As Jerrod Carmichael gears up for his first Saturday Night Live hosting gig, he has something he wants to get off his chest.
In his new HBO special Rothaniel, which premiered on Friday night, the comedian details his personal coming out story, along with more details about his family history.
One anecdote saw the comedian recall the moment he caught his father cheating on his mother and the feelings that came with holding on to that secret.
The Journey To Coming Out
“I don’t know if I would’ve said anything if I had the courage because I only saw this secret as something that could’ve torn our family apart,” he said, going on to say that he later made his father tell his mother the truth.
As he reflected on that event, according to The Hollywood Reporter, Carmichael was left to confront his own internal conflicts.
“Once that was done, I was left alone feeling like a liar, because I had a secret,” he revealed. “One that I kept from my mother and my father, my family, my friends, and you, all of you. Professionally, personally. And the secret is that I’m gay.”
The audience erupted into cheers upon hearind Carmichael’s admission, leaving the comedian to express his gratitude.
“It means a lot. I’m accepting the love, I really appreciate the love. My kind of ego wants to rebel against it,” he said. “I rebelled against it my whole life. I never thought I’d come out. I didn’t think I’d ever, ever come out.”
Jerrod continued, “Probably 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 Family’s Reaction
As Carmichael talks in his special about coming out to everyone in his life, he reflects on his family’s reactions, admitting that he “hid it” from his mom because he “was afraid that her reaction would be to just go inside with it.”
He recalls his mom telling him, “I can’t go against Jesus” and says she has since been “trying to accept it” ever since.
To hear more from the comedian, check out his HBO special Rothaniel, out now, and his episode of SNL tonight at 11:30 PM.