Very few reporters and anchors have come out as being gay to the public while still performing their duties. Not only that, but even fewer have written books about their lives in a completely open fashion, despite fears of being shunned and public backlash.
This is what makes Don Lemon so inspirational.
It might have taken him 45 years (he looks much younger, mind you!) to come out publicly (literally to the public, close friends and family have known, including some coworkers at CNN), but he is not holding back any longer. His book tell of his struggle as a gay man reporting the news in the public eye, and having been molested as a child. Nothing is too personal.
And it took him a while to come to that point, there were definitely hesitations. But, as a reporter through and through, he felt it was his duty to hold himself, his own story, to that journalistic standard and give everyone the whole, unfiltered story:
“I’m scared. I’m talking about something that people might shun me for, ostracize me for. It’s quite different for an African-American male. 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.
I abhor hypocrisy. I think if you’re going to be in the business of news, and telling people the truth, of trying to shed light in dark places, then you’ve got to be honest. You’ve got to have the same rules for yourself as you do for everyone else.”
We are definitely behind you 100% in your decision to write this book. The strength it has taken to do so can't be calculated, and we support you!
Not only that, but, it's wonderful to hear that you support others in the gay community coming out:
“I think it would be great if everybody could be out. 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.”
We hear that, Don. It was such a tragedy what happened to Tyler, who tragically committed suicide after his roommate leaked footage of a homosexual encounter on the web.
You truly are someone to look up to, and we applaud you! Hope the book, Transparent, does well!
[Image via GBS.]