roberts, nor the Coop referenced Roberts’ sexuality.

While it was unquestionably courageous for the man to speak so candidly about his sexual abuse at the hand of the family priest as a teenager, there seemed to be a glaring absence in the discussion: namely, about how Roberts, as an out gay man, has been affected by the abuse as a grown, sexualized adult.

The AE boys recently ran into Roberts and the 35-year old journo was none-too-pleased…

Calling the original article “sensational”, Roberts explained the sexual absence:

It is irrelevant. The story was about sexual abuse, and the person going back to fight for a child that was abused, and what they’re doing today to try and change laws to protect children. It’s not a profile on Thomas Roberts.

As we mentioned, molestation and sexuality are often conflated, pressed into a convenient ball: a detail Roberts says he hoped to avoid:

I don’t want to draw all these correlations between something that’s not an issue to me – being gay is not an issue to me, being sexually abused; that’s an issue. That’s a problem, that’s illegal. Sexual abuse: issue. Gay: not an issue.

The reason the CNN special highlighted another witness’ sexuality, Roberts explains, was to contextualize his relationship with the priest: to get straight.

We agree with AfterElton that Roberts makes a pretty good case. But we are hoping that if the syndication rumors are true, Roberts isn’t so secretive.