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Orlando Weekly: It surprised me how much self-loathing you went through, even for a gay man. It seems like yours was stronger due to your religious background.

Terrance Dean: Exactly.

OW: How do you justify that with the hatred that was given back to you?

TD: Growing up in a black community, the church plays a huge role in our lives, so I knew that was something I couldn’t turn my back on. There were times where I thought, “Oh my God, I’m going to hell.” It wasn’t until I started becoming more spiritually grounded that I came to the conclusion that I am OK. I’m still a child of God. I think for some people the `gay cure` things may have worked for them, but it’s not for me.

OW: The whole “gay rappers revealed” angle: Do you think that’s the wrong angle to push the book with or is it necessary?

TD: It just so happened that I struggled with my sexuality while I was in the entertainment industry and I met other young men and women who were like myself. So I wanted to show that because we are not willing to have the important dialogue about sexuality, that’s why so many of us are in the closet.

OW: Are you worried about falsely outing certain people because of the very vague descriptions?

TD: The good thing is I did not name names. They are blind-item. It could fit anyone.

OW: What do you think about Ne-Yo? You would think if anyone would be sensitive to the gay plight it would be a songwriter-dancer. What’s going on here and what’s the fix?

TD: If you look at any CD cover, album, magazine cover, generally the guy is standing there with a bunch of women, big houses, all the jewelry and we equate that with masculinity.

OW: Which is strange, because some of the gaudiness, I mean, come on.

TD: (laughs)

OW: I was disheartened with the number of sexual exploits you detailed. They seemed to come always at times where you were close to an internal revelation.

TD: I’m glad you discovered that because I equated sex with love. So many times we do that in society. Besides that, you can’t have an emotional relationship with a “down-low” man. He has a wife, maybe kids. Trying to find an emotional connection there is unrealistic.

OW: I didn’t sense any remorse over the women being deceived in this lifestyle. Do their feelings ever factor into the decisions these men make?

TD: It is unfair to the woman. I always said, “If you’re doing that to her, what makes me think you won’t do that to me?” So I always said no to relationships with women.

OW: The gay encounters are very graphic.

TD: (laughs) I’m sorry! I’m sorry!

OW: But your descriptions of your encounters with women were even more so. Were you throwing a bone to the hetero readers, so to speak?

TD: I knew heterosexual men and women would be reading this book, so yeah. But I also wanted to show the transition. I didn’t just wake up one day and go, “Oh, I’m gay.”

jstrout@orlandoweekly.com

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