Photo Credit: Allen Berezovsky/WireImage
Robin Roberts is one classy lady. On Sunday, she went on Facebook to acknowledge the year that has passed since her 2012 bone marrow transplant, which treated a rare blood disorder called Myelodysplastic Syndrome (caused by her earlier treatment for breast cancer). The GMA anchor took a moment to thank the friends, family and fans who helped her through the ordeal -- including her longtime girlfriend, massage therapist Amber Laign.
"I am grateful for my entire family, my long time girlfriend, Amber, and friends as we prepare to celebrate a glorious new year together," Roberts wrote in her message. "I am grateful for the many prayers and well wishes for my recovery. 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 and Laign live together in New York City, and have reportedly been in a committed relationship for over 10 years -- meaning Laign was by her side through the cancer and the blood disorder. Her girlfriend also attended events with her, and was no stranger to family, friends and co-workers. Nonetheless, this is the first time that Roberts has spoken openly about being a lesbian. And she did it in the most sweet and loving way possible.
Robin's coming-out gesture reminds us of Maria Bello's thoughtful essay in the New York Times earlier this month. The actress wrote about falling in love with her female best friend, and marveled at how her 12-year-old son has embraced the relationship. Like Roberts' note, this revelation wasn't salacious or shocking; it was about love and family.
There are many celebrities who are still in the closet, and may never feel comfortable discussing their sexuality with the world. But it's encouraging to see how the conversation is changing. Celebrities now have the option of coming out casually, without too much fanfare (other than the inevitable Internet headlines -- ahem), and without making a grand political statement.
The world will always have its Phil Robertsons. But hopefully, Robin Roberts' coming-out will help some Good Morning America viewers to realize that love deserves to be celebrated, whatever form it takes.