CNN anchor Don Lemon has come out in his new memoir Transparent. I particularly like this quote he gave in an interview with the New York Times:
“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.”
Lemon says he knows his coming out will cause speculation about other TV personalities (What's up Anderson:), and says he wishes everyone could be out.
“I think it would be great if everybody could be out,” he said. “But it’s such a personal choice. People have to do it at their own speed. I respect that. I do have to say that the more people who come out, the better it is for everyone, certainly for the Tyler Clementis of the world.”
“I think if I had seen more people like me who are out and proud, it wouldn’t have taken me 45 years to say it.”
Being that there are so few openly gay journalists (let alone black gay ones) this is great news. The fact that Lemon is a high profile figure will further breakdown people's stereotypes about black gays and increase visibility. I've never clocked his tea, but I'm not shocked either, if that's makes any sense. And 45? I've got to learn his skin regimen lol.