There’s a common adage that says the truth shall set you free, but sometimes it can bring freedom to an entire community. In a recent interview with the New York Times, CNN's Don Lemon courageously revealed that he is gay. That powerful revelation just might prevent someone else from suffocating in the closet. It could even save lives. Unfortunately, discrimination is still rampant in our communities. However, when public figures like Don Lemon and Wanda Sykes come out, it sparks a glimmer of hope that maybe we're ready to move in the right direction as a society.
The right direction, in my mind, is a world where men and women can walk down the street holding hands with their same sex partners without fearing repercussions. My best friend, a gay man, often struggles with his sexuality because he is afraid of how he will be perceived. He is a deeply religious man who battles depression thanks to the anti-gay sermons held at his church. He's surrounded by the very demons he hopes to avoid in the afterlife. It breaks my heart to see my dear friend in pain. I hope that he can find hope in the words of Don Lemon.
“I abhor hypocrisy,” Lemon told the Times. “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. 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.”
In the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. Thank you, Mr. Lemon, for being so brave and an inspiration to all of us.
Watch Lemon tonight on The Mo’Nique Show. He will elaborate on his decision share his truth with the world.
(Photo: Dario Cantatore/Getty Images)