SBS World News presenter Anton Enus has recalled the time he was outed by a fellow journalist earlier in his career.
The newsreader has spent over 20 years working for SBS World News in Australia.
In a new interview with the ABC, Anton recalled he was working as a presenter for South African national broadcaster SABC in the mid-1990s, when he received the phone call.
The newspaper reporter on the other end of the line told Anton they’d publish the story outing him as gay, and asking if he wanted to comment.
“It was a much more sensitive time. I think there were certainly dangers involved in coming out then for your career,” Anton recalled.
“But my thought was, I’d rather have some input into the story than not.”
Anton gave the journalist a couple of quotes and anxiously waited for the story to be published.
“I didn’t know how it was going to turn out,” he said.
“It was certainly a pretty big issue for anyone with a public profile to be coming out.
“It ended up having zero effect on my career. In fact, it was a non-issue in terms of some anxieties I had about it.
“At the time in South Africa, I [received] correspondence from people who were saying, ‘I live in a small town, it’s like I’m the only gay person in the world. And suddenly here’s this guy on television who’s openly gay.’ And that was really, really encouraging.
“When that Sunday newspaper reporter proficiently ushered me out of the closet, that allowed me then to speak up on the issues involving gay sport.
“So in a sense that liberated me to speak about those things, which I probably wouldn’t have done before.”
Anton Enus married his husband after 30 years together
When he moved to Australia in the late 1990s with his partner Roger Henning, Anton came out a second time.
Shortly joining SBS in 1999, Anton gave another interview to TV Week in which he talked about his sexuality and his involvement in gay sport.
But he believes his “soft landing” at his metropolitan job could’ve gone very differently if he was in a regional area working for a local TV or radio station at the time.
“If anything it just underlined the sort of cosmopolitan nature of SBS as an entity, which was great,” he explained.
Anton Enus has been with his partner Roger Henning since 1989. The pair become Australian citizens a few years after emigrating, in 2002.
The couple married in 2019, the year they celebrated their 30th anniversary together.
— Anton Enus (@AntonEnus) January 24, 2019
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