Mo Rocca Comes Out

Are celebs getting more comfortable about being gay?

We must admit, when we ran into Mo Rocca a few years ago outside the Joe Coffee in P-Town, we had a twinkle in our eye. “Is he gay?” we wondered. The former Daily Show correspondent, host of The Tomorrow Show and friend to CBS Sunday Morning (who doesn’t love that show?) has always tripped our gaydar wire. Always.

And then there was Chicago (we saw him there, too, with his trademark glasses and quirky take on culture). And then there was…wait. We weren’t stalking Mo Rocca, we swear, but we seemed to run into each other a lot – and at gay places and gay events. But it wasn’t until this week that the humorist confirmed our suspicions.

Yep, Mo Rocca’s gay.

The 42-year-old journalist came out, pretty casually, in a podcast interview for The Six Pack, a show about “news, views and dudes” hosted by Ben Harvey and Dave Rubin in New York. “I’m just more comfortable with myself now,” said Rocca. “It’s taken me until I’m 42 to begin to feel this way.”

He went on to tell the co-hosts that he’s single, and that being at Stonewall the night gay marriage was passed in New York was momentous. “You gotta be there for a piece of history like that,” he said. “I tweeted about it…it was very memorable and emotional and a great place to be.”

Rocca has more Twitter followers than Staten Island has people (his comparison, not ours), which makes him a pretty influential voice in broadcasting – and now in the LGBT world.

In some ways, it’s been a banner year for people coming out despite sometimes rigorous opposition to gay rights issues across the country. So what’s the impetus?

We can’t help but think the “It Gets Better” video campaign has something to do with it, and the spat of teen suicides. If ever there was a time where LGBT people of note could be influential, it’s by coming out in hopes of sparing yet an young person the fear and self loathing that sometimes comes with accepting one’s homosexuality (gee, thanks societal pressure). And it seems that a few “celebrity” folks are taking this to heart, like Rocca, who may never have totally been “in” the closet, but he certainly wasn’t publicly “out” either.

There are a quite a few other A-listers (and B, C and D-Listers) who have been ringing the gay bell for years, but who have yet to make that “coming out” plunge. You know who they are. The gay community always knows who they are, but it’s likely the heterosexual majority they’re worried about. In the same way we know plenty of folks here in Philly who are out and about (gay bars, the Man for Man section of Craig’s List, you name it) but the day you refer to them as “gay” or “lesbian” in print (or in a blog) they become pretty incensed.

Does the same go for celebs? And is it time break down the closet doors? Or is sexual preference really nobody’s business?

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  • Victor Fiorillo

    Oh, I just always assumed that he was out and that I was late to the party.

  • Sigrid

    Mo Rocca’s coming out had to be anticlimatic for 99% of the population. I have no problem with his gayness, but in the promos for his cooking show, he totally creeps me out. All his writhing around on the kitchen counters makes me want to get out the Clorox wipes. YUK!

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  • The Cat

    I’m so glad that the writer mentioned “It Gets Better” in this article. Dan Savage ROCKS!

  • Robert

    I’m gay and have been since whenever… Rocca is such a disgusting little flamer he makes me regret my chosen sexuality!
    Looking at him and listening is worse than the proverbial “fingernails on a chalkboard”!
    The media goons will go to any length to “manufacture” the next media “darling”.
    And, no, if I see him, it’s while I’m channel surfing, nothing else!

    • Christine Johnson

      What a catty little post. I suspect you have an exaggerated sense of your own smoothness, as it were. Since when is it unflaming to personality-assault as you have? For shame, you big pansy. And I write that with the best of intentions.

    • Evan1407

      Your “chosen” sexuality? If you “chose” to be gay, then maybe you’re not gay, but actually heterosexual. Perhaps you should check in with a mental health professional and try to figure out exactly what you are.

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  • Humpty

    Mo wants a lot mo of the D.

    • Christine Johnson

      What does this even mean?

      • Fabio

        Dick, Christine. Mo wants more Dick.

  • Christine Johnson

    I never much cared what he (or anyone else) did on their own time. I think he’s a unique and charming personality, I like his takes on culture, I thoroughly enjoy “My Grandmother’s Ravioli,” and reading of his orientation doesn’t change my enjoyment of his articles. (Some of his guests are a little weird tho…)

  • P. Watkins

    This is great news, but no big surprise. I’m extremely pleased that there is one more celebrity that has come out. The younger LGBT community really needs more role models!

    • Jhonny Ausemkock

      It isn’t great news, it isn’t bad news, it isn’t even news. We will continue to have issues in this country until we stop seeing articles about race, sex, and sexual orientation. It’s not news, It makes no difference whatsoever. None of it. It just doesn’t matter! If you feel differently about someone after they “come out”, it means there’s something wrong with you. It means that it matters to you whether or not someone is gay, and that makes you the primary problem, I don’t care what “side” you’re on.

  • Toon

    It’s really nobody’s business but it’s good to know about Mo since he is so attractive and women would be interested.

  • Richard

    Who cares if he is gay…his wit is amusing, talented entertaining.

  • Bill Trepkowski

    He always tripped my gaydar wire, too…

  • Rob

    He isnt funny. He has the same sense of humor as an entitled 58 year old woman. Terrible.