Minnesota news anchor Jason Hacket Source: YouTube still via KARE11

Watch: Minnesota News Anchor Comes Out on Live TV

Emell Adolphus READ TIME: 3 MIN.

A Minnesota news anchor feels "100 pounds lighter" after coming out as gay on live TV.

As reported by TODAY, morning anchor Jason Hackett opened up about why he felt it was time for him to live in his truth.

"A lot has changed in the last two months," he added.

In May, Hackett came out as gay on NBC affiliate KARE 11's "Sunrise" show, where he's worked since January 2023. And he recounted wrestling with his decision.

"There was a moment where I was like, 'Oh my God, am I really going to do this?'" said Hackett. "When that red light came on, my heart was beating through my chest."

He further explained that he has "lived in this glass closet" where his friends and coworkers knew that he was gay, but not his viewers.

"I kept it to myself," he added.

But Hackett had an important message to deliver, assuring others who might be struggling to live their truth that they are going to be more than fine.

"For anyone that is watching this now, who is struggling to find acceptance, or struggling with their family or 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," he said. "You're going to make it."

Hackett's co-anchor, Alicia Lewis, commended his show of courage, as did meteorologist John Zeigler, who gestured to goose bumps on his arm.

"I'm so proud of you," Zeigler said.

Hackett shared that a "huge weight" had been lifted off his shoulders. Hackett further celebrated his coming out story by appearing on the cover of Lavender Magazine, a local LGBTQ+ publication in Minnesota.

"You come out to your barber, and your butcher – and it's scary every single time," he said. "Now that I've come out to the entire world, I don't have to worry anymore."

Hackett's parents are from Jamaica, which is known to be plagued by systemic homophobia and violence against LGBTQ+ people. When he first came out to his mother at age 19, Hackett said they didn't discuss it further for a long time.

"I think she was hoping it was a phase and that I just hadn't found the right girl yet," said Hackett. So, he came out again.

"I wrote them a letter, and that didn't go over too well. I should have had a face-to-face conversation, but I was scared," he said.

As it turned out, the third time made it stick for his parents after Hackett showed them a photo of his boyfriend.

"That's when it really set in for them," said Hackett. "I'm not mad at my parents, and I don't blame my parents. I know it's tough."

Although he says his mother isn't at a place of full acceptance yet, things are getting better every day.

Hackett acknowledged that many LGBTQ+ youth will find themselves on similar journeys, and he encourages them to hold on for things to get better.

"I know what it feels like to think, 'I'm never going to find acceptance. I have to change who I am or I'm going to have to hide forever'," said Hackett. "Know that there is light at the end of the tunnel. Live freely and love openly and be proud of who you are. It really does get better."

Congratulations, Hackett.

by Emell Adolphus

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