News anchor Meagan Fitzgerald commemorated the beginning of Pride Month with an inspiring message for LGBTQ viewers: Being who you are is more than enough.
“It’s not always easy being gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender. There’s the coming out process, finding out who you are, being comfortable in your own skin and your own truth,” Fitzgerald said Sunday on News4, NBC’s Washington, D.C. station. “It takes courage to be your true, authentic self — no matter who you are. But to the boys and girls watching, to the men and women who may still be struggling, it’s worth it.”
“I know this because I’ve been through that journey,” she added, before announcing the news that she and her girlfriend, Kelly Heath, got engaged the day before.
Fitzgerald had posted pictures with Heath on her Instagram in the past, but this was the first time she discussed their relationship on-air. When asked why she decided to announce her news publicly, Fitzgerald responded that her engagement was an opportunity to show people the happiness that can accompany embracing their true selves.
“I just felt like it was natural. People tune in to watch every morning; they’re our family and we’re theirs,” Fitzgerald said. “And because it’s Pride month, I didn’t want to just make it about me. I want to help other people know that being different is OK.”
Fitzgerald, 33, and Heath, 30, met approximately two years ago. Heath played basketball for the College of William & Mary before playing the sport professionally overseas. She is currently in medical device sales. Fitzgerald is a Howard University alumna and has worked at NBC in Washington for the last four years.
“She likes to joke that we met the ‘old-fashioned way’ on Tinder,” Fitzgerald said of her fiancée.
“Meeting her was surreal. I knew she was different from the beginning and — even though it sounds cliché — that she was the one … She’s a beautiful person inside and out.”
To celebrate their engagement, the couple went to Barcelona Wine Bar, a tapas restaurant in D.C. for dinner.
Although Fitzgerald was unsure how people would react to her news, she said she’s been receiving overwhelmingly positive feedback since the announcement.
“What’s been especially encouraging to me is hearing people say they sent the video to their cousin or that it gave them strength because they are scared to come out,” Fitzgerald said. “For people looking for reassurance, I want to use my platform to reinforce that message that they deserve to be happy.”