Becoming famous is difficult enough on its own. When you include the challenges of being a black gay couple in public, climbing into the spotlight can seem insurmountable.
Public perception is everything. These couples are the best at what they do and beloved enough that being gay only adds to what makes them incredible. They live their truth in public despite the prejudices many people may have.
The general public is resistant to what they consider different. The following couples have each become famous for excellence in different fields.
All black gay celebrities go through incredible challenges to achieve their dreams. When they find each other and love in the process, the results are magical.
Becoming a Famous Figurehead of the Church
There’s nothing more familiar to many gay brothers and sisters than to be rejected from church because of your sexuality. Rejection from your church family often comes hand-in-hand with rejection from your actual family. The damage can be catastrophic.
So what happens when a gay, black man becomes the Bishop of The Vision Church? You’d better believe it catches a lot of attention.
Oliver Clyde Allen 3rd is the Bishop of The Vision Cathedral of Atlanta. He is also on the Presidential Advisory Council for HIV/AIDS (PACHA) as appointed by former President Barack Obama.
Allen is famous for his many contributions to the awareness of HIV/AIDS. He is also well-known for his empowerment tours to minority communities across the USA.
He’s worked with the White House and media outlets such as BET and CNN to spread love, acceptance and understanding to communities all over the world.
Allen is married to Rashad Burgess, the community liaison for Gilead Sciences Inc. Burgess also previously worked spreading HIV/AIDS awareness working for the HIV/AIDS division of the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention.
Allen and Burgess have both fought religious and social persecution to get where they are now. But because of their efforts, they have become nation-wide leaders that protect against the spread of HIV and lower prejudice internationally.
Their marriage gets stronger every year because of the connection they feel through their religious beliefs. Often the catalyst for demonising gay men, religion, in this case, can form an inspiring gay bond.
Celebrity Couple in a traditionally “straight” Sport
Darren Young wasn’t always forward with his sexual orientation throughout his career. He feared for his reputation and ability to climb the ranks as a professional wrestler.
For years, keeping his secret meant living a lie. But Young felt the pain was worth it as he continued to surpass other wrestlers in his calibre and became a WWE Superstar.
Eventually, however, he couldn’t continue the lie. Young wanted to be allowed to bring his boyfriend to WWE matches. He’d be unable to do that if he told the security guards at the events that Nick Villa was only his friend.
So in August 2013, he finally bit the bullet and told TMZ that he was gay and in a two-year relationship. Young’s fans were shocked. However, at that moment, he gained an influx of new fans who loved him for his honesty. One of these new fans was Ellen DeGeneres, who invited him onto her show and interviewed him about his decision to come out.
Since then, Young has been an inspiration to black gay sports celebrities and players worldwide. He’s shown them and us that it’s genuinely possible to succeed and thrive, even in a straight-dominated environment. Young gave the ultimate example to young people: they can be themselves and still succeed despite their differences.
Celebrity Film-Making Couple. Oh, and the Wedding of the Century
Quincy Lenear and Deondray Gossett are possibly the poster-boys of long-lasting gay relationships. The men are successful indie filmmakers who have been together for more than 20-years. They discovered while promoting their TV series in the USA and Europe that no matter what was meant to be discussed questions would often come around to their long-lasting relationship.
Wherever they held their press junkets, the two filmmakers were unable to escape questions about how they made their relationship work for so long.
Because of the constant questions, they realised that there was a void for black gay men to get proper relationship advice. They filled this void with an online talk show and website called ‘The Outside of Relationships’ in 2007.
Although ‘The Outside of Relationships’ did a lot to raise their visibility in black gay communities, the most widely seen event of their relationship was their 2004 wedding.
The wedding took place during the 56th Grammy Awards, officiated by Queen Latifah herself, who also married 32 other couples at the same time. This wedding was one of the biggest and most watched moments in Grammy history.
These two black gay men now widely known as “the Grammy couple” continue to work in film and television. They run their own projects including a vlog where they published relationship advice.
Black Gay and Married at The Grammys
Another couple married at the same Grammy awards ceremony was husbands Jamal and Octavius Terry-Sims.
Jamal is a dancer and director who rose to prominence for the documentary film ‘When the Beat Drops.’
Jamal was already known for his work with Cirque Du Soleil and Ru Paul’s Drag Race before releasing the film in March 2018.
Octavius is also well known in the industry. He, however, is not known for being in front of the camera but dresses those who are in front of the camera.
The two men stepped out recently in suits that Octavius designed to attend the Los Angeles premiere of Disney’s Aladdin, a film that Jamal choreographed.
They use their public profile to set an excellent example of how to succeed and forge a path for the next generation.
Black Gay Couple Together 46 Years
Lewis Duckett and Billy Jones wrote coded letters to each other during Dr Jones’s deployment in Vietnam. Together 46 years, they adopted a baby, became grandfathers and then, finally, got married. Source: NYTimes.
Each of these men has beaten religious, sport, and public stereotypes to become respected and famous in their chosen profession.
There are not many visible celebrity black gay couples in the spotlight. These relationships have lead by example. They show us all that anything is possible.
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