One would think the answer to this question would be a resounding yes after the success of Noah's Arc and The DL Chronicles, but sadly both of those shows have been cancelled and there's almost no black LGBT representation in prime time.
That may all soon change once Maurice Jamal's Friends and Lover's debuts on the small screen. A spin-off of Jamal's first independent feature The Ski Trip, Friends & Lovers stars Terrell Carter (yep, you read right), Jackee' Harry (227, Sister Sister), Kairon John (Noah's Arc), John Rankin (The Ski Trip), Ben Patterson (Noah's Arc), Debra Wilson (MAD TV), & Ray Cunningham (College Hill).
Friends and Lovers has been gaining quite a buzz during screenings at film festivals and Pride events across the country. Most recently at The Philadelphia International Gay & Lesbian FIlm Festival where it was warmly received.
Bet.com television critic Michael Arceneaux recently chatted with cast member Ray Cunningham about the potential risk of bringing the lives of black gays and lesbians before a national audience and whether or not Americans are ready to see the black LGBT community depicted on screen.
“I honestly don’t feel even with a Black president that America is ready to accept a Black gay program", says Cunningham. It seems everyone is used to the co-starring gay characters with the two quick-witted lines. Our lifestyles are often made out to be spoofs but in the real world we have the same varying issues as heterosexuals.”
According to Cunningham director & creator Maurice Jamal is in the final stages of confirming a network that will be the home for his new series that will include LGBT as well as straight characters on screen.
Regardless if America is ready for this project or not, the images of LGBT people on television and in film should reflect the true makeup of the community. It's unacceptable in 2009 that many in the black community fail to recognize gay people of color exist and it's equally frustrating that black LGBT's have very few images in the media to identify with.
Will you be watching Friends & Lovers when it debuts? Get into a sneak peek in the video below: