- “Ever the introvert, Lionel gravitated toward journalism, which allowed him to speak volumes, without having to say actual words”
- —The Narrator[src]
Lionel is a shy reporter for The Independent. Although he exhibits social anxiety through actions like speaking quietly when trying to interview Sam White and getting nervous at the party from Chapter V, his introduction centers around the fact that he notified the Black Student Union of the racist blackface party and also exacted some revenge of his own at the party. In Chapter II the narrator comments that this action was "the start of [Lionel's] backbone."
It is suggested early on that Lionel was fearful of joining the Armstrong Parker House because he experienced homophobic bullying in high school from fellow black students. In Chapter II when Silvio says that The Independent is for everyone at Winchester and not just for Lionel's friends (referring to AP House), Lionel remarks, "'Friends' is optimistic." This fear seems to disappear as the season goes on.
- “This. Is. MALARKEY”
- —Lionel to his editor[src]