Don Lemon comes out in book 'Transparent'
"I abhor hypocrisy," Lemon told the New York Times. "I think if you're going to be in the business of news, and telling people the truth, of trying to shed light in dark places, then you've got to be honest. You've got to have the same rules for yourself as you do for everyone else."
The 45-year-old anchor's book chronicles his personal life -- growing up without a father and being molested as a child -- and his career as he worked at local stations in Philadelphia, Chicago and New York before starting at CNN. He was cautious about detailing his personal life in the book, a project that was just supposed to be an inspirational pamphlet.
"I'm talking about something that people might shun me for, ostracize me for," Lemon said about being scared to come out.
Lemon made no secret of his sexual orientation: co-workers and managers knew he was gay and the network had assured him of support, he said. But the book was his first public announcement.
"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," he said. "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."
Lemon appeared as a guest Monday on "CNN Newsroom" and will appear on "The Joy Behar Show" on CNN's sister channel HLN.
"Transparent" lands in stores June 16.
-- Nardine Saad
twitter.com / NardineSaad
Photo: Don Lemon on the cover of his memoir, "Transparent." Credit: Farrah Gray Foundation