When NBC 4 New York meteorologist Raphael Miranda publicly came out more than a decade ago, it was a spur-of-the moment decision.
Miranda, now 45, had been waiting for his weather segment to begin when an anchor asked him a seemingly benign question on the air about his love life. Playing off the previous story about relationships and fashion, the anchor asked whether Miranda’s significant other ever tries to change the way he dresses.
“I said, ‘No, my husband…knows I’m hopeless,’” Miranda says with a laugh, recalling the exchange. “I could’ve gone around it; I could’ve played the game. But I said, ‘Why not? What am I hiding here?’ I’m proud of my husband. But just saying that, it was like you could hear a pin drop [in the studio].”
Miranda says that, at the time, it was a “big deal to be out” as a gay man on TV, prior to marriage equality and without much LGBTQ+ representation on the airwaves. Thankfully, the response from colleagues and viewers was overwhelmingly positive.
Now, with June’s Pride Month approaching, as Miranda reflects on that pivotal coming-out moment, he realizes that a lot has changed, both for the LGBTQ+ community and for him personally. He and his husband, Doug Simpson, are now the parents of a 5-year-old son, MacArthur, and they are expecting a baby girl via surrogate this June, just in time for Pride Month.
“This year, I will probably not be attending [Pride events] because we’re going to be taking care of a newborn,” Miranda says. “My husband and I are growing our family and expecting a baby in June. We’ll be there in spirit.”
In the past, Miranda and other colleagues have marched in New York City’s annual Pride March.
Another area of pride for Miranda is where he lives. Despite growing up in Westchester, the two-time Emmy winner has been living in the Garden State on and off since the 1990s, when he moved to Jersey City while an undergraduate at New York University. He commuted daily via PATH train to his classes in Manhattan, and remembers: “I got an apartment for a rent that was so unbelievably cheap it wouldn’t exist today.”
Miranda and Simpson, who is the CEO of the nonprofit inelda.org, have lived in Union City for a year and a half; they previously resided in Jersey City, which they only moved out of after 16 years because of the recent development boom.
“It was fun for a while, but the older we get—we have a 5-year-old son, and we prefer the quietness, the parks,” Miranda says of Union City.
Miranda says he loves covering his local community and interacting with the residents he meets. “I don’t get a lot of slack, even if it’s not a great weather day. People, they empathize,” he says.
“And when the weather’s nice, they give me the credit, even though I don’t deserve it. I had nothing to do with it.”
Miranda started his career in meteorology “later in life,” as he describes it. After graduating with a degree in Spanish literature from NYU and having a career in retail, Miranda, by then in his late 20s, decided to go back to school to study his true passion: the weather. So he enrolled at Brooklyn College to study journalism and Mississippi State University online for geosciences and meteorology.
From there, he landed internships, then producing and on-air gigs at NBC Weather Plus. That led to WNBC, where he’s been since 2009.
“I was always obsessed with weather since I was a little kid,” he says. “…I didn’t have access to radar; there was no internet back then. This was growing up in the ’80s, so the best I could do was watch the storms out of my window and see if they happened.”Click here to leave a comment