Thursday, May 22, 2008

More from Terrance Dean's Secret Invasion of the gay hip hoppers

So in, Terrance Dean, the author of Hiding in Hip Hop On the Down Low in the Entertainment Industry — from Music to Hollywood was interviewed about his book. Here are some highlights.

Where do you keep your list of names and corresponding fake names?

[Laughs] Writing the book of course I had to keep my notes. I am a journalist, first and foremost. I used to write for the New York Sun and the Tennessean. I keep notes and I have those in a very safe place. [Laughs] To make sure I don't forget who's who because I knew I had to change everyone's name. Yes.

Do you think at any point you would reveal any of those names? Why or why not? No. I didn't write this book as a way to demean or out anyone or to do damage to anyone's careers. I think or I hope first and foremost that [people] can understand and recognize that this is my memoir. It is a memoir of my life as a down-low man in the entertainment industry. I wrote it with the intention of hoping to provide a voice for not only myself but a lot of people who are in the industry or are struggling with their sexuality but also those people who are down-low men or gay men who are looking to get into the business and they can't. It's been really empowering — the experience of writing this book and knowing that I didn't have to out anyone to do that or to tell that type of story.

How do you respond to people who question how true or accurate your accounts in this book are in light of recent news that several high-profile memoirs have been found to be mostly or partly untrue?

Two things. One, is that I have over 10-plus years working in the industry, which anyone can verify — both my name, and call any of the companies I've worked for. I've worked for major companies and corporations in the production field such as MTV, BET, Warner Brothers. I name all of the films and the projects in the book. Anyone who is resourceful can verify that information. There are some things you definitely can't [fake] in the entertainment industry because there are production records. The great thing, as you said, in light of the memoirs that have been proven to be false or fabricated, Simon and Schuster, the legal team got involved and verified a lot of the information in my book, to protect themselves but also to protect myself.

My view: Mess. How is this helping people come out, when he has list of gay stars hidden under his bed. And again, selling it as "I'm gonna tell you who's gay in Hip Hop whether you like it or not" as a memoir is an old and shoddy tactic. If he wanted people to take his story seriously, he should take his story seriously.

And the part about the fabricated pieces is a weak response. I can work at Macy's, in fact I have. But I could lie about my affairs with managers. If they are closeted how would they confirm the truth?

The funny part is he writes empowering books for black men. It's almost saying that Rhoda Penmark (The girl from, The Bad Seed) writes books about being a good child. I hope this doesn't take off, this book should be in the dollar stores or burned. Where is Captain Beatty and the firemen when you need them.


Son of Baldwin said...

One of my biggest questions about this gentleman is: How in the heck did he get let into anyone's "Down-Low Society" when he is so very OBVIOUSLY gay?

Not to disparage my feminine-looking and feminine-sounding brothers in any way, shape or form, but this guy's behavior gives him away from the jump. I'm hardpressed to believe he'd be a member of any down-low clique given the fact that you'd have to be "straight-acting" to be invited and accepted. This guy is anything but that.

So I find the core idea of his memoir (that he was a part of this society and thus privvy to all the DL goings-on) incredibly suspect.

P.S. Wonder Man, I love your blog!

Francis L. Holland Blog said...

Maybe It's Just Me, I really like the flavor of your blog.

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Viktor is a small town southern boy living in Los Angeles. You can find him on Twitter, writing about pop culture, politics, and comics. He’s the creator of the graphic novel StrangeLore and currently getting back into screenwriting.