CNN anchor Don Lemon, who became the third openly gay high-profile news personality behind MSNBC's Rachel Maddow and Thomas Roberts on Monday, says closeted journalists are “dishonest.”

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

He told HLN's Joy Behar that 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.

“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,” Lemon said.

When media website asked the 45-year-old anchor, “Do you think that other anchors and journalists in the closet need to come out?” Lemon answered: “I don't think anyone needs to do anything they don't want to do. I think it would be great if they did. I'm not walking in anyone's shoes and I don't know what their experience is, but I think there is a degree of deception in silence. Having gone to the other side, it's easy for me to say that. Just a few days ago I may have felt different. I respect anyone else's choice, but, again, I equate it to people who used to pass for white during the civil rights movement. It's disingenuous and dishonest and you should live in truth and give a hand to people who are struggling and help pull them up rather turning your back on them.”

He also told the site that he's in a 4-year relationship but added that “this is about me at the moment.”