CNN anchor Don Lemon has revealed that he is gay in an interview with the New York Times to promote his new book, Transparent.
While Lemon says he never hid his sexuality from his coworkers and many were aware of it, this marks the first time he's acknowledging it publicly. Lemon says that writing the book motivated him to come out. It was initially intended to be an inspirational tome but turned personal as Lemon worked on it. In Transparent, Lemon also discusses being abused and his lifelong estrangement from his father.
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In the interview, Lemon described himself as "scared" of the public's reaction to his announcement. "I'm talking about something that people might shun me for, ostracize me for," he explained.
However, a few hours after tweeting the link to the interview, Lemon tweeted again, "I'm overwhelmed by all your tweets and support! Hoping this prevents more tragedies like Tyler Clementi's suicide," referring to the Rutgers University student who killed himself in the fall after a sexual encounter between him and another man was recorded and streamed over the Internet without his knowledge.
"I think it would be great if everybody could be out," Lemon told the Times. "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."
Transparent is due out Thursday, June 16.