‘Love & Hip Hop Hollywood’ Cast Members Discuss LGBT Issues on ‘Out in Hip Hop’ [VIDEO]
With the Supreme Court ruling in favor of same-sex marriage earlier this year as well as Caitlyn Jenner coming out as transgender, the LGBT movement has been in the spotlight heavy in 2015. And while there has been a move for progression in regards to sexual equality, being out in hip-hop is still something that's left deep in the closet.
Since Milan Christopher and Miles Brock's relationship is a central focus on 'Love & Hip Hop Hollywood' plus the fact Miles just came out, VH1 hosted a roundtable discussion about homosexuality in hip-hop on Monday night (Oct. 19). Hosted by ABC News correspondent T.J. Holmes, LHH: Out in Hip Hop brought together LHH Hollywood cast mates Miles, Milan, Ray J and Fizz as well as DMC, Big Freedia, Buttahman and Chuck Creekmur, co-founder and editor of AllHipHop.com.
"I just want people to judge me for my music and my talent rather than who I lay with," Miles admitted. "And it's easier in the game. I've never seen, outside of Freedia, an out gay rapper ever, especially in the West Coast. That was forbidden in hip-hop in general."
Buttahman, who was also in the closet at first, admitted that hip-hop is still very much a boys club. "So if you're no longer one of the guys, you don't get invited to the exclusive stuff that's going on because you're not perceived as one of the guys anymore."
"With hip-hop, it was like you could be gay, but you couldn't be a rapper," DMC explained. "You could be the gay stylist, the gay camera person. You could be the gay choreographer... So in this industry, if you were everything except the rapper, you were cool."
He went on to say, "With hip-hop, we use disrespect as a form of power, and y'all got it bad. But in hip-hop, we disrespect the hell out of women. So what do you think they're going to do to a gay man?"
Fly Young Red, who is an openly gay rapper, was also on the show and talked about making music that geared toward his community. "I felt it was under-served community," he said, explaining his song, "Throw That Boy P---y." "I am gay and had to listen to songs telling a girl to shake their ass or whatever like that. I wanted to make a song to make my people dance and talk to my people."
Aside from the issues surrounding homophobia in hip-hop, the discussion also turned to how religion and family play a role in the conversation. With church leaders, who are both gay and straight, on the stage, everyone spoke on their views regarding this issue.
And while a number of them proudly said that all are loved regardless of sexual orientation, there are others like Pastor Jamal Bryant, who doesn't necessarily agree and admitted that his church offers counseling to anyone who's gay but wants to be straight. "I think people can be transformed from their way of life," the pastor said.
The panel also discussed the double standards around bisexual men and women as well as transitioning and the violence toward trans men. By the end of the conversation, it's clear that there is still a lot to discuss regarding LGBT issues, the black community and hip-hop. However, this seems to be one step forward to get the conversation going. Just look at what Ray J learned from being a part of the conversation below.