Gio-Benitez
Gio Benitez | Biography 2021

Quick Information

  • Full Name Gio Benitez
  • Occupation Host, Reporter, Television Producer
  • Nationality American
  • Birthplace Miami, Florida
  • Birth Date Oct 29, 1985
  • Age 35 Years, 10 Months
Pride Month 2021 Special: Benitez's 'It will all be OK' Letter to His Younger Self

Gio Benitez | Biography 2021

Transportation Correspondent for ABC News

In the 2019’s National Coming Out Day—which is celebrated worldwide on 11 October in remembrance of the 1987 National March on Washington that was held in support for lesbian and gay rights—Benitez dedicated a letter to his past self. In the letter, he uses a tone of empathy to comfort his 12-year-old self, who had then been confused by his sexuality. “You’re only 12, but your mind is already asking questions no 12-year-old could possibly answer. Questions that will take years to explore, embrace and understand,” Benitez adds. “Questions that may flip your whole world upside-down,” he writes.


An openly gay Latino journalist, Gio Benitez is the transportation correspondent for ABC News. He was the first reporter to shoot a TV story exclusively with an iPhone (June 2009).

Who Is Gio Benitez?

Giovani “Gio” Benitez is perhaps best known for his work as a news anchor for ABC’s news programs, such as Good Morning America and World News Tonight20/20, and Nightline. He’s also the host of Nightline on Fusion TV. Since 21 February 2021, he is also seen hosting the AETV’s show “I Survived a crime,” a show that aims to showcase the stories of the survivors of sudden crime. In 2020, he also hosted ABC’s ‘What Would You Do?’ special edition show called Would You Lie For Me? 

On 16 April 2016, Benitez and his boyfriend, Tommy DiDario (Lifestyle contributor, fitness expert, tv host, and blogger), got married. They had previously gotten engaged in September 2015. 

Benitez has earned three Emmys and eight Emmys nominations for his work in television. ABC promoted him to Transportation Correspondent on 9 April 2020. 

Pride Month Special

On 1 June 2021, Benitez hosted a special Pride Month program called PaleyImpact: Salute to LGBTQ+ Pride Achievements in Television. The event brought together leading luminaries from the entertainment and sports industries on 19 May 2021.

The panel discussed the vast range of accomplishments, issues, and experiences of LGBTQ+ stars and community, including the creator Ilene Chaiken’s decision to come out by co-creating LGBTIQ+ series The L Word for Showtime, actress Laverne Cox’s reaction to being the first trans performer of color to be nominated for an Emmy, the issue of why more sportspersons haven’t come out since Jason Collins’ breakthrough actions in 2013, and how being told to be less feminine invigorated artist Adam Rippon to become the first openly gay American to win a 2018 medal at the Winter Olympic Games among many more. 

Gio Benitez’s Coming Out Letter

In the 2019’s National Coming Out Day—which is celebrated worldwide on 11 October in remembrance of the 1987 National March on Washington that was held in support for lesbian and gay rights—Benitez dedicated a letter to his past self. In the letter, he uses a tone of empathy to comfort his 12-year-old self, who had then been confused by his sexuality. 

“You’re only 12, but your mind is already asking questions no 12-year-old could possibly answer. Questions that will take years to explore, embrace and understand,” Benitez adds. “Questions that may flip your whole world upside-down,” he writes.

The letter further elaborates on younger Benitez’s struggle to fit societal norms, his encounter with homophobia in his community and school, and how he internalized it till adulthood.

“Your community sometimes uses tough language. A beautiful Spanish accent doesn’t mask ugly words. When you hear these words, you laugh, you deflect, you distract. You don’t know any better. You’re scared, and just doing the best you can. The kids at school use the word ‘gay’ as if it’s synonymous with ‘eww.’ They’re pointing their fingers directly at you. They make fun of everything: your hair, your teeth, your skinny frame. But that word, ‘gay,; sticks the longest. It hurts,” he writes.

“After school, you escape it all with TV shows, books, and your own imagination. Mom asks, ‘how was school?’ You always say it was great. You’ll spend years trying to be more “manly.” You’ll work out for hours each day, you’ll style your hair differently, you’ll get braces to fix those teeth, and you’ll date brilliant, beautiful girls. Hiding the truth won’t stop you professionally either: a once-in-a-lifetime scholarship at a TV station in Miami helps you become a TV producer and then a local news reporter,” he retrospects.

In the letter, he eventually requests his younger self to embrace himself and wait to come out until he is ready to see the magic of acceptance. He shares how acceptance from his mom helped him and goes on to comfort his younger self, stating that everything would be ok.

 He writes, “But the truth about who you are is still itching to get out.I want to tell you: it will all be OK. In fact, it’ll be more than OK, he explains. “When you finally tell your mom your secret (at 24 years old), she will embrace you. It takes her just 24 hours to understand what took you 24 years. Though one friend warns, ‘you can’t be gay and successful in the media,’ your colleagues will celebrate you. What’s the big deal?, they’ll wonder, and send you on your next assignment. And when ABC News calls to hire you, your colleagues there will celebrate you, too.In fact, when you get engaged and ultimately marry your husband, your colleagues will show your photos and congratulate you on America’s No. 1 morning show, ‘Good Morning America.’”

“You and your husband will be a trending topic on social media all around the world. Kids struggling to understand themselves will write to you. Their parents, transformed by the loving photos you share, will thank you. Don’t rush it, kid. You don’t need to reveal your secret just yet, if you don’t want to. You’re only 12. Just know that you’re special, and someday you’ll feel that too, and everything will be OK.When you’re ready, start living your truth. That’s when the magic happens. With lots of love and tremendous pride,” he adds.

Early Life

Born on 29 October 1985, Benitez was born and raised in Miami, Florida. He has been fluent in both English and Spanish since childhood. He attended college in his hometown and received bachelor’s degrees in anthropology and sociology from Florida International University. 

CBS’s WFOR TV and ABC

Benitez started his professional career at the age of 17 at CBS affiliate CBS4’s WFOR TV in Doral, Florida. He joined the network as an intern at Park High School. He was later promoted to a reporter’s position after covering various stories as an investigative producer. At the station, he had started his journey as an Emma L. Bowen Foundation work-study scholar.

In 2009, he was active as an investigative producer for the network when he shot an entire local news story on the release of the new iPhone with a new iPhone. He then presented it for airing after self-editing the video (via Final Cut Pro) on his laptop. Doing so, he avoided taking assistance from regular workforce resources such as video editor, cameraman, camera, editor, reporter, editing resources, and the news coverage vehicle. 

 Although the final video was somewhat shaky and looked unpolished, Benitez got widespread popularity for the cost-cutting and innovative idea, both from local media and the fans alike, for his dedication to presenting the story. The story also increased the viewership of the local station.

In 2012, ABC News hired him as a correspondent with the responsibilities of reporting on all platforms. 

Career Before ABC

Before being established as the staple of ABC News segments, he worked as a reporter for Miami’s WFOR-TV. As a reporter, he covered various news-making stories about the presidential election of 2012 across the critical battleground state of Florida and the Trayvon Martin’s death case. He was awarded two regional Emmy awards as a reporter for the station. 

Before starting as a CBS4’s WFOR TV reporter, he excelled as an investigative producer at the CBS-owned network. There, he handled stories related to issues such as Medicare fraud, public safety, and government corruption. 

Benitez also traveled to Haiti in January 2010 to film humanitarian activities following the terrible earthquake. His return trip to Miami was changed into a rescue mission when he flew to Curaçao with injured Haitian evacuees. 

Career at ABC

Benitez has been an integral member of ABC News since joining the network in 2012. After joining the network, he worked his way up the ranks to become a producer and then an on-air reporter at ABC.

 “I actually didn’t truly know if I could do the job,” he said to People about ABC calling him in 2012.

After joining, Benitez was soon seen delivering the news alongside Robin Roberts and George Stephanopoulos on Good Morning America and Diane Sawyer on ABC World News Tonight.

During his journey at ABC, he has covered several major stories, including the Pulse nightclub shooting, El Chapo’s underground escape from a Mexican prison, and the Boston Marathon bombing. He also traveled across the United States, reporting on airline and helicopter catastrophes, railroad derailments, and the potentially fatal impact of hot vehicles on youngsters.

In April 2020, he began his new journey at the organization as the ABC News’ transportation correspondent based in New York and Washington, D.C.

Benitez reports for all ABC News platforms, notably Good Morning AmericaABC World News TonightNightline20/20ABC News Radio, and ABC’s streaming program, ABC News Live. He covers aviation, railroads, the car industry, and space. He has also reported about how the COVID-19 pandemic caused major shifts and disruptions in the transportation industry.

Who is Gio Benitez Married to?

Benitez has been happily married to his boyfriend DiDario since 2016.

 On 16 April 2016, the couple got married in the historic Walton House, a private English home encircled by tropical gardens in his hometown, Miami. 

Benitez and DiDario exchanged self-written vows in the ceremony before sundown in front of 160 friends and family. DuDario’s sister officiated the ceremony.

Engagement

In 2013, Benitez revealed about his engagement with DiDario on Instagram with a beautiful snapshot of the proposal, which took place just in front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris. He captioned it, “Time is what’s left behind in the wake of love.”

After accepting the proposal, DiDario also shared some similarly emotional portraits. He captioned an Instagram photo of both of them wearing rings and wrote, “Today I said yes to my true partner in life, couldn’t be happier to stand next to you forever.”

The two met online in January 2015. In a 2016 interview with People, Benitez revealed that both of them are avid social media users. As a result, they had a perfectly modern first meeting on Instagram. He said, “We decided to meet for a drink and that’s when we both realized this was more than a ‘like’ online. The chemistry was instant.”

According to him, the more they talked on dates, the more they looked into one another’s eyes. They eventually knew that their relationship was turning into far more than a crush. He explained that both of them were experiencing pure love for the first time in their lives, and that’s where the adventure began. 

He continued by revealing that they were inseparable from then on. They were jumping on planes for spontaneous weekend excursions, seeing everything New York City offered, visiting every zoo and aquarium they could find, and admiring the world around them. 

“Months after our first meeting, I began looking for engagement rings and planning a surprise proposal with photographer Pierre Torset in Paris,” Benitez added.

Who is Gio Benitez’s Husband, DiDario?

DiDario is a fitness enthusiast, lifestyle contributor, model, host, writer, and actor. As his husband, he is no stranger to the spotlight. He has appeared on Rachael RayEntertainment Tonight, and The Today Show, among other shows.

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