Along with Rachel Maddow and Thomas Roberts, Steve Kornacki is one of three openly gay journalists to host programs on the MSNBC cable news channel.
The lesser-known among the three, Kornacki has also been out a far shorter time than his colleagues.
He had spent 15 years surpressing this core part of his personality before writing a deeply personal column for Salon in the fall of 2011 that took readers into the compartmentalized world that a lot of men feel they must live in in order to have the life they want.
He told his family only the weekend before the piece was published by passing copies of the column around at lunch.
Their first words after reading it: ‘We’re proud of you.’
In an interview with Out Magazine posted Wednesday (16 April), the host of the weekend program Up shares that he now feels comfortable in every area of his life.
‘The biggest revelation has been just how much of a nonissue this is to just about everyone else,’ he says. ‘It used to be that when I was around people, I was constantly on guard not to say or do anything that would make them suspect I was gay.’
‘It was a little scary to realize just how ingrained in me that kind of deception was. It’s a pretty big relief not to think like that anymore, and now I understand what I just couldn’t believe for all those years: that it really isn’t a big deal.’
Kornacki’s profile had been growing steadily higher then really took off in January when he delivered a scoop in the so-called ‘Bridgegate’ scandal involving New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. (see video below)
Born in a small town in Massachusetts, Kornacki wonders how differently his life might have been had he been born a gay man two decades earlier.
‘I’m not sure I would have reached adulthood with a willingness to even start exploring this side of me, and I can imagine ending up getting married to a woman, having kids, and settling down just because that was the only thing to do.’