Lemon’s comments about his dating preferences has sparked debate online after he seemed to suggest that the reason he prefers to date white males is because gay Black males are mostly on the DL (down low).
In a clip posted to Jada’s Instagram, Lemon reveals that many of the Black men he privately dated “were on the down low.”
“It’s almost like cultural appropriation, I want to have the fun, but I don’t want to live that way forever,” Lemon stated.
“After a few drinks you’re like, ‘Whoa, wait a minute, are you hitting on me?’” he added.
“But a week later, you don’t want to show up at my house with a rose and say are we having dinner, you can’t deal with that part, but you can deal with the other part,” Lemon said.
“But you don’t want to deal with the romance and the reality of let’s build a home together.”
Corey Andrew of instinctmagazine.com responded to Lemon’s comments, writing:
Being black, gay and male does not automatically put us all into a monolithic existence. Don’s personal struggles are uniquely his and according to celebrity gossip site Madam Noire, Don expressed to Jada Pinkett Smith, daughter Willow and grandmother Adrienne that, “Relationships With Black Men Didn’t Work Because They Weren’t Out.“ This is where I find myself giving him the boy-bye side eye. Really Don? None of us were out? You couldn’t find one black, out, proud, gay male to date in the 80s and 90s?
Lemon went on to say that he’s been in conversation with Jussie Smollett, about his alleged racially-charged hate crime in Chicago.
“For Black, gay men – historically, Black men have stayed in the closet – you have to decide, ‘Do I want to be black, or do I want to be gay?’ And sometimes some of us say we’re too Black to be gay or are we too gay to be Black,” he told Jada Pinkett Smith.
He continued, “So you’ve got it from your own folks or from the larger community, and it hurts. It’s a weight.”