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7 comments | Sunday, September 30, 2007

It always amazes me when I find out exactly who’s reading my blog. Initially I assumed that only gay men of color would be interested in reading my thoughts since that is the perspective from which I write, but I’m learning my scope was limited and in reality people from all walks of life log on to this site including Terry McMillan.

The very bitter divorce between Terry and ex-husband Jonathan Plummer has been the subject of countless magazine articles and numerous television shows. Who could forget the infamous Oprah Winfrey Show appearance in 2005 and the shocking $40 million dollar lawsuit that soon followed. Today Jonathan Plummer is living openly as a gay man and has added the title of author to his name after releasing his first novel “Balancing Act”, a book that hasn’t received the warmest reception in some parts of the country.

Over the weekend Terry took the time to leave her thoughts on a post I’d written about an Oakland bookstore’s decision not sell his novel and in true Terry McMillan style she didn’t hold back on her thoughts about Jonathan, the book, or the gay community’s perception of her, reminding us all that she is indeed the victim and not Jonathan.

So have we wrongly accused Terry McMillan of being homophobic? Is Jonathan Plummer simply an opportunist who used her to get ahead? With the release of his book it seems both sides still have a story to tell. Then why not tell it here?

An Invitation To Terry:

Terry I’d like to give you the opportunity to address all of your concerns here on this site. I know there are two sides to every story and if I along with the rest of the gay community have misjudged you based on the information presented, then by all means let’s set the record straight. Starbucks or Coffee Bean? I can be reached at darianoutloud@mac.com , let's make it happen.


<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

The difficulty here is in trying to make black and white an issue that is, quite frankly, dozens of shades of gray. The entire thing is further complicated by the fact that it's personal and private; it's between Terry and Jonathan. But it's a private issue that has been thrust into the public arena by one or the other of them (the answer changes depending on whom you ask).

Since it's now a part of the public arena, I think it's okay for us to become participants in the discussion without sacrificing sympathy or common decency.

There's no way around it: Jonathan deceived Terry. Period. Point blank. And whether or not you believe that Jonathan was justified in doing so—given the homophobic world in which we live—doesn't change that immutable fact.

Though, I must say, how Jonathan's sexuality escaped Terry for nearly 13 years (I peeped Jonathan's game from the moment I saw him during the cameo in How Stella Got Her Groove Back) is beyond me—especially after opening the dog grooming business. I'm of the mind that some of that, for Terry and for the thousands (or maybe millions) of other women married to obviously closeted men, is willful blindness. In other words, "I had no idea" is completely disingenuous. More likely: you knew, intuitively, and ignored your gut feeling.

But that's neither here nor there at this point. What's valuable about this discussion is that we, as gay men, understand that Terry's anger and rage is 100%, completely and totally justified. Whether it was Jonathan's intent from the start or not, he's taking advantage of her financially, falling upon that tried and true, wholly European, "I want to maintain the lifestyle I'm accustomed to" argument to justify his pursuit of Terry's pockets.

What's also valuable is that Terry, and all of the men and women within ear or eyeshot of this circus, understand this: if society would simply STOP scapegoating homosexuals, if religion would stop persecuting homosexuals in the name of God and Jesus and Allah and Yahweh and Buddah and whomever else, if governments would stop terrorizing and dehumanizing homosexuals where ever they find them, if families and friends would stop making homosexuals feel as though their sexuality makes them filthy and unlovable, then maybe homosexuals would have enough self-esteem to stop trying to render themselves invisible by deceptively marrying the opposite sex.

Jonathan owes Terry an apology for deceiving her, because no matter how you slice, no matter what reasons he thinks he had for doing it, he deceived her and he was a lesser man and a coward for doing it. And he needs to go out, find a job, and take care of his damn self. In my mind, he’s not entitled to one red cent of Terry’s money beyond what he’s already used during the marriage because their marriage was proven to have been a sham. What kind of message do we send if we reward a person for deceit? Isn’t it bad enough that our government is a poor model of leadership because of theirs? If the publishing of Jonathan’s book is a step in the direction of self-reliance, then more power to him.

Additionally, Terry needs to apologize to Jonathan for being horribly, venomously complicit—whether consciously, subconsciously, or unconsciously—in a culture that forces homosexuals to hide amongst the heterosexuals. And if how she’s able to deal with her anger and hurt is to write a book about it, then more power to her too!

But what I’d like, more than anything else, is for the both of them to get out of each other’s negative space. I’d like for each of them to stop trying to get the last word. I’d like for both of them to stop taking such pleasure in each other’s misery. I’d like for them to stop consuming themselves with what the other is doing. And finally, once and for all, I’d like for both of them to work on healing themselves, because this entire spectacle is not only sad, it’s pathetic. This tomfoolery only diminishes them, and makes them the subjects of global ridicule.

October 01, 2007 12:53 PM

<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

My response may show a little bias on my part and I apologize up front if my comments seen less than objective.

First, it has been argued many times that – while Jonathan deceived Terry – Terry ought to have been wiser than she was. For a woman of her years, it must be quite flattering for a man 20 + years younger to take an interest. Society seems to think that only men have a market on seeing a mate with someone younger. I wonder whether we’d even be talking about it if Jonathan made advances to someone in his own age group? Perhaps age was NOT a factor. Maybe Terry just was enamored with the fact that someone was interested in her, irrespective of her age.

Nonetheless, it is out there, the facts are what they are, and presumably this will serve as a learning milieu for all who seek relationships. People need to take more responsibility for the people they let into their lives rather than lash out in anger at the other person when things don’t work out as they had planned.

I can only do to you what you allow me to do.

October 01, 2007 1:47 PM

<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

I think both parties should act like adults and keep their private matters private. They should also move on and learn from this situation.

I will say that both people are examples of what's wrong with many marriages today, and why so many end in divorce. Terry acted like she wanted a toy, so she really shouldn't be surprised when her toy actually turned out to be a real human, with real emotions, desires, and a brain of his own.

October 01, 2007 3:54 PM

<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

darian honey did u ever think that maybe they both want to use u as another forum to pimp their books??

October 01, 2007 8:59 PM

<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

love your 6th paragraph mr jones.. LOVE it !

October 01, 2007 9:00 PM

<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

Hi, I completely understand some of the comments left here. I think that ANY partner in a romantic relationship that has been decieved, is justified in feeling decieved. It's like Pink said: if someone said 3 yrs from now, you'd be long gone, I'd stand up and punch their mouth, 'cause they're so wrong. When in love, we are bling to each other's faults. And I think thats true whether we are straight, gay or bisexual. BTW, Im straight. I love your blog.

October 01, 2007 9:20 PM

<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

Hey Darian, we just sent out a press release including a statement from Terry.

Terry McMillan sets the record straight and reveals shocking new details of her relationship with ex-husband Jonathan Plummer with a never heard before ‘tell all’ interview with UNEQ Magazine

New York, NY – October 25, 2007

The female phenom and literary icon takes a break from writing her seventh book Getting To Happy to bring closure to the public frenzy and misinterpretations around her actions during her divorce in an interview that will post to UNEQMagazine.com on Thursday November 15, 2007 at 8:00am EST.
In an exclusive interview with one of the most famed writers in contemporary African American literature, Terry McMillan has issued this statement as to her reasons for speaking out:
“I am not doing this to literally demonize Jonathan Plummer, but he is an evil person to have done the things he has taken pains to achieve. I loved him for years and did everything I could to help him evolve. The reason I told UNEQ Magazine so many of these previously undisclosed details is because he needs to be exposed to the community he is also pimping. He forgets that gay men have sisters and mothers. And it is because he doesn’t care, just like he doesn’t care if he ever goes back to Jamaica. It is the main reason he went on television to announce his homosexuality. He wanted the people in Jamaica to be embarrassed and to hate him so that in the event that our marriage were annulled - his goal was to use the self-generated hatred sure to come from Jamaica so that he would qualify for asylum and be able to stay in this country if his citizenship were revoked or in jeopardy. This is how slick he is. This was the main reason he and his attorney went on Good Morning America and leaked my so-called homophobic insults to the media and included them in court documents. But the public had no idea of this goal because the focus was on ‘Terry the Homophobic Witch’ and not his theft, betrayal or deception. What was it that he gave me that would make any man think that I should pay him spousal support? A grown, healthy, gay man who was all of 31 years old? I did not rent a husband. He tried to paint me as Mommie Dearest and apparently some people bought it because he did to the gay community what he had been so successfully doing to me for years and that was to play the sympathy ‘I’m-the-victim’ card. And he is certainly a very high-profile victim who has taken every opportunity he could to take advantage of his so-called victimization.”
“What I would really like UNEQ Magazine and members of the gay community to be very cognizant of is what is it that he has done since he came out of the closet that might benefit other gay men (and women) who are afraid to come out? What kind of platform has he chosen to draw positive attention to this problem? In every interview he’s done, not once does he mention anything he’s doing to help other oppressed gay men and women. Someone should ask him about this instead of always focusing on me. I’ve done more and shown more support for the gay community over the years than Jonathan will ever do. What is it he’s doing besides getting a tell-all book published to draw attention to himself with the hopes of making money and once again all by pimping my fame? What has he done? Nothing. The gay men and women who are still suffering in Jamaica have not benefited one iota because of him. Quite the contrary. He gives gay men a bad rep as far as I can see. But he thought everybody was going to love him unconditionally. And look at what a spectacle he is making of himself and a mockery of his sexuality, all for his own personal gain. He could care less about men still in the closet.”
In this shocking no holds barred interview, Terry McMillan reveals some never before discussed details of her marriage ranging from mass amounts of money Jonathan was stealing from her private bank account to when she stumbled upon a discovery that was so disturbing it could make any parent go insane. Log onto UNEQMagazine.com on November 15th for this never before seen interview!

October 25, 2007 3:00 PM


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