My very good friend Rasheed Salahuddin is quickly becoming one of the most respected New Media journalists in the city. He’s interviewing all the movers and shakers of New Orleans, so when he asked me to join a discussion on the marginalization of gays in entertainment along with his co-host, realtor Ayanna Fultz, and rapper Fly Young Red I jumped at the chance. 

Now it was a long discussion, and I was prepared to go even longer because talking to Rasheed is like talking to a big brother. But there were so many positive take aways for me. 

Sometimes we get so wrapped up in our own narratives that it’s good to hear someone else’s as well as be open to questions from the audience. I found Red to be an insightful, charismatic pioneer with a very astute eye for society around him. I was most excited about getting the chance to talk with him because I’ve been a fan of his contributions to Qulture for quite some time. Check out the podcast. I’ll admit it was long so if you have to come back to it I understand. If you have any additional questions drop em in the comments and I’ll be glad to answer.

It was also good for me to reflect on how my contributions to Qulture can be misinterpreted. Sometimes when an artist is having a disconnect with his audience we don’t get the opportunity to find out where that is. Through our conversation I took a lot of heed to the things Red said in regards to how I’m viewed by the urban black New Orleans crowd. But I respect everyone’s feelings. 

But I did want to address the article I wrote about Marvin (which you can read here). It was one of my favorite to write because he was literally my gay hero this year. So to find out this camp wasn’t feeling me because I shared the camel fall that everyone else shared kinda hurt my feelings. I’m still receiving death threats in my Instagram inbox from the Mardi Gras Indian who I called out in the article for publicly gay-bashing Marv. So I’ll admit it stung that the camp I was speaking up for didn’t see it that way. 

But Red gave me some really good advice from that exchange that I’ll take with me forever.

“You can’t control how people perceive your art.”

I want to publicly apologize if Marvi or Red felt any disrespect for me posting the camel fall to my instagram. But I thought the second line was an amazing Qultural event and thought someone should write about it, so I did. But I would never want to add to anyone’s burden. If I did. I deeply apologize. If it’s one group that will always have my unconditional loyalty its black men.

I’m glad we got to talk that out though and I was able to walk away with a better understanding on how I’m perceived.

So I have to thank Rasheed for creating a safe place for me to express my perspective when I know personally that he receives a lot of pushback for doing so. He also received a lot of “gay-shaming” for even tackling this issue which in itself is proof of the marginalizations we place on each other within this community. I also thank Ayanna for graciously opening her home to host us and the opportunity to sit down and share ideals with Red!

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Vitamin Q (VQ) is a writer, blogger personality, and a social commentator. He irreverently analyzes how social issues affect individuals in modern society by using sarcasm, humor, and intellect, creating his own unique blend of Southern SHADE, purely for the purpose of helping like minds cope. “I say it so you don’t have to!”
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