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9 comments | Monday, November 02, 2009

So the headline was a bit extreme but you get my point. Photos of R&B singer Steph Jones dressed in drag along side girlfriend Jordin Sparks for Halloween have been making the rounds on the "urban blogs" and are causing a flurry of perceived negative speculation on the singer's sexuality.

The talented singer who recently released the soulful independent lifetape "Gravity" has been dating American Idol winner Jordin Sparks off and on for some time and embraces all of his fans including those who are LGBT, so his willingness to break outside of the gender conformity box for one night doesn't surprise most-nor is it any indication of his "secret sexuality", at least to critically thinking people.

However, the uproar that has ensued online since the photos have been released and the warnings from some black men and women to Sparks "to watch out for her man and to protect herself" are laughable, infuriating, and wreaks of a double standard I had to address.

Why is it that black folks don't seem to have a problem with drag queens when they flock to the theater in droves to see Tyler Perry as Madea, whose drag is not reserved for a holiday but multiple times throughout the year I might add, but are collectively waving their hypocritical finger at Steph Jones?

Are we really that conservative and uptight as a people? Or has black straight folks really convinced themselves in the midst of all the praying, shouting, and buff black bodies in Perry's films that the man in drag is really straight? Pleassseeee. Where is Spike Lee when you need him?

I'm done venting. Seriously black people, get it together.

Just in case you're wondering what Steph looks like out of drag:


<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

YASSSS! Well written. Outside of being a Steph Jones STAN, and director of my local chapter of Geightown, the double standard is ridiculous. In the meantime, all these rap ninjas are going to jail left and right and no one has anything to say. SMH.

November 02, 2009 1:19 PM

<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

Preach! I agree...but its ALL races that need to get it together, not just black. Its uptight, close-minded, conservative AMERICA that doesn't know how to have an open mind. Steph is a true creative and is from out of this world. Commercial America has no clue as to what being different and unique means and being able to embrace raw talent God gives you to express. America needs to mature so bad. Look at the whole Eastern hemisphere of the world, and men AND women can dress/clothe themselves however they like, and NO ONE CARES! Only God can judge us, so start looking at the man/woman in the mirror 1st before you open your childish mouth. Like MJ said it best...C'mon people, lets heal the world.

November 02, 2009 1:22 PM

<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

We still live in a very limited and homophobic world. Then when you add the transgendered into the mix, there's almost a zero tolerence...even from fellow gays. But the black people who flock to see Tyler Perry in drag fully grasp the concept that he's playing a comical over the top female character, just like Jamie Fox did with Wanda, and Martin Lawrence did with Shinaynay. And in many ways these characters are viewed by the public as being actual females. But when there's no script, supporting cast, or funny one liners to accompany a man in drag, he runs the risk of raising a few brows, sparking ignorant comments and accusations. If we're a long way off from basic gay rights, just imagine how far off we are from transgendered acceptance.

November 02, 2009 1:52 PM

<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

& honey i still must take my hat off to miss sparks

she pulled one of the FINEST ones in the industry!

November 03, 2009 5:29 AM

<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

Jordin Sparks? Oh honey he need to be with ME!
But anyone he's a really cool guy. I saw him on BScott's show and really got into his music.

November 03, 2009 12:34 PM

<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

Is it really accurate to call Steph Jones a "drag queen", Darian? You call them both drag queens--maybe that's why you're confused about their different receptions. Maybe it's because I spend so much of my time around transgender people, but in my community, a drag queen is strictly a performer. A man who acts out female parts for the enjoyment of others. Tyler Perry fits that definition. I'm not sure Steph Jones does.

Tyler Perry performs in drag in public for the express purpose of getting laughs. His plays and movies are religious glurge designed to stroke the egos of middle-class black women. Between Madea and his glass closet, his audience is laughing at him every bit as much as they're laughing with him. He "knows his place" and stays in it; that's why straight black America celebrates Tyler Perry.

Steph Jones is dressing in drag and being fem in private for his own enjoyment. He's out and about doing things "regular people" do and refusing to present himself as an object of ridicule. He's refusing to stay in that cage atop a pedestal that straight black America has made for "Real Black Men". Far from disapproving of it, a lot of black men (and women) take that as some kind of personal threat; that's why you see this kind of reaction to him.

If you want another example, think of lesbians. The "lesbians" who live in Pornoland exist for the enjoyment of straight males. The lesbian couple down the street with three kids who stay at those PTA meetings very plainly don't. One is seen as "sexy" while the other is "unnatural".

November 04, 2009 12:07 PM

<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

I have been thinking the same thing for a while now. The best that I can come up with is that some people rationalize that it is ok if you are doing it for money. So for Tyler Perry.... it is just a job. For Steph Jones, it was "pleasure" which raises an eyebrow. As if they write it off as "it's probably just for the money". Do I agree, HELL NO but that seems to be the thought process. Look back at the acceptance of Flip Wilson, Jaye (from the Crying Game), RuPaul, Martin Lawrence, Jim Carey (Vera), Jamie Foxx etc.

November 04, 2009 12:18 PM

<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

Darian, you shouldn't take anything posted on Bossip, MediaTakeOut, Concrete Loop, or any gossip site along those lines seriously because most of the regular posters have juju beads for brains.

The only sites I do look at occasionally is Sandra Rose and Wendyista. The rest I leave the hell alone because they're way to homophobic and ignorant for my tastes...

November 04, 2009 2:25 PM

<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

Steph Jones is a gorgeous and talented Brotha. Him "dressing
up" for Halloween or whatever is
no indication of his possibly being gay. What m-i-g-h-t be is the fact that he is supposedly with the likes of Jordin Sparks.
I've seen too many times where some super sexy mofo hooks up with some ok to pleasant looking girl
(often on the chubby side) as a cover to ward off suspicions and aspersions on his sexuality. Jordin is cute and talented...but
c'mon!!!! Steph Jones? Hmmmm, ok.
Now, I don't personally think Steph is gay.....but should that ever be discovered somewhere down the line, remember this comment. Jordin is on the "virginity kick", too??? Uhhhhhh huh. Ok.


November 04, 2009 6:53 PM


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