2013 can definitely be titled as the year of coming out as quite a few personalities in the public spotlight have came out as gay or bisexual. From Jason Collins to Raven Symone to "Good Morning America" co-anchor Robin Roberts who was the latest to come out, there is still a significance according to CNN anchor Don Lemon who reflected on his own coming out revelation in his 2011 memoir. According to the Los Angeles Times on Dec. 31, Lemon says there is still an importance.
Because so many celebrities have come out in the past couple years in the world of entertainment and also in athletics, it is an easier path for others who have not yet come out as gay. But Lemon feels it is still important, particularly when someone like Robin Roberts comes out. He says:
"I know plenty of people who still lead double lives. it's important that someone like Robin comes out because stars are unattainable. how many people can be a movie star? But you have so many different journalists and TV news anchors and reporters who are in your home every single day, and in a way, we're more relatable. What we do is more attainable."
Don Lemon is one of a handful of journalists and new anchors who are out and visible. Whether it is Anderson Cooper, Thomas Roberts, Robin Roberts, Sam Champion or Lemon himself, they are entering homes daily through media outlets. This visibility changes the stereotypes associated with homosexuality. For every Phil Robertson who freely expressed his opinion against homosexuality or Alec Baldwin who has been caught a couple of time shouting anti-gay slurs, there are the Lemon's, Coopers and Rachel Maddows of the world showing society a different definition of what gay is.
Lemon admitted during his "OutFront" broadcast that he came out late because he was afraid people would stop watching him but felt he deserved a platform to be himself just like everyone else and deserved the right to be heard.
"[If] people like Phil Robertson are deserving of keeping their platforms and are even being defended and celebrated, then people like Don Lemon, or Thomas Roberts, or Rachel Maddow, or Sam Champion, or Anderson Cooper or Robin Roberts are also deserving of their platforms and should be celebrated, as well. That's why it's still important to come out and say very simply, 'I'm gay.'"