After Dwight Eubanks of "The Real Housewives of Atlanta" announced his engagement to a woman, sisters expressed their outrage and fear about the idea that a presumably heterosexual woman could truly live happily ever after with an openly gay man. Whether it's a publicity stunt remains to be revealed, but Terrance Dean, author of "Hiding in Hip Hop," weighs in on what it means to be an honest and openly gay man enjoying love on a two-way street.
Shocked, appalled, flabbergasted, and simply outdone.
That's the reaction many women had when resident gay hairstylist Dwight Eubanks of "The Real Housewives of Atlanta" fame announced his engagement to a woman.
I must admit I too was taken aback by his announcement. I'm a fan of the show and love Dwight's advice and friendship with NeNe. I personally feel every woman needs a gay best friend. It's a necessity just like a pair of Manolo Blahnik pumps. Besides, I also respect the fact that Dwight is an openly gay man who has no qualms about his sexuality. So, like many of you I thought, Why is he getting married to a woman? But, then I thought, Why is this woman marrying an openly gay man? Can't she find a man?
Reality quickly stepped in and I reflected on something I shared in my book, "Hiding In Hip Hop." There are lots of men who have "cover girls," or the term you may be familiar with, "beards." These women knowingly date and marry men who are bisexual or gay. Yes, there are women who have no problem being in romantic or sexual relationships with men who sleep with other men. I saw quite a bit of it in the entertainment business. These women know what they are getting themselves involved in, and the terms and conditions of the relationships. But, it didn't stop there. I met more prominent men outside of entertainment—ministers, doctors, politicians, and businessmen. These men and women have arranged relationships where the women are aware of the men's sexual desires.
Before you begin gasping, clutching your pearls and throwing holy water, close your mouth and breathe. Ladies, you will be alarmed by the number of women who are in relationships with men who have sex with other men. Why do they do it? The reasons vary. They enjoy the companionship. They get the best of both worlds—a friend and a partner with whom they can talk with, have fun, and appreciate their company. It may provide financial stability. It could be for convenience. The list goes on and on. And these women are perfectly happy.
And for the record, not all relationships are based on sex. True, it helps a relationship, but in an arranged situation such as these it may not be important for either party. They both could be looking for something much more meaningful. It's great to have it all, but let's be real—all relationships do not have over-the-top, climbing-the-walls, earth-shattering sex. You will be amazed by the large number of sexless marriages.
The reason a lot of these women keep their arranged relationships secret is simple. Just look at the comments many of you have about Dwight's announcement. I was alarmed by the number of women who responded with resentment and hatred toward Dwight. They vilified, crucified, and cursed him for entering into a relationship with a woman.
Whatever your sentiments may be toward Dwight, the fact remains that many of you are uncomfortable with gay men. Yes, I said it. Many of you have hang-ups. You don't mind having a gay male friend and someone who you can kee-kee with. It's okay when it's another woman's man or child who's gay. But when it hits home you have a meltdown.
I hear women say all the time, "Why don't these down-low and closeted men just come out and say something?" What bothers me is that many women say they want to know the truth, but can you handle the truth? Do you really want to know? A lot of people were upset with me that I didn't disclose names in my book. They felt I was keeping those people in the closet and protecting them. My book isn't about outing celebrities. It is about my personal journey and experience of coming to terms with my with my sexuality and the difficulty I faced.
Don't get me wrong, I agree with a lot of you that a bisexual or gay man should stay in his lane. Don't involve women in your deception. If you are deceiving and lying to women, stop it. Be honest and let the woman make a choice in whether or not if she wants to be involved in a relationship with a man who has sex with other men. However, Dwight boldly told his fiancée his truth. He revealed to her his sexuality and allowed her the opportunity to make a choice in the matter.
What he did is something a lot of down-low and closeted men could and would never do. Hell, he did something many heterosexual men who cheat on their girlfriends and wives and lie about it. Dwight's actions proved his manhood. He's honest from the beginning. He didn't hide, deny, or say he was delivered from being gay. His fiancée knows what she is getting. It is her choice and her option to stay in the relationship. She has the power to do what she feels is best for her.
You say you want honesty, well, now you got it. Yet, when the man is too honest you still point the judgmental finger. So, ask yourself what is it that you really want?
Author Terrence Dean is currently on a college tour at Syracuse University, Brown University and Ohio University addressing issues of misogyny and homophobia in the entertainment industry.