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 Internet. Ravi 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 there.'”

“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.)