Thomas Roberts Is Off To Russia Despite Strict Antigay Laws

Openly gay NBC correspondent Thomas Roberts is heading to Moscow this November to co-host the network’s coverage of the Miss Universe pageant. Roberts says he took the assignment “because it is a huge, visible opportunity for LGBT people.”

“I think it’s a wonderful assignment, because this is going to be seen by a billion people in over 190 countries, and if they happen to find out that I’m gay and married and that my husband Patrick’s going to be there with me — fantastic,”  the homo hunk said on Friday’s Morning Joe.

Russia, of course, has been making headlines this year for passing all sorts of antigay legislation, prohibiting everything from talking about being gay with minors, to banning gay people from adopting Russian children, to, most recently, a law that would have biological children of gay parents forcibly removed from their homes by the government.

NBC’s decision to send Roberts to is a move in direct contradiction to the country’s official, virulent anti-homosexual stance, though officials there say Roberts’ sexuality was only one factor in the assignment.

“We’ve considered Thomas Roberts as host in the past,” Doug Vaughan, NBC’s executive vice president of specials, told POLITICO in a statement. “Thomas approached us and expressed his interest in the job. Thomas is smart and very talented, and we jumped at the opportunity to have him join us in Russia.”

In a blog post, Roberts wrote: “Courage is contagious … We must be visible, we must show up, and, as Harvey Milk said, we must ‘give them hope.’”


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  • Aaron

    I agree 100%. I think history has shown us that “exposure” promotes public acceptance and eradicates fear. I think this has been our #1 weapon in fighting for equality. Many people who support same-sex marriage in the United States have said they support it because they knew someone who is gay.

    Winning people to our side takes a tremendous amount of vulnerability on our end. We can’t share our stories if we are closed off to others. So bravo Thomas. Let them know that you’re here and you’re queer!

  • Polaro

    Well have to see what he does.

  • afrolito

    Oh please, they sent a fag to cover a beauty contest. Progress.

  • Joseph Izak

    gays happen to have good taste and can discern the beauty in things that you closet case gays can’t! You couldn’t even begin to do his job!

  • balehead

    Visibilty at all costs…plus I wonder how many jealous on here just hate him because he’s good looking?…

  • Caleb in SC

    I don’t know how to feel about Russia. Part of me thinks we need to boycott the hell out of anything Russian and send an economic message, but part of me agrees with Thomas Roberts — we need visibility and openness to counter the hatred.

  • sportsguy1983

    In the immortal words of Cuba Gooding Jr. in “Jerry McGuire”, “show me the money”. I can’t believe people are naive enough to think he is doing any of thise for anything other than selfish reasons: 1) money and 2) to advance his career (or keep it going as he may get the axe at MSNBC).

  • BJ McFrisky

    Interesting. For months this site has been demonizing any gay man or woman who even thinks about going to Russia, but now that “hunky” Thomas Roberts is going, it’s suddenly a golden opportunity for us to be there?
    Seems editorial decisions around here are made by someone’s di—well, let’s just say their nether-regions.

  • Dxley

    Um… He’s hot!

  • Fitz

    BJ is right– this guy, and the little twinky speed skater.. the good looking ones get a pass, and we get told that promoting gay visibility is a win. B f’ing S. This is about cash. It’s not that gays are invisible in Russia. They aren’t blind to us, they HATE us. This guy is going for a paycheck. I hope it’s a big one, cuz he’s a Kappo, and the world has a way of paying people like him back.

  • Stefano

    @BJ mcFrisky and Fitz : you are right. “It is not that gays are invisible in Russia.” That’s why i said…it is not the Olympics or a gay guy who immigrate in Russia who can change the law but only politics, economics or social battle. And you know why none of the countries begins a politic or economic battle? Because there is not enough pressure from the public opinion in those countries…even USA or Canada or France or England, etc. So don’t be so naive. No one immigrates to “save” others ! Come on! That i just wishful thinking for me.

  • the other Greg

    I’d like to see Queerty send BJ McFrisky and 2eo to cover the Sochi Olympics. It would be like William F. Buckley and Gore Vidal at the 1968 conventions! (Kids can look it up.)

  • MK Ultra

    Rich, gay American celebrities are NOT going to be the ones to warm Russians up to gay rights. Not even close. In fact, their presence may antagonize Russians, who want to be entertained not “educated” by these clowns.
    You really need to understand Russian culture, history, and outlook.
    Russians need to see that Russian LGBT are just like them, not that American gays are, because American gays aren’t.
    It’s arrogant for Roberts to call a career grab for himself “courageous”, and compare himself to Harvey Milk. This is about $$$. Not doubt his employer, a Sochi Olympics sponsor, will easily get him to report about the Putin government’s anti-gay animus in only the softest light after this.

    ugg mne pohuj. Razbirajtes’ v dele, rebjata.

  • FStratford

    He is a sellout.

    At least when Madonna went to Russia she spoke about it on stage. Id this clown going to do the same???

    This just goes to show that we gays have idiots on our ranks. No not just idiots, greedy idiots.

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  • LandStander

    @Joseph Izak: “gays happen to have good taste”

    Yes, and Asians are good at math and black people love fried chicken. The sad thing is you were serious :-(

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