Contributing blogger Darian Aaron is an Alabama native who now calls Atlanta home. He’s the creator of Living Out Loud with Darian, a blog that offers his take on social, political and religious issues that impact the LGBT community.
Atlanta resident Tyler Perry’s latest film “Madea Goes to Jail” may have topped the box office with more than $40 million in ticket sales over its opening weekend, but that’s not the only thing that has Hollywood talking.
Legendary Village Voice columnist Michael Musto is the latest voice in a chorus of folks urging Perry to come out of the closet.
“Assuming the gaydar of millions is on target as usual, why won’t the guy come out already? Is he living on the down low? Is it because he feels his audience is largely homophobic? Well, if your message is love and peace and all that jazz, why would you want to pander to a bunch of haters?” Musto adds, “Come on, Tyler. Take off your dress for a second and call The Advocate.”
Perry’s been dealing with persistent gay rumors since he made the leap from the “chittlin circuit” and achieved mainstream success with a string of hit movies dealing with the black experience primarily from a Christian perspective.
“It used to bother me a whole lot in the beginning, it really, really did,” Perry said in a 2007 interview with Essence. “But what it’s done is give me firm seating in my manhood. And if some people can’t separate the character from the man that I am, then that’s their issue, not mine.”
Say what you will about Perry’s decision not to disclose his (homo)sexuality publicly. If I’ve learned anything it’s that people have to come out in their own time. As long as he’s not using his celebrity or his art to persecute those of us who choose to live our lives openly and honestly then we won’t have a problem.
However, I have to take issue with Musto’s implication of Perry being on the down low. When will white gays, black women, and Oprah realize that this deceptive behavior is not synonymous with black men? Ted Haggard anyone?