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‘Love & Hip Hop: Hollywood’ Breaks New Ground In Episode 8


‘Love & Hip Hop: Hollywood’ Breaks New Ground In Episode 8

This week’s episode of Love And Hip Hop Hollywood featured the moment everyone has been waiting for. Miles finally tells Amber the truth about his sexuality.

After arriving at the therapy session where Miles is waiting, Amber is clearly prepared for an entirely different outcome. Clearly oblivious as to what Miles is about to reveal, Amber listens intently as he begins to open up. When Miles finally admits to Amber that he has had feelings of attraction towards the same sex, she initially fights back tears while shaking her head. She manages to hold it together until he admits that he’s also been dating a man.

VH1’s Love & Hip Hop: Hollywood is breaking new ground by showcasing a same-sex relationship between two young black rap artists. This season, nearly 4 million people watched as producers Milan Christopher and Miles Brock went public for the first time with their relationship. Last night’s episode featured one of the more compelling moments as cameras followed Miles as he delivered the news of his sexual preference to former girlfriend, Amber, and later to his two older sisters.

“We’ve had same-sex relationships happening around us since the beginning of time,” executive producer Mona Scott-Young told the Los Angeles Times. “But somehow we tiptoe around the subject and we never want to give it the same prominence and visibility as we do heterosexual relationships. Here was an opportunity to do something that was reflective of our time.”

Even so, the decision to air the story line has been risky from the start. Although anti-gay attitudes have begun to recede across the nation with recent rulings on same sex marriage and continued awareness from a slew of advocates, significant resistance remains.

After Monday night’s episode, VH1 followed the emotional hour with a round table discussion, “LHH: Out in Hip Hop,” hosted by journalist and ABC News correspondent T.J. Holmes. Conveyed as a panel of “artists and cultural experts speaking candidly on homophobia within the hip-hop community,” the discussion featured commentary from the likes of Baltimore pastor Jamal Bryant, opinion writer Michael Arceneaux, and LHHH stars Milan, Miles, Ray J, and Fizz among others.

“I just want people to judge me for my music and my talent rather than who I lay with,” Miles admitted. “And it’s easier in the game. I’ve never seen, outside of Freedia, an out gay rapper ever, especially in the West Coast. That was forbidden in hip-hop in general.”

“It’s rappers right now that’s on top of their game that’s gay,” Ray J told the post-show panel. He later said, “Everybody ain’t straight in the business.”

Industry veteran and legendary Run DMC namesake Darryl “DMC” McDaniels echoed Ray J sentiments, but noted that the stigma for recording artists is perilous. “In hip-hop, you can be gay but you can’t be the rapper,” he said. “In hip-hop we disrespect the hell out of our women, so what do you think we’re going to do to a gay man?”

Ray J, who is the brother of R&B artist Brandy Norwood, was adamant in his support for LGBT performers and producers. “I think that we need to get past that. I’m 100 with everybody. But some of my friends don’t get it.”

While one evening of issue-based conversation isn’t enough to properly address the issue, it’s clear that attitudes are changing and this season of LHHH is giving a dose of substance, if only for a few episodes.

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