Jerrod Carmichael Comes Out As Gay In New HBO Special 'Rothaniel'

Source: Danny Matson / Getty

Comedian/actor Jerrod Carmichael has come out as gay on his own terms. Carmichael officially came out during his new HBO special, Rothaniel, that premiered on the cable network and its streaming platform HBO Max Friday (Apr.1).

In the special taped in February at the Blue Note Jazz Club in New York City, Carmichael tells stories about his family history while speaking about the difficult process of coming out. The comedian reveals he went through a range of emotions while keeping his secret throughout his life and career. He dug into the meat of the story when the conversation shifted to the time he caught his father cheating.

After that was out in the open, I was left alone feeling like a liar because I had a secret,” Carmichael says. “One that I kept from my father, my mother, my family, my friends, and you. Professionally, personally. And the secret is that I’m gay.”

“I’m accepting the love. I really appreciate the love. My ego wants to rebel against it.” Later, he adds, “I rebelled against it my whole life. I thought I’d never, ever come out. At many points I thought I’d rather die than confront the truth of that, to actually say it to people. Because I know it changes some people’s perceptions of me. I can’t control that.”

The 34-year-old North Carolina native’s sexuality has been the topic of discussion after his 2019 HBO special Home Video. In a conversation with his mother, he revealed he had some sexual experiences with men telling her “I’ve hooked up with dudes before.” In Rothaniel, Carmichael revealed that his relationship with his mother has become strained since he came out to her but hopes things will eventually work out.

As much as she believes in God, I believe in personal growth and feeling free,” he added. “And I do feel freer.

The announcement comes on the heels of Carmichael hosting Saturday Night Live. It will more than likely be the topic of discussion during his opening monologue.

Photo: Danny Matson / Getty