Robin Roberts opens up about being afraid to come out due to her religion: 'I was so fearful that I would be shunned'

"People, they think you can’t be gay and a Christian, and I am."

Robin Roberts reflected on her public coming out in 2013, sharing in a new podcast interview that it was difficult to reconcile her sexuality with her religion.

Chatting with entrepreneur and media personality  Jamie Kern Lima on her podcast in an episode that debuted Tuesday, Roberts said that while her Good Morning America colleagues were all aware that she was gay prior to her coming out, she feared that publicly acknowledging her sexuality would have negative ramifications for the show.

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"It’s not the Robin Roberts Show, it’s Good Morning America, and there are so many people whose livelihoods depend on the success of our show," Roberts said. "And so, if I do something that hurts the show, that hurts them." The anchor said she was always forthcoming with introducing her wife Amber Laign to folks in everyday life, but "wasn't ready" at the time to "fully" come out.

<p> Dave Kotinsky/Getty </p> Robin Roberts

Dave Kotinsky/Getty

Robin Roberts

"I would walk down the street with Amber and if somebody saw us, I would introduce her," she said. "I wasn’t trying to hide." Her hesitation to be public about her sexuality stemmed from her Christianity. "I was afraid," Robert said. "People, they think you can’t be gay and a Christian, and I am. I was so fearful that I would be shunned."

When Roberts came out, however, she received "a beautiful letter" from the National Office at the Presbyterian Church and was stunned to discover that they were "fully supportive." She said, "And then I think about all those years I wasted, worried — needless worry. And we all are guilty of this. Think about all these things that we worry about that never come to fruition. And we just spend all of this energy on that."

Related: Good Morning America anchor Robin Roberts marries longtime partner Amber Laign in 'magical' ceremony

"But also," Roberts added, "I had to believe this was right on time. This was the time in my life that was right. It felt good. And I can't even imagine now people not knowing everything about me. And you know what's so freeing about it also? It's like, 'Bring it on. You know everything about me. And I have nothing to hide.' And to still be embraced, I am blessed and highly favored. I'm so grateful.”

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Roberts and her longtime love Laign, a massage therapist, wed in an intimate ceremony at their Connecticut home in September 2023 following an 18-year romance. Their courtship began via a blind date set up by mutual friends. "She took my breath away," Roberts previously recalled of their first meeting to GMA. "And she still does."

For more from Roberts, check out the podcast above.

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