Hip Hop and Homophobia: A Love Story
[caption width="2048" align="alignnone"] Love and Hip Hop: Hollywood's (L-R): Siir Brock and Milan Christopher [/caption] Ok... When I first heard about "Love and Hip Hop: Hollywood" adding two gay male characters my first thought was "FINALLY!! They're finally going there." Then I thought, "Wait is America ready for this?" But ultimately the most important question I thought "is HIP-HOP ready for this?" For context sake, I'm gay (duh...) so hearing stories like this aren't that foreign to me but for mainstream America it can be a culture shock. ESPECIALLY in Hip-Hop, where hyper masculinity runs prevalent and the thought of your favorite rapper being homosexual isn't even an option. So to put that type of love story at the forefront of not only Black America's most popular shows but AMERICA'S most popular show is a risky move. Let's start at the beginning, although the relationship amongst the LGBT community and mainstream America seems to be getting better as a whole there is still this taboo nature in the African American community regarding homosexuality. So much so that the mere mention of anything "gay" will elicit reactions of disgust and even cause people to disown family members in certain cases. So when it comes to Hip-Hop, which is widely considered to be a straight black males primary mean of expression, homosexuality is usually frowned upon (save for lesbianism which is often lauded). It hasn't been until recently with shows like "Empire" and now with "Love and Hip-Hop: Hollywood" that we even acknowledge on a grand scale that homosexuality could exist in the rap game and that it is a REAL issue in the African American community. But unlike "Empire" and their "gay character" Jamal (who in my opinion has been written for the show perfectly) "Love and Hip Hop: Hollywood" is a reality show based depiction of gay love in the Hip-Hop community, which has me worried. There's a degree of "messiness" that is required to be in reality television and dealing with the issue of gay male love in hip hop is still a new and sensitive issue. So much so that it needs to be addressed with care and not with "ratchetivity" for the camera's sake. My primary concern with this is that I hope the two love interests (Milan Christopher and Siir Brock) are depicted in a way that is more informative and less exploitative for ratings. There has only been one episode shown so far so I will reserve judgment on how I view the characters but I will definitely be tuned in to see how it plays out. What are your thoughts about how homosexuality and hip hop co-existing in the main stream media? Do you think there will ever be a time where the topic will be fully accepted?