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Don Lemon Talks About New Role, Responsibilities As Gay Public Figure

Don Lemon

First Posted: 08/30/11 04:07 PM ET Updated: 10/30/11 06:12 AM ET

Don Lemon spoke to NPR last week about his new role and responsibilities as a gay public figure.

It's been just three months since the CNN anchor publicly came out in his memoir "Transparent" in May. In a phone interview, Lemon told NPR, "It's been interesting just to watch, and I feel free, and all those things, all those wonderful things they say when you finally get something off your chest."

But Lemon also called his role "a big responsibility," remarking, "I've been asked to do almost every single event that has to do with the community of prominence in the country." On of these was the annual convention of the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association, where he was one of the keynote speakers on Saturday.

The new role is one that Lemon seems to have embraced. He said, "I think it's important for me to have a presence there and for me to actually walk in and own it and for all those journalists who are there, to say to them, like, not only that it's okay, but thank you for your support."

He also dismissed observers who have questioned whether he should cover LGBT issues in the news. When asked if his coming out has affected how the public or sources relate to him, Lemon responded, "I think it gives me a knowledge about those issues that many people don't have, so if someone says something that's bogus or inaccurate, then I can call them out and I can say, listen, that's not quite accurate."

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Filed by Katherine Fung  |