CNN anchor Don Lemon has said his
decision to come out gay was influenced by Tyler Clementi's suicide.
Clementi is the 18-year-old gay Rutgers
University student who jumped off the George Washington Bridge to his
death after learning that his roommate, Dharun Ravi, had secretly
streamed live video of him having sex with another man onto the
faces 15 charges, including bias intimidation, and witness and
evidence tampering. A second student, Molly Wei, has been
charged with invading Clementi's privacy.
On Sunday, Lemon told the New York
Times that he's gay, ahead of the release of his upcoming
264-page memoir titled Transparent, in which he talks about
his experience. The book is now available for pre-order at
In an interview on HLN's Joy Behar
Show, Lemon discussed his reasons for coming out now.
“I was nervous,” he told Behar.
“And I could have taken it out at any point. But then when the
student at Rutgers University killed himself I said, 'Leave it in
“Because there shouldn't have to be
people like him. And if I had had someone like me who had chosen to
live their lives out and proud, there would be no need for the Tyler
Clementis of the world or teenagers to want to kill themselves
because they are concerned about their sexuality.” (The video is
embedded in the right panel of this page.)