Are you a cover girl? Former MTV producer Terrance Dean says you might be in his highly anticipated memoir, “Hiding in Hip Hop: On the Down Low in the Entertainment Industry – From Music to Hollywood.”
The openly gay author and community activist describes how his lovers – thugged-out rappers, prominent actors and sexy crooners – used women to disguise their sexuality. But don’t look for him to kiss and tell like your girl Karrine “Superhead” Steffens. He’s keeping names on the down low.
Instead, Dean reveals his struggle with being a closet gay in the black community, having to create an identity amongst judgment from family, church and a very homophobic music genre.
“Unfortunately in the black community it seems that if you come out, you risk jeopardizing your career because we do not discuss sex or sexuality in our community. It’s seen as taboo,” Dean told Time magazine. “The more masculine you present yourself, then we will love you, accept you, praise you. The more effeminate you are, we tend to shy away because we don’t want to be seen with you, we don’t want to be guilty by association. Even if [a person] is not gay, but because a friend is, that person will stop associating with them because they don’t want people to think that’s what they do.”
Dean was molested at the age of 13 and his mother was a prostitute and a heroin addict who died of AIDS as well as his 19-year-old brother. Rather than pull a former lover out of the closet, he hopes open discussions about homosexuality will lead to acceptance in the community – something he believes will decrease the rate of heterosexual black women contracting HIV through sex with DL brothers. Gotta love a black man who truly loves black women.
“Hiding in Hip Hop” is in stores now.