It was back in 2011, less than two weeks into my six year stint at KNBR. They had my back from that first awkward exchange and in doing so granted me the freedom to learn and grow as a broadcaster without worry by creating a workplace where I could truly be myself.
I'd been hired to handle the sports and traffic updates for the (9 a.m-12 p.m.) Some quick background: My hire had already made waves here in the Bay Area. Do you think viewers/listeners/readers care that you’re gay, positive or negative, and why? I received more than 4,000 emails, and those listeners who phoned in to WEEI that day were supportive and in many cases chose to have some fun with the whole thing, as in: “Really happy for you, man. But your column still sucks.” I received a letter from a guy who posited that I must be a big fan of Anyway... Even older readers and listeners were fine with it, and for the same reason: A lot of them have kids, or friends of their kids, who are gay. Culpepper: Every so often, someone will have gone rummaging around on Google and will mention it in an email, but that's about all, and it's always positive.
My initial reaction was no, because I wasn't sure I was ready, nor was I sure I should make the news public on TV rather than in my newspaper.
By January 2013, I was riding to the AFC Championship Game with that same Steve Buckley, and staying at his house after that.