CNN's Don Lemon: I'm Gay

Celebrity News May. 16, 2011 AT 9:18AM
CNN's Don Lemon: I'm Gay Credit: Dario Cantatore/Getty

Gay Pride Month kicks off in June, and one more TV journalist will be among its happy celebrants: CNN's Don Lemon.

The veteran reporter and news anchor for the prime-time weekend edition of CNN Newsroom, 45, reveals his sexual orientation and more in a new memoir, Transparent.

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"College wasn't the only learning experience I undertook during my years in New York," writes Lemon in the book, which hits shelves June 16. "I was also coming to terms with my sexual identity. Since I was knee-high to a duck, I've known that I was gay."

In Transparent, Brooklyn College grad Lemon also opens up about childhood sexual abuse and his rise to fame as an African-American news anchor.

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In a press release, Lemon says he came out to his mother but "still chose to keep those secrets hidden from the world."

"I, like most gay people, lived a life of fear," he explains. "Fear that if some employers, co-workers, friends, neighbors and family members learned of my sexuality, I would be shunned, mocked and ostracized. It is a burden that millions of people carry with them every single day."

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Transparent is dedicated to Rutgers University student Tyler Clementi, who killed himself last September after being taunted by classmates for his sexuality.

"Tyler might still be with us today if more gay men and women had chosen to live proudly and openly," Lemon says.

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