Don Lemon, the former CNN anchor who was ousted from the network in April, will be hosting Emil Wilbekin’s 7th annual Native Son Awards on June 16 at the IAC building in New York. The awards aim to recognize the achievements of Black gay and queer men in their respective industries.
Wilbekin stated that this year’s awards will shine a light on those who are using their platforms to bring visibility to the beautiful ways in which Black, queer men show up in the world. Lemon was one of the first to be honored by the Native Son Awards when it held its first gala in 2016.
Full Circle Moment for Native Son
Wilbekin told Page Six that having Lemon host this year’s awards show feels like a full circle moment for the organization. He added that Lemon is one of the most visible Black gay men in media and his presence reinforces the importance and impact of the community.
Native Son stood in solidarity with Lemon when he was ousted from CNN in April, posting a message of support on social media. The organization thanked Lemon for speaking truth to power and stated that a new chapter would open for him.
Low Profile Since Ouster from CNN
Lemon has maintained a relatively low profile since leaving CNN. At the Time 100 gala, he told Page Six that he plans to enjoy his summer, spend it on the beach and have a great time.
The awards show will also honor several individuals, including Patrik Ian-Polk, Tony nominee Jordan E. Cooper, Chester Algernal Gordon, Elegance Bratton, James Cole Jr., Nicco Annan, Bishop O.C. Allen, Rashad Burgess, Jason Bolden, and Adair Curtis.
The Native Son Awards celebrate diversity and inclusion in the LGBTQ+ community. The awards show aims to recognize individuals who are making a positive impact on the community through their work and advocacy.
The Native Son Awards have become an important platform for Black gay and queer men to be recognized for their contributions to their respective industries. It is a celebration of their achievements and a way to inspire the next generation of Black gay and queer men.
The Native Son Awards are an important event that recognizes the achievements of Black gay and queer men. Having Don Lemon as the host for this year’s awards show is a great way to celebrate Pride Month and highlight the importance of diversity and inclusion in the LGBTQ+ community.