Shepard Smith is opening up about his off-camera life.
The chief breaking news anchor at Fox News Network was a featured speaker at an April 21 conference at his alma mater, the University of Mississippi, in which he opened up about his sexuality and revealed that he is currently in a relationship.
“I don’t think about it. It’s not a thing,” said Smith, 53. “I go to work. I manage a lot of people. I cover the news. I deal with holy hell around me. I go home to the man I’m in love with.”
The event was a conference on diversity at the Meek School of Journalism, and Smith, who grew up in Holly Springs, Mississippi, said he never hid his sexuality, but simply stayed away from the subject.
“I wasn’t hiding anything from anybody — I never hid anything from anybody,” he said. “I was always as true to me as I knew how to be. If I was fibbing to you, it’s because I was fibbing to me.”
“I didn’t want to ask myself that question or figure that out or learn how to deal with that, because to me it was antithetical to all that is okay,” he said. “A. You’re going to Hell for it. B. You’ll never have any friends again. C. What are you going to tell your family? And by the way, you’re on television on the craziest conservative network on earth. They’ll probably put you in front of a brick wall and mow you down. Of course none of that was true … that’s not how it was, but that’s how it felt.”
“And that’s why it wasn’t until seven, or eight, or nine years ago, that I started actually living my truth,” he continued. “Because I didn’t really know what it was.”
Smith said he “needed to sort of escape what my own reality might have been, because I wasn’t answering my own questions, or even posing my own questions to myself about what it is that is different about me.”
“Because I’m really not different,” he said. “I really like all the same stuff y’all boys like. All of it. But I am different.”
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“I don’t have to ever fib about anything ever again, as long as I live,” he said. “And that really makes everything so much easier.”
And while Smith has accomplished plenty throughout his journalism career, he maintains he’s always stayed grounded by his Mississippi roots.
“I sort of kept my Mississippi/Ole Miss sensibilities about myself,” he said. “I didn’t [think] I had become something because I moved away from here. I think I was something because of the foundation I got here.”
“[There’s] something about … home … that we kind of know that other people don’t. Right?” he said. “I think we get that in ways other people don’t.”