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Don Lemon: Coming Out as Gay is Still a Big Deal — VIDEO

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On CNN, Don Lemon praised Robin Roberts for coming out in a commentary about why it's still so important to do so.

Said Lemon:

"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. I was afraid that you would no longer watch me. I was afraid of people like Phil Robertson, who claim to love everyone while simultaneously thinking that everyone's love isn't equal. The people who use religion and scripture to shield bigotry now toward gays and in the past toward women and African Americans. 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'."

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

And on that note, make sure not to miss our 57 Most Powerful Coming Outs of 2013 in which we honor and celebrate those who did so this year.

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Comments

  1. Why should I look at the 57 "most powerful Coming Out stories?" Is not every coming out powerful? Each one adds to the other and to say one is more powerful than another diminishes those not so famous who often endure agony in coming out. For so many of the powerful it's a question of how much money they might lose if people know that they are gay. They have more resources than the average person to help them come out, and I am glad that they do, but one is no better than the other.

    Posted by: Ken | Dec 31, 2013 11:38:13 AM


  2. Because coming out is a personal thing, every one is unique situation, but in some areas, like sports it is a big deal.

    Posted by: Matt27 | Dec 31, 2013 11:39:12 AM


  3. Well said Don!

    Posted by: HAHA-NO | Dec 31, 2013 11:40:06 AM


  4. What a terrific representative for gay men. I wish there were fantastic gay role models like this on TV when I was growing up in the 1970s. Yes, it is still a big deal whenever a person in the public eye "comes out", because homophobia is still very much alive and well in our culture. There is a lot of work to do.

    Posted by: Kieran | Dec 31, 2013 11:41:30 AM


  5. Perfectly, beautifully said. Succinct and eloquent. Love you, Don!

    Posted by: Geoff | Dec 31, 2013 11:46:43 AM


  6. @KEN : I haven't looked at the 57 either, but I do recognize that high-profile visibility is the name of the game. If people see that some celebrities are no longer fearful of announcing they're gay, and that some gay celebrities are marrying their partners, they may start to realize that others around them and/or close to them might also be gay, and realize as well that it's OK.

    Posted by: rroberts | Dec 31, 2013 11:47:42 AM


  7. I understand that, but I still think we diminish those who don't get the publicity but still made the effort, sometimes through much personal agony, to come out. Why is all celebrity these days that are important?

    Posted by: Ken | Dec 31, 2013 11:52:30 AM


  8. Kudos to all who stand up to be counted, to open the doors for others. Y'all paved the way for me, and I intend to pay it forward.

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Dec 31, 2013 11:56:49 AM


  9. @Ken... High profile coming out stories have a broad impact and may save lives. At a minimum they increase self esteem for many and they help us march toward broader acceptance. That doesn't diminish individual coming out stories at all. It just makes those stories easier in many cases.

    Posted by: JP | Dec 31, 2013 11:56:51 AM


  10. Coming out is extremely important. I once made the mistake of dating a guy who was deep in the closet. He was in his 40s. One day his sister showed up unannounced and he made me literally hide in the bathroom, in the shower stall. After that, I was done.

    Posted by: Freddie | Dec 31, 2013 12:03:09 PM


  11. Thanks Don for saying and stating what other newscasters won't dare to say----it's just bigotry and hatred using the Bible as a shield for Roberston and the other evangelicals.

    Posted by: Chris | Dec 31, 2013 12:18:06 PM


  12. @KEN : JP made a great point when he said "High profile coming out stories have a broad impact and may save lives."

    When closeted gay people - especially kids - in small-minded towns and/or situations see that others are coming out, it might give them that little bit of extra courage needed for them to make the leap and possibly even re-think suicide. That's the point of the It Gets Better campaign. That's the point of high-profile coming out stories. "If s/he can do it, so can I."

    Nobody is diminished here.

    peace out

    Posted by: rroberts | Dec 31, 2013 12:21:11 PM


  13. In those Web forums where commenters say stuff like "Who cares?" and "It's nobody's business" and "This isn't a story" . . . that is 21st century code language for "f*cking f*ggots should stay in the closet" and "stop flaunting your perversion, you dirty d*kes"! It is ever so important to recognize the milder forms of hate speech. To not recognize them is to see tolerance where it doesn't really exist.

    Posted by: Stuffed Animal | Dec 31, 2013 12:56:58 PM


  14. Don has a great recipe for Duck a l'orange.

    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | Dec 31, 2013 1:42:32 PM


  15. Coming out is a journey for any gay or lesbian and sometimes it is a long and torturous one.

    Years, experiences, opportunities for love and commitment, friendships are lost as one struggles with accepting oneself, which is the first major step towards coming out.

    Such self-acceptance can be daunting and almost impossible if one has grown up in a social, religious or familial environment that wallows in the worst, negative impressions of what being gay is.

    For me, I think of how wonderful it would have been if there had been out and proud people when I was younger that I could look to for the strength to live my life openly and fearlessly, regardless of the negative reactions of others. I might have avoided those lost years in a psychologically claustrophobic and spiritually suffocating closet.

    So, a review of the 57 Most Powerful Coming Out Stories of 2013 is a necessity. One feels so grateful that coming out in 2013 is less fraught with negative consequences and more an act of positive affirmation, not just of oneself but of the simple joy of being alive.

    Posted by: jamal49 | Dec 31, 2013 2:26:53 PM


  16. Coming out for me was the most liberating day of my life. I kept thinking "I don't have to hide in a dark shadow, and be afraid to reveal myself"....it felt good to not have to role play.

    Posted by: Junior | Jan 1, 2014 2:40:36 AM


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