Don Lemon On Being W/ Down Low Men During Early Years of Dating, Being In An Interracial Relationship
went on to explain how he deals with being a black gay man and a public figure, who is in an interracial relationship, and how the couple navigates their differing racial experiences:
CNN anchor Don Lemon is well-known and respected for giving his opinions on the most headline-worthy news of the day, but he rarely let’s us into his world. That all changed, thanks to a recent appearance on Jada Pinkett Smith’s hit Facebook talk show Red Table Talk.
In the short time since it premiered, Jada Pinkett Smith’s Red Table Talk has quickly become one of the best places to discuss topics that most mainstream talk shows dare to touch. Thus, that openness and star power has lured some of the biggest names in Hollywood to open up about things that they have never before shared with the public. The latest celebrity to do so, is CNN’s own Don Lemon. The renowned television host of CNN Tonight with Don Lemon, stopped by to talk about a variety of topics, including Jussie Smollett’s recent attack, dealing down low men and more.
On Jussie Smollett being the victim in a racially motivated and gay-bashing attack, Lemon had this to say:
“My initial reaction was sadness. I wasn’t shocked. I didn’t like that it happened to him. I called him cause we have mutual friends, I got the friend on the phone, the friend talked to me for a minute, he goes, ‘Jussie’s here seeing the doctor’ and I talked to Jussie for a minute and he said ‘I gotta go the doctor’s here.’ And it just made me sad, you know it’s been reported that this happened, that happened, my concern is for him…and for his well-being.”
He continued about Jussie adding:
‘On top of being…one, he has to deal with discrimination as a black man, then on top of that he has to be gay and he’s out and then fame, and fame is not natural. I don’t think people were meant to be famous. People say ‘oh my gosh’ this, this and this. Then when something happens to you and it’s controversial, everyone is coming for you. And so, I knew everyone would be picking apart his story.”
He also revealed that he has continued to reach out to the Empire star to assure him that he is here to support him:
“So, everyday [through text message] I say, ‘I know you think I’m annoying, (I can show you a text) I know you think I’m annoying, but I just want to know that you’re doing okay. If you need someone you can talk to, you can talk to me cause there’s not a lot of us out there.’ Sometimes he responds, sometimes he doesn’t, but he says, ‘you are not annoying me.’”
Lemon also discussed being with down low men during the early years of his dating life as a black gay man:
“You know, people want the experience. It’s almost like cultural appropriation, like ‘I want the experience, but I don’t really wanna live that way forever.’ Like ‘I wanna have the fun after a few drinks,’ but you don’t wanna, you know, a week later, show up at my house with a rose and say, ‘are we having dinner tonight.’ You can’t deal with that part of it, but you wanna deal with the other part. But, you don’t wanna deal with the romance and reality of creating a life together or a family together or building a future or a home together.”
Lemon went on to explain how he deals with being a black gay man and a public figure, who is in an interracial relationship, and how the couple navigates their differing racial experiences:
“The experiences are different, and we do have disagreements about it, and we do have discussions about it, but when you’re in love with someone it’s never easy. But, if you’re truly committed to someone who is a good person, then you wanna work those things out. I don’t expect him to know what it is to be a black man. You can’t expect me to know what it’s like to be a woman, but I can empathize with you. I can take your word for the experiences that you have and go along with you for the journey. And sometimes, I just have to say [to him] ‘you don’t understand, take my word for it.’”
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