Gary Lezak: ‘It Felt Right' to Come Out as Gay
The 41 Action News chief meteorologist celebrates a 20-year anniversary with his partner in February and says he hopes to be a role model.
Gary Lezak wants LGBTQ to people to know that they’re born this way.
“I’m a Lady Gaga fan,” Lezak says. “She’s got the song ‘Born This Way,’ and that’s been one of my main messages way before she wrote the song.”
Lezak, the 41 Action News chief meteorologist who’s worked in Kansas City for more than 25 years, came out as gay in a Facebook post last week. He detailed his process of accepting himself and his relationship with partner Andy Caraway. (They celebrate 20 years in February.)
Although Lezak wrote that he’s known about his sexuality since around 1982, he says wanted to come out publicly this year in conjunction with Lady Gaga’s November Sprint Center show. Something came up around the show, though, pushing back his announcement to this week.
“I’ve been wanting to do this for 25, 30 years,” Lezak says. “It felt right this week to do it. … It’s about the most comforting feeling I’ve ever had.”
With help from Caraway, Lezak wrote the public Facebook post, which now has over 15,000 likes and reactions along with over 2,000 comments. Responses from residents and regular watchers included, “My favorite news I’ve ever heard from Gary Lezak,” and, “My only issue with you is always wanting snow? Really?? Lol.”
Lezak guesses around 30 to 40 percent of his audience already knew. For the rest, though, he wanted to share another part of his life.
“I’ve never hidden,” Lezak says. “They probably just hadn’t thought about it, perhaps. It’s not like they watch me on TV [wondering], ‘Is he gay or not gay?’ It doesn’t matter.”
When he’s on air, Lezak has three goals: to educate, to entertain and to inform. By opening up more about his life, he hopes he can entertain his viewers a bit more by being authentic about his relationship with Caraway — talking about the trips they go on or the days Caraway’s at home watching their dogs. But, “it’s not going to be over the top.”
Lezak also wants to be a role model, he says. He remembers his parents — who aren’t around for this moment — growing to accept his sexuality, and wants parents to know that their LGBTQ children can still be successful. He’s also been asked to speak to an LGBTQ student group, where, along with talking about how it’s “a blessing” to be gay, he wants to spread his “born this way” message.