6 posts categorized "DON LEMON"
CNN anchor Don Lemon dazzled in his coming-out interview on Joy Behar's show, mixing seriousness with humor.
On his coming out affecting other anchors coming out:
"Every little bit helps...drip, drip, drip...everything helps. I'm not saying they should. It would be great if they did, quite honestly."
On how other famous people could come out, even without a book:
"Just tweet it...I think it's just important to live your own truth in your own being in your own life and if someone asks you in an interview or in any format, just say, 'Yes, next question.'"
On whether being out betrays a bias:
"I can talk about President Obama and be objective and I'm a black man...I don't think just because I'm gay that it takes my brain away or it makes me not be objective."
On homophobia in the black community:
"In black culture, the worst thing you can be, really, is a gay man, right? A gay black man. That's the worst thing you can be. So you're afraid that black women won't accept you, your family, the church, people you—and then, you know, every other gay person who's not black has to deal with the other things, but you have that, that whole thing and the church especially. You have to deal with that...I'm here to tell you, in the black community it's worse. And hopefully, it's getting better. Hopefully, people like me will make it better. But I think it's sort of the vestiges of, of discrimination and slavery and thinking that if you're gay, that you're effeminate or that you're not a man or that you're weaker...I'm not weak at all. So I just think that's, that's part of it and the black community especially needs to get over that...I was born gay just as I was born black."
More of Dazzling Don on Joy's show here.
It's great to see a diversity of people coming out—different races and ages and from a different area than is usual (sports). The more the merrier.
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:
With speculation rampant over whether it's Don Lemon or Anderson Cooper who's about to make it official and come out this week, I tweeted a li'l joke about Don's book Transparent. Well, actually, it's no joke that he would look good in anything transparent. But the joke part was that if his book is Transparent, Anderson Cooper's must be Translucent. And Lemon, no sourpuss, tweeted me about it. Love him even more now.
"The black church is very loyal, even sometimes to a fault."
—Kevin Bond, former New Birth employee
A powerful moment last week from CNN anchor Don Lemon, who said on live TV that he was the victim of a pedophile as a child, something he didn't even tell his own mother until he was 30 years old. It was done in the context of a discussion about the Bishop Eddie Long scandal.