My chat with Itay Hod on outing and Aaron Schock
Earlier this month, former CBS News journalist Itay Hod reached a boiling point.
He was agitated by all the praise being heaped upon GMA anchor Robin Roberts for finally coming out as a lesbian after decades on television. He was chatting about that with a friend, a fellow journalist, and the conversation turned to Illinois Congressman Aaron Schock.
Schock, 32, is probably best known for his killer body which has been on display on the cover and inside pages of Men’s Health magazine.
But he’s also a Republican who has consistently voted against pro-gay legislation such as the demise of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and the Employment Non-Discrimination Act.
When Hod’s friend told him a story about Schock, it convinced Hod that the rumors about the congressman allegedly being gay had to be true.
Hod went on Facebook and wrote a blistering post about a hypothetical closeted Republican congressman and left no doubt he was talking about Schock.
The post went viral.
Fast-forward a few weeks: I’m president of the Los Angeles chapter of the National Gay and Lesbian Journalists Association and we hold monthly mixers featuring a variety of special guests. We’ve had the editors of The Advocate, Instinct and Frontiers magazines, a CNN reporter, an LA Times foreign correspondent, film critics and even author Christopher Rice.
I knew Itay lived in LA and reached out to him on Facebook asking if he would be our special guest at our January event.
He was in Israel at the time visiting his parents and reporting some stories for The Daily Beast. But he’d be returning a few days before our event and he agreed to appear.
It was a very interesting evening and there was much debate over the ethics of outing. When a conservative blogger showed up I thought there would be fireworks but it all remained relatively civil!
Anyway, I have written up what Itay said during a Q&A I conducted with him and posted it in story form over at Gay Star News.
I hope you’ll check it out!