A host of black celebrities hit the red carpet on World AIDS Day for the Black AIDS Institute annual "Heroes In The Struggle" event and Janora McDuffie, co-host of No More Down Low TV was on hand to get their reaction to the level of homophobia in the black community and the challenge it poses to combating new HIV/AIDS infections.
Actor Boris Kodjoe was surprisingly candid in his response: : "If we were more liberal and more open and give people who are struggling with their own identity the confidence and the encouragement to be free and to be themselves I think that would be a milestone. Stop the hypocrisy. Stop with the whole BS that God doesn't approve. Bullshit. God loves everybody so live your life."
Also on hand was actor Omari Hardwick who played the controversial down-low character in Tyler Perry's For Colored Girls. You can read our piece on the down-low storyline in the film on Advocate.com and The Daily Voice.
Hardwick addressed his character and men who are forced to live double lives: "I think we have to do a much better job of embracing and appreciating each other for who they are particularly in our race. We'e killing people double-fold. We're destroying them for who they wake up as everyday and how they then take that character (no pun intended) and they live it everyday from that point on. We have to do better."
Nice to see influential black straight allies speaking out on this issue. Also on hand were Magic and Cookie Johnson, Blair Underwood, Loretta Devine, and Jesse Williams(Grey's Anatomy).
Watch the red carpet interviews below: