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MSNBC anchor Thomas Roberts talks to Gay Star News about being out and proud

'I think it's important that people know who I am and the background that I come from. That's the whole point of being out'

When he filmed a cameo role, as himself, in last year's blockbuster hit The Avengers, MSNBC anchor Thomas Roberts would have no idea that he would be the only LGBT representation in any Disney film in 2012.

That distinction was brought to light last month when GLAAD released its first annual Studio Responsibility Index which showed a dwindling number of LGBT characters in movies released by Hollywood studios last year.

Roberts only counted as a gay character because he was playing himself and is openly gay.

While that appearance was brief, the 40-year-old journalist is featured prominently each weekday on MSNBC hosting the 11 am hour from New York.

'I feel blessed, I feel very lucky,' Roberts tells Gay Star News. 'I love the MSNBC brand, I love my colleagues and I love this network, I love that I get to be my full self at work and I get to tackle these (LGBT) topics that are very important to our modern day conversation and the news cycle in general.'

'I take a lot of pride in the fact that I don't want to do anything without respect and that isn't based on fact.'

Roberts has all kinds of newsmakers and viewpoints on his show to discuss the breaking news of the day and sometimes things can get a little intense. But he tries always to keep the proceedings respectful.

'I feel it's very important to have a comfortable tone and I don't like to be combative,' he says. 'Certain times it can be merited but I don't think it's all the time necessary. It's not the way I roll typically.'

Roberts, who previously worked for CNN, does not shy away from reminding viewers and guests that he is gay when it seems appropriate.

'I think it's important that people know who I am and the background that I come from. That's the whole point of being out,' he says.

His marriage last year to Patrick Abner was discussed on the air as he received congratulations from co-workers and from guests. It also was featured in The New York Times and made Roberts the story instead of a journalist covering a story.

He has no problem with that.

'Talking about getting married and celebrating that is being recognized as a fully integrated human being,' he says. 'I don't shy away from what my family means to me. I don't think because I'm a journalist that I need to abdicate what my family means and that people should know about my family.'

LGBT topics have often been at the forefront with such events as the Supreme Court rulings on the Defense of Marriage Act and California's Proposition 8, various states in the US legalizing gay marriage and pro athletes like Jason Collins and Robbie Rogers coming out publicly.

'I think that right now we're on a sea change of how people feel towards equality in this country concerning LGBT adults and kids,' Roberts says. 'I think as we look at all the different perspectives - whether it's talking about marriage equality or sports or education - I think these are all important topics to discuss and hash out.'

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