In the first of many installments of a new feature on this site I will be introducing you to black gays and lesbians who are thriving in their personal lives and careers. These are men and women who are contributing greatly to the African-American and gay communities. First up is Charles Pugh.
Millions across the Motor City of Detroit welcome Charles Pugh into their homes daily as the co-anchor on FOX 2 WJBK and on his own radio show "That's What's Up" airing on Sundays on WJLB.
Born and raised in Detroit by his late grandmother Margaret Pugh after his mother was murdered when he was three years old, and witnessing his father's suicide four years later ate age seven, he was able to overcome any potential pitfalls from his early childhood experiences and blossom into an amazing and influential individual.
A graduate of The University of Missouri with a degree in journalism, Pugh's professionalism and infectious personality landed him spots at new desks around the country from Missouri, Kansas, Indiana, and Virginia. In 1999 he made good on a promise he made to himself years earlier to return home to report the news before his ten year high school reunion, he achieved that goal with two months to spare.
One thing that separates Charles Pugh from the rest of the pack is not only is he successful and adored by legions of fans, but he is also openly gay and committed to his partner Michael Matthews for over a year.
Pugh's bosses at Fox 2 have long known of his sexual orientation, and he says it's never been a secret.
"For me, I'm opposed to the word coming out," he said. "It's like a buzz word. You can't come out when you've never been in. I'm not in. I don't hide the fact that I'm gay. I don't hide it at work. I don't hide it with my friends. I don't hide it in public. I'm not ashamed of anything, so I don't have anything to hide."
Pugh was recently honored with a Man Of Excellence award by The Michigan Chronicle for his outstanding character, career achievement, and contributions to the Detroit African-American Community.
Pugh fearlessly moderated a groundbreaking town hall forum on homophobia in Detroit in 2004 and remains optimistic about educating his city on the harmful effects of homophobia.
When asked if he feared that the public would view him differently after coming out this is what he had to say, "You can't live your life in fear. That's one thing about being a man, you stand up and you play the hand you're dealt. And if somebody has a problem with me being gay, that's their problem, not mine."
Charels Pugh: Someone You Should Know
Check out Charles at work in the clip below with Ms. Wendy Williams.