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Charles Perez has No Shame

I first met Charles Perez over 20 years ago, in the late 1980’s, through a mutual friend. I couldn’t get over how smart, well-spoken, and passionate he was about politics and culture, and he looked like a million bucks to boot.  I remember biking along the beach with him one day, when he suddenly asked why he and I had never dated.  I think I must have blushed crimson red, and probably blamed it on the sun.

Since then, Charles has worked in broadcast journalism, as a news anchor in both New York and Miami, as host of American Journal, as contributor to The Huffington Post and The Advocate, and even had his own syndicated talk show named, quite aptly, The Charles Perez Show.  He’s lived a fascinating life, and chose to chronicle it all in his book, Confessions of a Gay Anchorman.

It is an eye-opening read, getting the inside scoop on what it is like to be gay in the clubby world of broadcast news, where — ironically — image is more valued than truthfulness.

Charles found himself caught between his professional and personal desires, and the tale of how these two collided, and the road he has traveled since, makes for a compelling story.  Filled with star cameos, Confessions pulls no punches, as Charles shares how his journey and struggles led to a battle with identity and esteem issues, as well as alcoholism, which at the time seemed insurmountable.  Today, Charles has found great happiness.  He and his partner, Keith Rinehart, married in 2009, and last year adopted a beautiful baby girl.

And on top of all this, as a result of his journey, Charles put his beliefs into action, creating the No Shame Project, with the goal being to eradicate shame for those growing up LGBT.

“It’s no longer acceptable to bully someone, reject someone or to fire someone just for being gay,” he says. “Kids are killing themselves because someone taught them that being gay is so bad, so shameful, that death is a preferable alternative. That has to end.”

“There is No Shame in being gay,” he says. “Let’s make gay okay.”

I wholeheartedly agree.

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