With his bestselling book, Hiding In Hip Hop – On The Down Low in the Entertainment Industry from Music to Hollywood, celebrity insider and veteran entertainment industry journalist Terrance Dean lifts the lid off of Black Hollywood's highly secretly "DL" community. Part memoir and part expose', the red-hot page-turner peels away at the identities and reckless lifestyles of some of entertainment's biggest stars.
The Robertson Treatment recently spoke with Dean to get the scoop about this hidden community.
Why did you write this book?
I wrote this book to expose the truth about how the entertainment industry goes to great lengths to keep the lives of gay celebrities a secret, even if an artist has the desire to disclose their sexual identity. Many same gender loving men and women of color who are a part of the entertainment industry feel as if they have no voice within a culture that demonizes and dehumanizes them. This book is a testimony of my life and the journey of coming to terms with my sexuality and the power of living into my truth.
Can you offer any clues as to the identity of any well-known stars on the DL?
As I mentioned in my book there is a high-profile rapper/actress, who has been nominated for several awards, including an Oscar, who also has dated a few WNBA players, and a R&B songstress from the early 90's. Another is an extremely popular male R&B singer who has written for Rhianna, Beyonce, and other great R&B singers, who has broken the mold of superstardom with his popular ballads and signature sound. He's been seen with beautiful women, but they are cover girls and provide the perfect cover-up for his hidden secret.
Why does the African American community have such a hard time accepting homosexuality?
The African-American community has a hard time accepting homosexuality because of inaccurate information that surrounds the lives of same gender loving people. The images of gay and homosexuality people are often negatively portrayed and presented. Sex and sexuality are seen as taboos in the black community, so we are afraid to have a dialogue about those topics because we might be perceived as sexual deviants. So, we stand by and watch our friends and family members who are gay being ridiculed. Too many of us have stood silently by as the epidemic of HIV/AIDS kills our family members, the pregnancy rate among our teenagers continue to rise, and the irresponsibility of men who create several children with several different women is tolerated. Things are getting better – attitudes are improving, but we have a long way to go....
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