CNN’s Don Lemon on why he waited until his mid-40s to come out publicly as gay

'I was afraid of people like Phil Robertson, who claim to love everyone while simultaneously thinking that everyone's love isn't equal'

CNN’s Don Lemon on why he waited until his mid-40s to come out publicly as gay
31 December 2013

While First Lady Michelle Obama and plenty of other people have been quick to congratulate Good Morning America host Robin Roberts for coming out publicly as a lesbian, others have wondered what took her so long.

CNN’s Don Lemon took to the air on Monday (30 December) to shed some light on why he thinks Roberts or any television news personality is still reluctant.

‘I can’t speak for Robin Roberts, nor any of my recently out gay colleagues, I didn’t do it sooner because I was afraid of losing my livelihood,’ Lemon admitted. ‘I was afraid that you would no longer watch me.’

Lemon, 47, came out publicly in 2011 although he had been out in his private life to family and friends for decades.

‘I was afraid of people like (Duck Dynasty patriarch) Phil Robertson, who claim to love everyone while simultaneously thinking that everyone’s love isn’t equal,’ Lemon said. ‘The people who use religion and scripture to shield bigotry now toward gays and in the past toward women and African Americans.’

Of Roberts, Lemon said: ‘Hopefully for Robin, like me, empowerment quickly replaced fear once I did come out. And if people like Phil Robertson are deserving of keeping their platforms and are even defended and celebrated, then people like Don Lemon, or Thomas Roberts, or Rachel Maddow, or Sam Champion, or Anderson Cooper, or Robin Roberts are also deserving of their platforms and should be celebrated as well. That’s why it’s still important to come out and say very simply, "I’m gay."’

HAVE YOUR SAY

MORE TOP STORIES

No thumbnail available

Couple who had wedding disrupted by shouts of 'Go home fags!' to return to California town for do-over ceremony

Residents and merchants of Coronado have banded together for event with mayor officiating
Murderer of trans woman sentenced to 112 years to life

Murderer of trans woman sentenced to 112 years to life

Miguel Inostroz had shot Lucie Parkin in September 2011 over a debt dispute
No thumbnail available

NY gay black and Latino bar forced out by landlord

No Parking, the first gay bar in Washington Heights in upper Manhattan, closed this past weekend to make way for a Planet Fitness gym
No thumbnail available

Iran poet could be facing 100 lashes for translating lesbian novel

Sepideh Jodeyri translated famous graphic novel 'Blue Is The Warmest Color' into Persian
No thumbnail available

Clare Balding: 'Being lesbian makes me a better sports presenter'

BBC's Olympics commentator says her eyes on the game not the men's bodies
No thumbnail available

The beginner's guide to Eurovision in six bits of trivia

On Saturday (18 May) approximately 100 million people around the world will watch the Eurovision Song Contest. But what if you have no idea what's going on?
No thumbnail available
No thumbnail available

UK named most popular gay travel destination

Hundreds of people say London is the number one destination for gay tourists in Europe
No thumbnail available

UK called on to grant asylum to 200 Uganda gays outed by newspaper

James Dornan MSP has called on the Ugandan High Commissioner in the UK to hold equality talks during the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow
No thumbnail available

Jane Fonda's gaydar had it all wrong when it came to a young Warren Beatty

‘He played piano, and all his friends were gay’