The small number of openly gay and lesbian national news anchors has gotten larger with news that CNN’s Don Lemon discusses being gay in an upcoming book, Transparent. Here’s what he told the New York Times
Few national television news anchors or hosts have publicly acknowledged being gay. Rachel Maddow is perhaps the best known. Her MSNBC colleague, Thomas Roberts, has also come out as gay.
Mr. 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 still acknowledged that going public in his book carries certain risks.
“I’m scared,” he said in a telephone interview. “I’m talking about something that people might shun me for, ostracize me for.”
Even beyond whatever effect his revelation might have on his television career, Mr. Lemon said he recognized this step carried special risk for him as a black man.
“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.
Michelangelo Signorile tweeted that Lemon will be on his show this week. And here’s Lemon’s tweet.
@donlemoncnn wanted to be the firs to share with u. thanks for your support!!! http://nyti.ms/jMqQT6
So a hearty congratulations and welcome from the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association.