*”Good Morning America” co-host Robin Roberts is the cover girl for Good Housekeeping magazine’s May 2014 issue. Inside, she opens up about some of the reactions after coming out as gay, and revealing the identity of her longtime girlfriend Amber.
Roberts said she was overjoyed by many of the responses, but there was also some criticism from people who asked why she hadn’t disclosed her 10-year-old relationship with her girlfriend earlier.
To those critics, Roberts had this to say: “News flash: Some people like their anonymity. This is what’s right for me.”
She continued: “Love is love, and I’m grateful to have that. Sometimes there’s a stigma attached to how people view you if you’re living a certain way. But I don’t care — you gotta live your life. You gotta find what happiness is and what it means for you, and you can’t get caught up in what someone is saying about you on Twitter. You don’t go through a year like I did to not be happy and not make your own choices.”
Watch GMA discuss Robin’s magazine interview here.
The Good Housekeeping article includes the following exclusive excerpt from Roberts’ new memoir Everybody’s Got Something:
At the Oscars in February 2012, I was so bone-tired, I could barely focus. Truth be told, I’d noticed a little lump in my neck. But I’d had a couple of nodules biopsied in recent years, and they’d always turned out to be nothing.… My mom always said, “Everybody’s got something.” This was my something.
I might not have bothered to have it checked by my doctor if Amber, my wonderful girlfriend, hadn’t been there — she was the one who insisted something wasn’t quite right with me.
It wasn’t until I returned from my vacation in April, after going in for a bone marrow biopsy, that I finally got the phone call from the specialist. Right away, I could tell from his tone that this was serious; I just didn’t know how serious. He went on to describe in medical terms what he had discovered in my bone marrow: Pending further tests, he said, everything indicated MDS.
“Slow down, slow down,” I said.
“MDS,” he said.
“I have MS?” I asked. “Multiple sclerosis?”
“No, not MS,” he said. “MDS. Myelo-dysplastic syndrome. It’s a rare disease that we used to call pre-leukemia.” He explained that MDS was an umbrella term for a group of diseases that ranged from “mild and easily managed” to “severe and life-threatening.”
“But let’s not get ahead of ourselves,” he said. “The preliminary results point to MDS, and we must act quickly to get as much information as we can about how the disease is presenting itself in your case.”
I sat back on the couch; I was numb. Then I did the very thing we journalists always tell people not to do — I went on the Internet. Maybe I was just hitting all the wrong pages, but I was reading scary fact after scary fact about the prognosis and survivability. I was alone and started crying hysterically.
I’m glad I waited until the next day to share the diagnosis with Amber; I was calmer, and I’d had time to sit with the news. Like me, Amber had no idea what MDS and a bone marrow transplant were — they were so different from my breast cancer diagnosis. We’d both known exactly what that was, and we’d known people who had beaten it. I explained to her that the next day I had an appointment with an oncologist, and Amber cleared her schedule to come with me. “We’re stronger than this,” she said, squeezing my hand.
“Whatever this is,” I said.
“Whatever this is,” she whispered back.
Then she hugged me, and I felt so grateful knowing that whatever was ahead of me, I wouldn’t have to go through it alone. I pride myself on being strong for other people. It’s a gift to have someone in my life who has shown, again and again, that she is more than capable of sharing any load I have to bear.