With more out public figures than ever before helping create awareness and acceptance, CNN anchor and openly gay man Don Lemon asks, Is coming out still a big deal?
Lemon argues that it is, possibly more than ever before. With homophobes like Phil Robertson being given public platforms to spew their hatred for which they’re revered, it’s essential that people, like recently out Good Morning America anchor Robin Roberts, continue to come out to balance the bigotry:
"I can’t speak for Robin Roberts, nor any of my recently out gay colleagues, I didn’t do it sooner because I was afraid of losing my livelihood,” Lemon said. “I was afraid that you would no longer watch me. I was afraid of people like Phil Robertson, who claim to love everyone while simultaneously thinking that everyone’s love isn’t equal. The people who use religion and scripture to shield bigotry now toward gays and in the past toward women and African Americans. Hopefully for Robin, like me, empowerment quickly replaced fear once I did come out. And if people like Phil Robertson are deserving of keeping their platforms and are even 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.’"