CNN anchor Don Lemon, who became the third openly gay high-profile news personality behind MSNBC's Rachel Maddow and Thomas Roberts last week, says he once tried to pray away the gay.

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 with HLN's Dr. Drew Pinsky, Lemon, 45, talked about the cultural bias associated with being gay in the African-American community.

In the Black community “people believe that you can pray the gay away. That it is a choice.”

“I remember saying my prayers. As someone who went to a Catholic school, who grew up Baptist, who studied with a Jehovah’s witness partner – Bible partner – I knew enough about the Bible as a kid, and about scriptures and about doctrine and all that. So I would say my prayers and then silently I would pray that I would change and not have crushes on boys. I didn't know what it was because I was a kid, so I didn't sexualize it, but you know that you're different. But you don't know what it is when you hear people around you saying, 'you're going to go to hell and that's bad.' I tried to pray. Up until I was an adult.”

Earlier, Lemon told media website that he's in a 4-year relationship but added that “this is about me at the moment.”