30 Dec 2013
- Written by Stephen A. Crockett Jr./The Root
Robin Roberts spent the last Sunday of the year reflecting on how far she has come and revealing to the rest of us something her friends and family have known for sometime: that Roberts is gay.
"I am grateful for my entire family, my long time girlfriend, Amber, and friends as we prepare to celebrate a glorious new year together. I am grateful for the many prayers and well wishes for my recovery.we prepare to celebrate a glorious new year together," the co-host of "Good Morning America," who has publicly faced several health scares, wrote on her Facebook page.
Roberts posted a photo of her and her dog KJ sharing a loving moment when she reached a milestone in her recovery after receiving a bone marrow transplant to treat a rare blood disorder called myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS), CNN reports.
"Flashback 12/29/12 ... Hard to believe this was 1 year ago today ... when I reached a critical milestone of 100 days post transplant ... and KJ was finally allowed to come back home," she wrote on Facebook.
While Roberts has been very open about her health issues, this was the first time she has spoken publicly about her sexuality. While she didn't say the last name of her girlfriend, People magazine believes that "Amber" is, Amber Laign, a licensed massage therapist from San Francisco whom Roberts met a decade ago through mutual friends.
According to Buzzfeed, ABC News issued a statement of support: "We love Robin and Amber, who we have all known for a long time. We were so touched by Robin's Facebook message today and so thankful for all the loving support she has in her life."
President Barack Obama chose Roberts in May 2012 for his landmark interview to support same-sex marriage, CNN reports.
Joel Sigel, a colleague and friend of Roberts, died of cancer in 2007. While preparing a tribute segment for Sigel, who was a strong advocate for the importance of early cancer screenings, Roberts went home and did a self-examination on her breast. She discovered a lump and was soon diagnosed with breast cancer.
She would beat breast cancer, only to be diagnosed with MDS in 2012, which Roberts believes to have been a side effect of her cancer treatment. Robert's sister would be her bone-marrow donor.
"I am grateful for my sister, Sally-Ann, for being my donor and giving me the gift of life," Roberts wrote. "I am grateful for the many prayers and well wishes for my recovery," Roberts wrote. "I return every one of them to you 100 fold ... On this last Sunday of 2013 I encourage you to reflect on what you are grateful for too."
Roberts joins former co-anchor Sam Champion, who publicly acknowledged his relationship in 2012 New York Times article in 2012, and a growing list of celebrities – Jodie Foster, Raven Symone, Wentworth Miller, Maria Bello, Jason Collins and Tom Daley – who have come out in 2013, the Huffington Post reports.