The first interview he's given seems to be with The New York Times. In it, he acknowledges a couple of the potentially difficult aspects of his coming out that commenters on my Facebook page and elsewhere have brought up, starting with the fact that he is best known for having coming out as a survivor of sexual abuse at the hands of a male:
"People are going to say, 'Oh, he was molested as a kid and now he is coming out.' I get it."
He also points out the cultural impact of coming out as a black man:
"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...You’re afraid that black women will say the same things they do about how black men should be dating black women. I guess this makes me a double minority now."
I'd been quarreling with a Facebook friend—who is an out gay man—over the "why" of a public figure, in particular a journalist, coming out. His belief was that being gay would read as having a slate of opinions and would lead to a Judge Walker-like backlash. My opinion is that that backlash is not something to reward, and that I was always taught in journalism and in academia that it's not wrong to have opinions, it's just important to be upfront about where you're coming from. Write a persuasive essay against marriage equality without informing the reader that you're employed by a Republican candidate for the presidency? That's no good. But furthermore, being gay is not having an opinion or set of opinions any more than being a woman or a man or white or Jewish or black is.
Lemon speaks eloquently about this need for (you guessed it) transparency:
"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...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. 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."
(P.S. Yes, he's 45...somehow.)