CNN presents a special report on “Blacks and Gay Equality”. The “down low”, black churches, Obama’s promise of gay equality: CNN anchor Don Lemon poses the issues to a panel of prominent African American men, including authors, college seniors, and preachers, including Tyree ‘DJ Drama Simmons, Bishop Eddie Long, Tyrone McGowan, and Steve Perry.
My favorite quote comes from author Farrah Gray, who says, “Many of us live in the 51st state of the United States: the state of Denial.” He admits the problem of African American homophobia did not come to his attention until the publication of J.L. King’s ground-breaking book, On the Down Low.
Citing a speech by President Obama at the recent Human Rights Campaign fundraiser, the newsclip presents sound bytes about the African American community and its issues with homophobia. Interesting fact: The leading cause of death for African American women, aged 25-34, is HIV/AIDS. Though the assumption by one of the guests is that this is linked directly to the down low, this health statistic is surprising–and worrisome–nonetheless.