Radio Personality Comes Out
Few people get the opportunity to come out to the tune of Sylvester’s “You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real).” But for Fez Whatley of the Ron & Fez Show on Sirius XM – a radio personality who’s been playing a flamboyant gay character on air for several years – that’s how it all went down on the popular Opie & Anthony Show.
“I’m gay!” he announced, before throbbing disco filled the studio.
But jokes aside, Whatley says he’s been struggling with the decision for many years now. He talked to Interrobang about it recently, saying, “Coming to this realization was devastating. After all those years of denying it, it was true. Fez Whatley was no longer a character that I played on the air. He was me. And now it wasn’t funny anymore. I was now everything that I had joked about. I got depressed … I couldn’t make myself be Fez Whatley anymore. I was terrified about being really gay.”
While satellite radio is filled with gay programming and hosts, really few mainstream on-air personalities have come out in the industry. But Whatley has said in interviews that other famous folks have inspired him to finally be open and honest and to live an authentic life.
“There are too many important issues out there facing gay Americans for me to just be yelling out the occasional protest from the closet,” he told Interrobang. “I see comedians like Wanda Sykes, Margaret Cho, Mo Roccca, and most recently Todd Glass, and they haven’t lost their sense of humor. They’re entertaining and still make a difference in the community.”
He also credits the “It Gets Better” campaign for reminding him about how many young people are struggling with their sexuality and gender identity. It looks like his coming out has already inspired others. A caller says his friend came out minutes after hearing Whatley’s story.
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