*CNN heart throb and weekend prime-time anchor Don Lemon made it official. Not that he’s a published author with the launch of his new book “Transparent,” a story about his personal and painful family secrets and professional struggles. It’s that he’s gay – a shock for some, old news for many. He said it was time “to walk in the truth.”
The former governor of the California came clean in acknowledging he has a love child he fathered with a long-time member of his household staff. The confession followed the announcement that his wife Maria Shriver had separated from their 25-year marriage Arnold Schwarzenegger said he told his wife about the “event” after leaving the governor’s office. Said Schwarzenegger in a statement, “There are no excuses and I take full responsibility for the hurt I have caused.”
Olympic Gold Medalist and former professional boxer Sugar Ray Leonard came out with a surprising revelation from his past. He announced that he was sexually abused by a coach when he was 15-years-old. The announcement was made to preface his upcoming book The Big Fight: My Life In and Out of the Ring which will be released this month. His abuser has since died, but the famed boxed says the incident has haunted him for life.
Another former boxer came out with the truth about his private struggle. Six-division title holder Oscar de La Hoya said he has entered a rehab clinic for substance abuse. On his Twitter site he posted a series of tweets including, “Stop finding excuses not to live. Life is controlled by what you make of it and not of what it makes of you.”
These “truths” have been dizzying. Not on their individual merit, but in their confluence. They’ve all taken place around the same time, the same season if you will.
I don’t think it has been by design. It’s probably pure happenstance and coincidence with a little Carpe diem thrown in for good measure. Although each truth is distinct and separate, what connects them is that each truth could no longer be hidden – it either had to come to the light or be shoved into it.
Lemon said it best in that it was time to “walk in truth.” He’s right, although the former Governor of California probably feels like he is lying prostrate in it. Who knows what Lemon’s private journey had been like all these years, harboring his truth. It’s not hard to imagine. Many of us have harbored a truth or two in our lifetimes such as real identity of a child’s father; how an accident or tragedy really occurred; a surreptitious affair or liaison; receiving an unmerited honor, recognition or award. I could go on. You probably could too.
I’ve always believed that time will either exact or require the truth in its time or when time can no longer contain the misrepresentation of it.
Seems like we are in a season when time can no longer contain the misrepresentation of the truth, at least for the rich and famous. In fact Leonard commented that the sexual abuse he experienced had haunted his life. Perhaps revealing the truth has set him free since the truth has been said to do that.
“Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” This is the time honored passage from John 8:32 often quoted by believers and non-believes like.
It’s indeed a venerable principle – being set free by the truth. But being freed by the truth doesn’t free one from the fallout and discomfort of dealing with it. There is penance to play.
It’s a strange and unyielding dichotomy. The burden often lifted by walking in the truth is quickly supplanted with the reality of dealing with the consequences of the truth.
It can be a difficult journey for anyone, especially those in the public eye. Lemon, Schwarzenegger, Leonard and de La Hoya are all dealing with private and public judgment, ridicule and pain of coming out with their truth. But strangely enough, there’s something in the human spirit that calls forth the truth no matter how deeply it is buried and no matter how long it has been hidden. And if you rolled the wagon backward in retrospect, most people probably wouldn’t want it any other way – that is – to walk in the truth – eventually.
(Veronica Hendrix is a syndicated columnist and feature writer whose work has covered the span of the human continuum – from clinical trials of male contraceptives, to the gang violence. For comments, interviews, speaking engagements or moderator requests please send an email to [email protected].)