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3 comments | Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Broadway alum Cornelius Jones Jr. has come a long way from his humble beginnings as an adolescent growing up in conservative Richmond, Virginia. From The Duke Ellington Performing Arts High School, The University of The Arts, to a six year run in the Broadway cast of The Lion King and more recently his one man show Flag Boy, life hasn't always been a bowl of cherries for this talented black gay man.

Jones recently spoke to Metro International about the internal struggle of being both black and gay while simultaneously trying to break down the walls within his community that told him he should be ashamed of who he was.

From Metro International:

“I didn’t want to be associated with the weakness and nastiness that gay people were defined by in my neighborhood,” Jones remembers of his time growing up on a predominantly black street in Richmond, Va. “In my neighborhood, church and school, gays were constantly shunned, ridiculed and picked on.”

When he was 15, Jones moved to Washington, D.C. to stay with family friends and attend a performing arts high school — “and also to get away from the constant bullying I received,” he said.

But they soon learned that he was gay and he was kicked out of the house. It was then that he had to confront his parents with his real identity.

His mother gave him one piece of advice: “Do what you do behind closed doors.”

It would be a lifetime of pain and struggle that would teach him that his mother’s advice was no way to awaken a black community deeply rooted in religion to the rights of gays.

Today Jones is living out loud on stage in Flag Boy, a one man show written by himself that chronicles his early experiences as a black gay man.

D.C. audiences will get a chance to see Flag Boy during the Capital Fringe Festival for 4 shows only July 10-11, 25-26. Get into a preview in the clip below.

Thanks Bernie & Maurice Runea


<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

This looks great. I wish Mr. Jones would take the show on the road and come to ATL... hey can stay at my place... (wink, wink)

June 09, 2009 7:02 PM

<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

It seems like there should be more to that linked article. The ending is abrupt. And the article on the black lesbian that is mentioned on that page is inaccesible also.

Maybe there is more in the print edition?

June 10, 2009 1:15 PM

<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

Hi Darian,

Awesome job with all that you do and thanks for this post.

Contact me so we can stay connected: iamlifejones@gmail.com


July 03, 2009 10:09 AM


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