News (USA)

This amazing news anchor surprised his colleagues by coming out on air

This amazing news anchor surprised his colleagues by coming out on air
News anchor Jason Hackett Photo: Screenshot KARE-TV

Jason Hackett, a veteran news anchor, journalist, and host of an early morning TV news program in Minneapolis, has come out on-air after a career spent “living in a glass closet.”

“For people that really know me — my friends, my coworkers, some members of my family — this isn’t some huge surprise,” Hackett told viewers of Sunrise, KARE-11’s early morning newser two weeks ago. “I’ve been living in a glass closet for the most part, but now I wanted to let you out there, the viewers out there that wake up with me every morning, to know a little bit more about me.”

Hackett had been approached about being interviewed for a local LGBTQ+ publication, Lavender, and took the opportunity to share his sexuality with a broader audience.

The anchor joined his new news team in Minneapolis early last year after four years in Oklahoma City. Hackett told Lavendar he’d come out to colleagues at earlier jobs but decided now was the time to share more about himself.

“Sixth grade is when I realized, ‘Wait a minute, I think I’m different,’ Hackett said in the interview. “There was a kid at a bus stop every day after school when I was waiting and I always used to stare at him and be like, ‘Wow, there’s something about him that I really like. I don’t know what it is, but I really, really like something about him.”

“And I think it dawned on me,” said Hackett, “‘Wait a minute, I think I’m gay.'”

Hackett would live with that knowledge privately as a teen until he got to college, where he came out and started living what he called his authentic life, first in school and then in news departments at television stations over a 13-year career.

Now he says it’s important to set an example for other young queer Black boys who don’t see themselves represented in the media.

On his Insta, Hackett posted a pic of the Lavendar cover story the same day he made his annoucement on-air, earning heartfelt congratulations for the anchor’s “classy” coming-out.

“I was watching this morning, and wanted to say how touching it was to hear you share your truth ❤️” one fan posted. “That took a lot of courage! I had tears in my eyes! It was beautiful and well said!”

“Congratulations on being you!” wrote another well-wisher. “I saw your story this am. Post more pics with your partner! You’re in MN and safe! Love to all ❤️🌈”

Another summed up the moment with emojis: “Congrats Jason. 🤍🖤🤎❤️🧡💛💚💙💜”

“What me and Alicia and John and Cece and everyone here on Sunrise strive for is authenticity,” Hackett told his early morning audience. “And I can’t preach that without being my authentic self.”

As his co-anchors looked on tearfully, Hackett added, “And for anyone that is watching this now who is struggling to find acceptance or struggling with their family or their friends, take it from me, a gay, Black son of immigrants, the road may not be easy. I won’t lie to you and say that it is. But don’t worry. Keep going. You’re gonna make it.”

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