In a Huffington Post Black Voices piece, Darian Aaron, a journalist and GLAAD National People of Color Media Institute participant, explains why rapper The Game’s call for closeted gay rappers to come out is both welcomed and misguided.
During a recent interview with DJ Vlad, creator of the popular hip-hop video news site VladTV.com, the platinum-selling hip hop artist was asked if he believed a gay rapper could ever reach Eminem’s status. He responded that he only had a problem with rappers who weren’t openly gay. Aaron writes:
In The Game's call for closeted gay rappers to come out, he fails to address the pervasive and deeply ingrained intolerance among his peers that have caused gay and bisexual rappers to lock the dead bolts on their closet doors. Lyrical hate speech disguised as art is not only accepted, it can be critically applauded. Such is the case of rapper Tyler The Creator, a recent MTV Video Music Awards winner for Best New Artist, who, according to NME Magazine, uses an anti-gay slur and its variants a total of 213 times in his album. This complacence about using such language contributes to a hostile climate, and makes it challenging for gay rappers to come out.
Aaron, who is also the editor of Living Out Loud with Darian, goes on to refute the stereotypes and “urban myths” The Game perpetuated in his remarks about HIV/AIDS:
The Game's logic around gay men and HIV/AIDS transmission may not have raised any eyebrows during the onset of the epidemic in the early 80s when very little information was known about how the virus was transmitted, but there is no excuse to perpetuate false information, especially to his core audience of African-American young adults who are the hardest hit by HIV/AIDS. AIDS is not a gay disease; it's a people disease.
GLAAD worked closely with Darian Aaron and Huffington Post Black Voices to ensure that the stories of LGBT people of color are elevated in the media. We urge our constituents to leave supportive comments on Huffington Post Black Voices to encourage the inclusion of LGBT voices.