Yesterday, what I think was an important revelation was glossed over due to the release of study by Satoshi Kanazawa which is based in pseudo/crap/racist/black women ain’t feeling me science in Psychology Today telling the world that black women are viewed as the least attractive group of women on the globe.[i] The important revelation was that CNN anchor and Tom Dubois’ stunt double, Don Lemon came out of the closet publically. (From what he’s said his coworkers at CNN has known about his sexuality for years now.) This is Lemon’s second shocking announcement of note. In September, during Bishop “Eddie, Eddie Bang, Bang” Long’s molestation scandal Lemon announced on-air that he was sexually molested as a youth.
I would imagine that a grown man to admitting to being molested publically on a national news network had to have been an extremely hard undertaking but revealing that he, a black man, is gay just flat out took stones. It took stones simply because our community [blacks] has an interesting outlook on homosexuality. I will not claim that American born blacks are anymore homophobic than any other demographic but it has been well documented that being black and gay puts one in an odd space. It wasn’t easy for Omar Little and it certainly can’t be easy for Don Lemon.
As an observer I would compare being a gay black man is akin to being on a show that ends with the word “Housewives” and having self-esteem and home training. The knowledge of what you are could possibly make your life a living hell due to the reactions of those around you. Perceived notions of what black male masculinity is or isn’t has done quite the number on us.[ii]
It has kept us from seeking proper medical attention whether it’s physical or mental. These notions have left many of us are emotionally stunted, straining our relationships with the women we love from time to time and often failing to teach our next generation or black men how to emote the right way, if at all. Lastly, these notions force many of us to overcompensate with what we again perceive to be strength. Not allowing for anything that we think is a weakness or chink in our armor to be seen by the outside world. Within this entire massive hair ball that is black masculinity, many of us feel that there is very little room for what is seen as the ultimate weakness; homosexuality.
This is why I think Lemon’s admission took a ton of courage. If he’s forty-five, imagine how long he’s been dealing with that aspect of himself. Somewhere there is a black guy who is closeted that read about Lemon’s admission and said to himself in the voice of the waiter from the Boondocks “Couldn’t be me!”
Lemon’s life is out in the open now but he has said that he is not ready to be any kind of an icon. He’s probably listening to “Can I Live” by Jay-Z preparing to run the media and social gauntlet that comes along with his book tour and announcement. Just like James Baldwin and Langston Hughes before him Don Lemon is a famous black gay guy. Unlike Baldwin and Hughes, Lemon lives and works in a 24-hour news world that sometimes seems to exist only to ruin lives. Lightnin’ Hopkins once said “Whatever you is, be that!” Don Lemon took steps to live up to that saying, so whether you agree or disagree with Lemon’s lifestyle you’ve got to admit it took a lot of bravery to tell the world about it.
Vaya con Dios.
[i] We know that premise is bullsh*t-a** at best so this is the last time I will move my fingers to write about it. It wasn’t worth a post or more than one thought. I could spend the rest of my life blogging about fly black women are and what makes them that way, but I don’t pretend to be a writer to tell the world that water is wet.
[ii] One day I’m going to write a parody of “Journey to The Center of Earth” called “Journey into the Black Male Mind”. It’s going to be a horror movie starring Clarence Williams III, David Alan Grier, and Clifton Powell.