Yesterday, in the Sunday edition of the New York Times , CNN anchor Don Lemon publicly came out of the closet. (Unlike Anderson Cooper who is making believe he’s Lily Tomlin in the 1980’s where EVERYONE knows but God forbid the admission ever crosses his lips)
Lemon has not made a secret of his sexual orientation in his work life; many of his CNN co-workers and managers have long been aware that he is gay. But he never publicly acknowledged it either, and worries that people might shun him and ostracize him for especially the African American Community.
“It’s quite different for an African-American male,” he said. “It’s about the worst thing you can be in black culture. You’re taught you have to be a man; you have to be masculine. In the black community they think you can pray the gay away.” He said he believed the negative reaction to male homosexuality had to do with the history of discrimination that still affects many black Americans, as well as the attitudes of some black women.
“You’re afraid that black women will say the same things they do about how black men should be dating black women.” He added, “I guess this makes me a double minority now.”
He has been assured of support by CNN, which has booked him as a guest Monday on its daytime show “CNN Newsroom.” He will also be on Joy Behar’s show on the network’s sister channel, HLN.
Don Lemon has also sent out an official statement in which he said his new book, Transparent is dedicated to Rutgers University student Tyler Clementi
“There was a time when I was terrified of revealing these things to the person I love most in this world – my own mother. But when I finally mustered the courage to tell her that I had been molested as a child and that I was born gay, my life began to change in positive ways that I never imagined possible. Yet I still chose to keep those secrets hidden from the world. I, like most gay people, lived a life of fear. Fear that if some employers, co-workers, friends, neighbors and family members learned of my sexuality, I would be shunned, mocked and ostracized. It is a burden that millions of people carry with them every single day. And sadly, while the mockery and ostracizing are realized by millions of people every day, I truly believe it doesn’t have to happen and that’s why I feel compelled to share what I’ve written in Transparent. As a journalist I believe that part of my mission is to shed light onto dark places. So, the disclosure of this information does not inhibit in any way my ability to be the professional, fair and objective journalist I have always been.”
Congratulations Don! Maybe by your example one day Anderson Cooper will follow suit.