Once I was finished writing [Transparent, my new] book, my first thought was Are Black women going to support me? Will they stop watching me on TV? Will they call me a fag?
Truthfully, that would hurt me more than anything else. [...]
I’m not going to lie- sharing my story hasn’t been an easy decision. Americans in general have a very limited definition of masculinity, but there’s a definite stigma in the Black community that being gay is the worst thing possible. In telling you that I’m gay, I pray that you will not judge or condemn me. If you ever thought I was a role model before, I hope you will continue to believe that because I strive to be one. If you thought I was a great journalist before, I hope you will still think the same of me. And for the record, let me say that not all gay men are feminine. There’s nothing about me that wants to be a woman. It’s stereotypes, assumptions, and religious ostracism that keeps Black gay men like me from telling the truth about who we really are.
— Don Lemon, “To My Beautiful Black Sisters…” (link goes to video), Essence Magazine, July 2011