Golly gee, Queerty commenters sure had a lot to say in response to our post last week about how bored we are by celebrities who act like they’re risking everything by coming out of the closet. Okay, sure, Lance Bass and Chely Wright risked something by coming out. But when we hear stories every day about Mormon kids getting tossed out on the street, or Iranians getting deported back to possible execution, it kind of puts things in perspective.
Nevertheless, we’re very happy that Don Lemon has the nerve to talk about being a gay black man. While it might not be as hard as being a homeless teenage Mormon, you can’t deny there are unique challenges to coming out in the African American community. Lemon explains to the NY Times,
“I’m scared … 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. In the black community they think you can pray the gay away.”
That’s certainly true, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be that way: there’s support out there for gay African Americans if you just know where to look.
So, on Queerty’s patented DIFFICULT COMING OUT-O-METER, where would you put Don Lemon’s un-closeting? It’s a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being a Tim-Gunn-style “well, yeah obviously you’re gay, so what?” and 10 being an awkward, “oh, Mister President, what an unexpected announcement.”
Also, here’s is a video about Liz Lemon, and another one about Don Music.