Shepard Smith has "nothing to hide."
During a speech
at his alma matter, University of Mississippi's Meek School of Journalism, last month, the Fox News anchor opened up for the first time publicly about his sexuality, revealing that he is gay.
“I’ve never really stood in front of a crowd and talked to them about ‘the gay,'” Smith shared. “But I’ve got nothing to hide.”
The Shepard Smith Reporting host was was raised in the small town of Holly Springs, Mississippi, where he attended a local Methodist church and studied at Ole Miss, and wasn't focused on his sexuality. Smith married Virginia Donald in 1987, but divorced in 1993. The couple had no children. He moved to New York to work for Fox News in 1996.
"I just cut it all off," he said of any interest in dating, admitting that he instead threw himself into work. "Because of that, I've really witnessed the most ridiculous stuff happen in the world in the last 20 years."
Smith said he distracted himself by covering story after story, and at one point, reported for 89 consecutive days without one day off. He covered major events like the Columbine massacre, Hurricane Katrina and 9/11, and said that work became a reason not to focus on his sexuality.
“I think part of that was this other thing that I had going on. I didn’t want to ask myself that question or figure that out or learn how to deal with that,” Smith said. “Because to me, it was antithetical to all that was OK."
“A. You’re going to hell for it. B. You’ll never have any friends again. C. What are you going to tell your family? And, by the way, you’re on television on the craziest conservative network on Earth. They will probably put you in front of a brick wall and mow you down," he continued. "Of course, none of that was true, but that’s how it felt.”
Smith said it wasn't until nine years ago that he really accepted that he is gay.
“One day, I found the box. Then I cried for a long time," he recalled. "Then I felt like a liar and a horrible person. And then I met George Weinberg, the psychologist who coined the term 'homophobia,' and he helped me figure it out."
Smith never came out publicly, he said, because "I didn't think I was in."
“I go to work, I manage a lot of people. I cover the news, I deal with the holy hell going on around me, and I don’t think about it,” he said. “I come home to the man I love and I go home to family.”