Dan Kloeffler of ABC News writes about why he decided to come out live on the air earlier this month
This is a nice follow-up to the story of television newsman Dan Kloeffler who, while reporting on actor Zachary Quinto coming out during a broadcast of ABC World News Now, Kloeffler came out himself!
Here is an excerpt of a column Kloeffler wrote for Huffington Post explaining why he did what he did:
Like a lot of people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender, I knew pretty early that I was “different” from everybody else. In grade school, I was an easy target for teasing: a little chunky, glasses, and painfully awkward at sports. So to avoid being someone’s prey, I usually ate by myself, hid in the bathroom or stayed in the safety of the classroom during lunch and recess.
To be clear, I had a tremendously supportive family. And when their words of encouragement didn’t work, Mom usually stuffed a candy bar in my hand to help me forget about being a little out of place. I learned “comfort food” at an early age.
Throughout high school, I hid from reality, dating girls and knocking down rumors that I was gay. Despite struggling to hide a part of me, high school was a lot of fun. I built solid friendships, gained some confidence and even worked my way into the “cool” cliques.
It wasn’t until college that I’d finally had enough of the battle. I was ready to wave the white/rainbow flag and declare my sexuality to the world. The support and love was overwhelming, and it’s grown stronger ever since, which is why it’s time to finally make good on the vow I made years ago.
As I was growing up, I swore that if I ever enjoyed any kind of visibility or success, I was going to somehow help break down the walls of hate that hold others captive. I was fortunate to be surrounded by loving family and friends, but as we too often hear, not everyone is so lucky.
I’m looking forward to working with Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) and the “It Gets Better” project. Some might say I’m a little late to the party, so I’ve got to make up for lost time. Unfortunately, there’s plenty of work to be done to show kids it’s what inside their hearts that really counts.