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Rapper Lil' Scrappy Claims That "Gay Is the Gateway to AIDS"

July 11, 2012

Kellee Terrell

Kellee Terrell, News Editor for TheBody.com

Over the past week, plenty of African-American celebrities such as Beyonce, Nicki Minaj and Russell Simmons came out in full support for Frank Ocean, an up-and-coming indie hip-hop and R&B artist who on July 4 admitted on his Tumblr blog that he had fallen in love with another man when he was 19.

This past Saturday, Atlanta-based rapper and reality star Lil' Scrappy also showed his support. He told TMZ Live, "I feel like to each his own ... There's a whole gay community and you can't pretend like it's not there. To me [Frank Ocean]'s cool. The music is what really matters."

But in true giveth-and-taketh-away fashion, Scrappy's next series of comments offended just about everyone: the LGBT community, those who do research around HIV transmission and everyone with common sense. He stated that more gay men should come out of the closet to help lower HIV infections among women.

BET.com reported:

"I'm glad that he came out ... so all the real women that love to mess with real men, straight men, we can keep the AIDS situation down, you feel me?" he said.

Pressed by TMZ's Harvey Levin as to whether he was implying that all gay men have AIDS, Scrappy backpedaled.

"No, no ... but it's a doorway. Scientifically. Not from my mouth, this is scientifically," he said.

Scrappy went on to say that the hip hop community would be more tolerant of gay people if more artists within it came out about their sexuality. Rappers who are in the closet should have the courage to identify themselves as gay, he said.

"You a coward if you don't stand up and say that, at the end of the day," Scrappy argued.

Really?

First, gay and bisexual men ARE REAL MEN. Not 3/5, not half or a quarter, but 100 percent real men. I am extremely tired of masculinity in our community being tied to sleeping with and conquering women. It's demeaning, homophobic and quite sexist. And his argument that LGBT folks who remain in the closet are cowards is extremely simple-minded and completely ignores the staunch homophobia that serves as a barrier for people, especially LGBT folks of color, to come out in the first place.

While current HIV rates do show that African-American gay and bisexual men are bearing the brunt of this epidemic, Scrappy is insinuating something else. He is saying that the down low is fueling HIV rates among black women and that if gay and bi men just sleep with their own kind, heterosexual women wouldn't be at risk anymore. But we know that just isn't true -- heterosexual men have HIV too.

And speaking of the science, there are NO studies that back up his jaded and misinformed claims when it comes to HIV in the African-American community. While we do need to focus on personal responsibility (i.e., using condoms), that alone doesn't explain why our rates are so damn high in comparison to that of other races and ethnicities. We have to look to something larger such as poverty, oppression, lack of quality health care, homophobia and institutionalized racism to name a few.

But I digress.

Thankfully, others took him to task, especially on Twitter, which resulted in Scrappy claiming that TMZ took his comments out of context. The Examiner reported that Scrappy tried to clear his name on Twitter:

"I don't have a problem wit gays I just don't do it an I also said scientifically because its proven, we was talkin bout 1 thing not other gates," Lil Scrappy said following backlash from fans and others who read his TMZ story with the headline "closeted gays spread AIDS."

According to Lil Scrappy, people took what he said wrong.

"Ok y'all just took the tmz sh*t wrong cus I was def not sayin that's the only way u can get hiv I mean come on yall just wanna find a reason," Lil Scrappy said via Twitter. "And I respect all y'all comments good or bad that's just ur opinion, thanks for even giving a f**k. Ya feel me."

Sigh.

Dear Scrappy,

Actually, I don't feel you. Regardless of your last-minute acknowledgement that there are other modes of transmission or "gateways," the real issue is that you are running your mouth about a topic that you know very little about, perpetuating myths and exacerbating stigma. Even worse, your inability to recognize that you are wrong and acknowledge that your misinformed views can influence others makes my blood boil.

Educate yourself about HIV before you speak next time. Better yet, don't EVER talk about HIV again. Leave that to the experts and the people living with the disease.

Thanks in advance,

KT

Kellee Terrell is the former news editor for TheBody.com and TheBodyPRO.com.

Follow Kellee on Twitter: @kelleent.


Copyright © 2012 Remedy Health Media, LLC. All rights reserved.



This article was provided by TheBody.com.

See Also
More Views on HIV/AIDS in the African-American Community


Reader Comments:

Comment by: Sabrina (Hawaii) Fri., May. 31, 2013 at 4:08 am EDT
"While current HIV rates do show that African-American gay and bisexual men are bearing the brunt of this epidemic"

U said it urself, it's called statistics. U Seriously cannot be dumb enough not to be able to make the connection! Obviously black women will still contact the HIV, but if the trifling closet power bottoms, would keep it to themselves and stop passing it to women, the disease will stop spreading so damn fast! It is a proven fact that single gay men are whores. I doubt many would even deny this. actually most men in general are whores, but at least if they are tryna get with a woman, there usually is some kind of work that needs to be put in, which takes time. Women are emotional creatures and we need to feel wanted and loved (or maybe just desired) to get in the mood. Men, it's whatever, if the offer is there, that is usually all it takes. Now put 2 men together and what do u get. Multiple partners daily. More chances to spread and selfish a$$holes that know they got it and don't care who they give it to. So yes down- low power bottoms really need to just stick with their own kind! Don't think u are doing us any favors by sleeping with us, it's not like we have any future to look forward to with you. And believe me, short of a tongue, u ain't doing nothing better than a vibrator, so u should stop flattering ur selves. And as far as a tongue goes, other women have them to and I don't have to worry about catching HIV from another woman. So really what are ya'll men really good for anyway?
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Comment by: ken (Seattle ) Fri., Sep. 7, 2012 at 1:18 am EDT
Lil scrappy is right, its statistically proven that ESP in the black community DL men are the main cause of HIV in black woman...wake the F..up and stop being so damnn sensitive!
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Comment by: Nick (Denver) Sun., Aug. 26, 2012 at 9:15 pm EDT
I was a huge fan of Scrappy when I started watching the show. I almost had been into a car accident when he had aired on the radio and commented on his views as "Gay men." I hate to say it but what if his daughter became gay? I feel bad that most of his "GAY" fans now probably wont support and buy his record. Thanks for letting blog...
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Comment by: J-ROC (Baton Rouge, Louisiana ) Fri., Jul. 20, 2012 at 1:47 am EDT
SMH......HIV is a disease that is universal Coming from str8 men, women, and gays. And its not just from sex mostly from drug usage, rape, and people who just are heartless. Do some research Scrappy. Don't be ignorant to the fact!!
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Comment by: Arron (ATLANTA) Tue., Jul. 17, 2012 at 11:05 am EDT
What he said is 100% true. Sometimes we confuse "support for the community" with white lies and denial. And after all of these years and deaths upon death, sickness and sadness--there lives denial, reproducing itself like the virus. It is all so futile.
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Comment by: Julian (Los Angeles,CA) Fri., Jul. 13, 2012 at 10:34 am EDT
Totally agree.
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Comment by: michael (los angeles) Fri., Jul. 13, 2012 at 7:08 am EDT
you can't fix stupid....i think that's scientifically proven.....you feel me?
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Comment by: G.Mack (Miami, FL) Fri., Jul. 13, 2012 at 4:06 am EDT
I understand somewhat of what Scrappy is saying, if your gay & having unprotected sex with other men, I feel you should not keep a women in the dark about it. As far as the AIDS/HIV it's concerned, carelessness uneducated decisions render a lot of people to the disease. I just don't understand the need to have to come out about your sexuality, or the need of gay organizations & parades, if they're claiming equality why so much effort to separate themselves? We don't have heterosexual parades, it doesn't make sense to me. If a gay/lesbian person gets beaten up it's a hate crime, why? Would it not be if a heterosexual was beaten by a gay person? You don't have announce your gay but don't get upset if someone ask you if you are. I'm all over the board with this but a lot was on my mind. The fact that down-low men expose women to AIDS is so high because just like any cheating relationship the chances of getting a disease is escalated. But when its coming from a place were the statistics are the highest, that elevates those risk even greater. I believe that is what Scrappy was trying to say.
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Replies to this comment:
Comment by: michael (los angeles) Tue., Jul. 17, 2012 at 5:16 am EDT
no, that is not what he is saying. that is what you are saying.

the mere fact that he misinterprets what the word "gay" means...the word does not equate the male gender alone.....his comments, as well as yoursm singles out the gay male community. semnatics, perhaps....

second, a hate crime becomes a hate crime if the reason for the crime is due to the fact of his or her specific situation...whether that person was beaten up because he is gay, black, blue, purple. true enough, it's an erroneous term, but so is the distinction of a person based on any sort of differences.

third, gay men or down low men are not the only parties that spread the virus. it "may" be a significant number, but you are discounting the spread of the virus based on straight men who slept with hookers who may be infected. it is the oldest profession in history. sharing needles is also a huge factor. tainted bloods from hospitals.

just for laughs, every other parades are heterosexual parades. what's wrong with putting a theme to a parade and tagging it gay and lesbian. at least they are courteous enough to tag it so if it makes you feel uncomfortable, you can go out of your way to miss it. god knows i have endure the rose parade every year on every freaking station on my television on new years day.

you are right when you say you don't have to get upset when someone ask you if you are gay.....other side of the coin is, why do you have to ask and what business is it of yours and why the need to know? they are claiming equality because society is the one who is singling them out...a good example is going out of their way to make it illegal for gay couples to get married......get the irony? they seek equality because they were already ostracized for being who they are.

why the need to come out with their sexuality? why hide it. mainstream media is not hiding heterosexuality in the media.



Comment by: Jonathan S. (Houston, TX) Thu., Jul. 12, 2012 at 4:42 am EDT
Hey KT,

Lil Scrappy explained what he meant in the interview with TMZ and Apologized. Check It Out, http://www.inflexwetrust.com/2012/07/10/lil-scrappy-talks-stevie-j-fight-frank-ocean-comments-more-with-boss-lady-on-hip-hop-nation/
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