(Photo: Farrah Gray Fndtn Pr)
At 45 years old and after a very successful news career, CNN anchor Don Lemon knows a lot of something about the news industry. He also knows that news spreads quickly when a famous African-American male comes “out of the closet,” but that hasn’t stopped him from speaking out about his own sexuality.
Though other anchors and hosts have admitted to being gay—like Rachel Maddow and MSNBC’s Thomas Robert—Lemon acknowledges that the “coming out” experience is different for Blacks.
“It’s quite different for an African-American male,” he told the New York Times. “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.”
Though CNN supports Lemon and his decision to reveal his sexuality, and will feature him as a guest on Monday’s CNN Newsroom, Lemon says that he’s “scared” what people may think and that they may shun or ostracize him.
Lemon is working on a memoir called Transparent, in which he discusses his life as a gay man and the sexual abuse he suffered as a child.
The book was supposed to be a pamphlet, but according to the Times:
“As he began to write, he came to realize that he could not hold back the truth of who he was. He started to pour out the details of his personal life. How he had grown up not knowing his father, how he had suffered abuse by someone close to him.
When he informed the publisher of his new tack, the initial reaction was caution. But when the editors saw the material, they embraced it. It was left to Mr. Lemon to experience a bout of nerves and suggest at one point that the most personal material be taken out."
Transparent will be released June 16 by Health Communications Inc.