According to the New York Times, CNN reporter Don Lemon has come out of the closet. The rumours that CNN anchor Don Lemon is gay are true. I am very proud of Don’s decision to come out of the closet and declares he is gay!
In the mainstream North America, whiteness is the norm and being gay is considered a part of whiteness. Gay people of colour are invisible or on the margins of queer cultures in North America due to gay racism. White gay people still have white skin privilege and some queers of colour we experience abjection.
Some black queers experience abjection from the black community because some heterosexual blacks believe we are traitors to our race. We are left on the borders of the private sphere of black society.
CNN is a very popular cable network in the United States so Don’s decision to come out is huge.
Millions of people across the world watch CNN and television viewers are familiar with Don Lemon.
I sincerely hope CNN does not treat Don Lemon the same way they treated the gay reporter Thomas Roberts.
A few years ago, Thomas Roberts came out of the closet yet he was quietly let go by CNN.
I think Don Lemon’s decision to come out will promote discussion in the black community about homosexuality.
Most of the celebrities coming out of the closet in pop culture are white people.
In the mainstream white culture, homosexuality is a palatable topic to discuss. Meanwhile, in communities of colour homosexuality is still considered a private issue.
There is also racism in the white gay community and for some black gay men it is safer for them to live in the closet in the black culture.
However, black culture is different from white culture and I commend Don Lemon for having the strength to come out of the closet!
There is a lot of homophobia in the hip hop culture. A lot of the rap lyrics are anti gay.
The discourse in the black community is real black men are heterosexual and not homosexual. The ideology is a real black man is supposed to be masculine, strong, and of course straight. Some blacks believe homosexuality is a form of decadent behaviour that black gays are copying from white people.
In the black community, there is still the don’t ask don’t tell policy about homosexuality. Black people we know who the high profile black queers are but there is so much silence. I believe silence equals shame there is nothing to be ashamed about being gay.
However, some people will say Don Lemon’s decision to come out is not a big deal. For me it is wonderful news that Don Lemon decided to come out.
One argument is that, a journalist is supposed to be neutral in relation to social issues. However, being gay is a part of a person’s identity. I am guessing Don probably struggled with deciding whether to come out of the closet.
Another point to consider, how many high profile black people are out of the closet? Why are a paucity of black gay celebrities out of the closet?
It is very sad in the black community that very few black celebrities are out of the closet compared to our white counterparts.
I also want to point out Don Lemon is a successful journalist. I think Don Lemon’s decision to come out will shatters some negative stereotypes some people have about black gay men.
Don has written a memoir called Transparent and I think this is wonderful news. In the black community, homosexuality is still viewed as a taboo subject so credit to Don for having the courage to come out.
Since Don is a very successful CNN anchor man he definitely took a risk coming out. I wonder how the African American community will react? I hope black people support Don Lemon’s decision to come out I know I do!
Link to New York Times Article: