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02 July 2012

Comments

Young

And of course you have to post the most outrageous photos, right Rod?

elg

"Are Black Gay Men the "Mammies" of Reality Television?"

I would say that the answer to your question is a definite YES.

Alonzo

@ Young: It's very telling that you choose to focus more on what photo Rod posts than on Dwight or Lawrence's atrocious behavior. It doesn't matter what photo he posts, luv. They're the ones on video with so much to choose from.

ATL Kid

Dwight is an ancient mess, chile. A. Mess! An old snow queen who does not like other black men and black gay men ... and who pulls stunts to rent white boys by the hour. How dreadful!

Bourbon Street

Yes, most black gay men on reality tv are stereotypes but most black gay men on tv are stereotypes. And sorry to say it but Lafayette on True Blood is a prime example.

Byron in PGC

"Are Black Gay Men the "Mammies" of Reality Television?"

Yes, yes and YES!

Quest

Very good article btw Rod, this is definitely a topic long overdue in our community. @ Bourbon Street....I have to disagree with you, though True Blood's character Lafayette can sometimes act in the vein of over the top look at me type moments the article discussed .. he also brings a certain depth, honesty, vulnerability, physical strength and quick witts that departs from a lot of gay black male representation on television. Not to mention his character also had the opportunity to show his personal romantic side with another fellow gay character of color while most shows choose to opt out of showing any side of that.

Lastly, I think the point of the article is that we should not be characterized in one shade only as we all know we come in many forms and types and should be represented as such. There are some us that are more in the vein of The Wires "Omar", to cast members of "Noah's Arc" and everything in between.

Dalton

Thanks so much for bringing this up Rod. The issue has vexed me for a very long time.

As much as I love my people and want to support my brothers, we as a people, Black people first made a complete fool of ourselves on talk shows and now have done even more damage on reality shows. Black gay men have emerged looking "dreadful", as Dwight would say.

We basically are presented as snap queens wearing heels and makeup, presenting fashion and styling advice. No more, no less. It's really a mess and sadly every silly queen who wants 15 minutes of fame is allowed.

DT

Dwight is doing better than most of you haterz!

Former COGIC

@DT: Actually, judging by that photo, Dwight looks a mess. But if it's easier to call anyone who diagrees a "hater", go for it. I have a masters degree and my own business. I'm not rich but I do okay for myself.

Turning to serious matters: The article makes some very good points. I have to agree with Quest and Dalton. Just because someone is on television does not mean they are fabulous or validate their behavior. Sorry to say, most of "us" on tv reality shows are little more minstrels. I don't look for accurate portrayals in reality shows, just tired of the stereotype over the top queens.

Re Lafayette: I don't think he is a stereotype. He's complex and multidimensional. He's supposed to be a black gay man in the deep south. I'm not expecting a circuit boy. That's about right.

Henry TW

The article and comments are on point. I wish a younger crowd were reading this, tho. In my opinion many of them want to be famous for doing nothing and that is why they are on these shows.

Henry TW

The article and comments are on point. I wish a younger crowd were reading this, tho. In my opinion many of them want to be famous for doing nothing and that is why they are on these shows.

fff

makes you long for the variety of characters in Noah's Arc sometimes...

there just arent that many gay black characters on TV these days, reality or not.

and Dwight just may have more wealth than me. Good for him. Rush Limbaugh does too, and I would never ever ever want to be him or anything associated with him.

Just because someone has more money doesnt mean they are "doing better".

GA

**waving handkerchief @ FF, COGIC and Quest**

Preach my brothas!

King Drive

Cosign FFF, Quest, Former Cogic and Dalton.

nina

yes yes and yes great article way overdue

Charles

The shows are over the top. Everyone is bitchy and full of drama. What else can be expected than they would want black gay males to act the same way? It's all about presenting caricature, not character. The more sad thing is that thousands of young gay men feel that the drama filled female is their only role model. I have a feeling dozens of young gay black males would put on pumps and make up without much prompting from TV. Much of gay life "style" is really just theater and drama.

And maybe just maybe the "mammy" hair dressers and "stylists" are making a good living at whatever they do. Unlike poor Topsy who had to make do with misses rags--if she could fit into them.

elg

We seem to agree that black gay men are mainly stereotypes on tv these days.

Makes one long for the days of 'Noah's Arc', doesn't it?

So what are we going to DO about it? What CAN we do about it?

Kevin

I'm with COGIC and Quest on Lafayette: he's far from a stereotype. I think the key to changing media images of black gay men is to put pressure on/encourage those black gay men who are in a position to green light projects that show our diversity do so.

The second option is to go the DL Chronicles route--that is produce a series that operates outside the mainstream format. Then again, we are talking about reality TV, which is a mainstream outlet.

As for Dwight, she's croopping up on other shows. This time it's the Real Mistresses of Altanta. Check this out:

http://kclarkscorner.blogspot.com/2012/06/here-we-go-again-real-mistresses-of.html

Latavia J

I agree with most of you that we are portrayed as "Mammies." But, at least we are portrayed. I have grown tired of the cliche stereotyped gay white man (a la The A List and so many other shows that portray them as the must have and extremely lovable/funny/loyal accessory). Black gay men can shine (albeit, like Mammie) too.

Steve

The observation is relevant and worthy of discussion but I would like to see more representations not less of fabulous queens, drag divas and over the top personalities. Definitely elevate interesting people above 'gay best friend' status and show them as fully realized, multi dimensional people. "Mainstream" gays owe much to Sylvia Rivera and Marsha P Johnson (google them if you don't know). Fabulous doesn't need to equal marginal.

Former COGIC

@ Latavia: "I agree with most of you that we are portrayed as "Mammies." But, at least we are portrayed. "

Really? So you're satisfied with a stereotytped, stock caricature just because it's black and gay? Did you say the same about 1970s blaxploitation movies and 1930s/40s mammie and maid roles?

Newsflash: "We" are not being portrayed. Lawrence, Dwight, Miss J and all the others are individuals. Unfortunately it's all the same type of individuals who are being "cast" (or more likely "created") in these shows.

And how is this any different than being a "lovable/funny/loyal accessory"? Black gay men ARE the sassy accessories, darling. Or did you miss that point?

BTW: Say what you will about white gay men on television or reality television. At least they're beyond the point of acting like outrageous buffoons just for some recognition. And at least they can get their own shows, even though those A List shows were awful.

Black gay men are conditioned to accept mediocrity in career, love and life. "We" don't have much as a community because we always accept the minimum. "We" are fine with pastors, athletes, actors, politicians and tv shows making fun of us. Because at least we're being portrayed, right?

iAm(A)ga(Y)te-keeper

Sadly the answer is YES

Lang B

YES they are.

Eugene

The answer is YES, YES, YES.

COGIC gives a good break down as to why.

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