BOOK REVIEW – INFAMOUS: The Autobiography of Ta’Leon Goffney

By Nick Delmacy | Posted Feb 27 2015 | 15 Comments  

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If you’re even somewhat aware of the gay adult film industry then you’re familiar with Ta’Leon and Keyontyli Goffney, porn stars turned ex-convicts. Not only were they strikingly handsome models and criminals, they also happened to be identical twins.

Although they’d only appeared in a handful of scenes (a small drop in the bucket compared to today’s erotic actors), the men became overnight sensations in the gay community, mostly due to the novelty of their identical good looks and (erroneous) rumors of onscreen twincest.

As a matter of fact, what most didn’t know at the time is one of the twin brothers is actually very heterosexual. In hindsight, looking at the rare adult scene work they’ve filmed together, you can tell that Ta’Leon was not as “into it” as the others in the scenes. Gay for Pay.

[Editor’s Note: An entirely separate article could be written on how twin brothers like these hurt the theory that homosexuals are “born that way” since these men are genetically identical. By that rationale, they should both be gay. But I digress.]

After a long absence from porn, news broke in 2008 that the twins had been arrested for breaking into businesses by cutting holes in the rooftops to clean out the in-store ATMs. In an odd outcome, Keyontyli was sentenced to 2 days in jail and probation while his twin brother Ta’Leon faced 6 years in prison.

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In a new autobiography written by Ta’Leon Goffney, “In Search For A Better Life, this is How I Became…INFAMOUS”, we not only discover his version of the events that led to the heterosexual twin (briefly) diving into the gay porn industry, we also get insight on how he became a career criminal.

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Literally a career criminal. Ta’leon’s life in crime started long before he reluctantly stepped in front of a camera, first getting into The System at 18 years old for armed robbery. Reading the book broke down my own (obviously) false assumptions that “really good looking people have no worries in life.” As evidenced in the retelling of his life story, even aesthetically blessed men can make bad decisions, have hot tempers, be arrogant, be unemployable and become criminals.

On the flip side of that, the book also shows us that being attractive and having an identical twin while growing up can also be a burden. Ta’Leon and his brother faced constant teasing for their identical appearance and he struggled for acceptance in his family and the rest of society (ironically, like many gay men). Many of us don’t know what it’s like to struggle to find your own identity as a twin. Added to that, he had to face the issues that come with growing up in the projects along with inattentive/abusive parental guardians and no positive male influences in sight.

Reading many of the struggles the young man had to face makes one ask the question, “how could he NOT have ended up in prison one day?”

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We have a broken social system and many broken communities that are failing so many of our straight and gay black men. It’s not just about creating more jobs or making more quality schools available, I believe that we have to fix the broken mentality that many of our brothers and sisters have.

Case in point: Even after admitting to being a teenager breaking into homes, selling drugs and stealing cars, Ta’Leon writes that using a starter pistol to attempt to rob a guy who later called the police on him, landing him in prison at 18-years-old, was “the biggest mistake of my life.”

Uhhh, no. I think its clear that he’s made bigger mistakes than just robbing the wrong guy at gunpoint. I only need to point to the paragraph before that statement that reads, “We started robbing more houses and even found a starter pistol inside one of them. It looked so real that Kel said, “Yo! We can rob people with this.” And so we did.”

There are at least three huge mistakes there. Or how about the decision to become a criminal in the first place?

Admittedly, this may not have been what the author literally meant, but this is how I interpreted it nonetheless.

While the book is a very interesting and page-turning read that feels right up there with a lot of popular Street Lit, I couldn’t help but feel slightly unsympathetic to Ta’Leon’s struggle.

While the whole story may be based on the truth of his life, much of the book felt as if the young man was pretty content with a life of crime and the streets if not for the speed bumps of needing to do porn for quick cash and doing time in prison.

Long stretches of the book detailing his female sexcapades, female one-night-stands and female lovers seemed to be shouting, “I’m not gay! I’m delivert! I like Women, Women, Women, Womenbnbngh!”

Part of me understands this. I can’t imagine what it would be like to be a 100% heterosexual man having to fight off the assumption of being homosexual. However, the man did gay porn. Repeatedly.

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This was not someone who just happened to be attractive and had to fight off The Gays…or even someone who briefly played a Gay character for television and had fight off The Gays…Regardless if it was for his brother (as he states in the book) or if it was supposed to only be seen by a small number of people or if it disgusted him to the point of tears. This adult man made the decision to repeatedly do gay porn.

In the book he writes:

Now those fuckers started talking about how the fans are dying to see me do a single sex scene with another man. I told Kyle, “Fuck that shit, I’d rather run up in a bank with a gun.”

Again, we need to change this kind of mentality. Not just about sex with men being disgusting, but mostly that the better option would be armed bank robbery. Why not a job at UPS or the night shift at Walmart?

Ironically, its a producer of the gay porn (on set while filming a scene) who is the only person in the autobiography that stresses the importance of Ta’Leon getting an education to advance his life.

Victor came back into the hotel room and started giving me a eulogy while Kyle did the deed with the unknown boy. He kept lecturing me on my future and furthering my education. All he kept saying was, “Having an education is the most important thing to have in life.” Little did he know I was fresh out of prison, so education was the furthest thing from my mind.

Let’s disregard the gay porn performing, I can accept that Ta’Leon was heterosexual and had zero desire to engage in gay sex but desperately needed the money. What troubled me more while reading this entire book was how quickly both twins went to the option of crime to earn a living. On top of that, robbing, thieving, crime and street life is continually boasted by the author as more “real” and noble than holding a job or even doing the legal work of porn.

That damaged mentality again.

Granted, the author was retelling the stories from a younger man’s perspective, but this only proves my point even more. Young black men who have this mentality clearly have the wrong mentality, no matter their upbringing or environmental circumstances used as excuses.

In the final pages, Ta’Leon details the events leading up the the string of ATM robberies and how/why his twin brother got off with probation while he had to serve a whopping 6 years. This final act is filled with betrayal and heartache…but very little redemption.

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At the end of this tale, I had no clear indication that Ta’Leon had reformed the damaged mentality that led to the many poor decisions that got him in prison in the first place.

And these were all his decisions. No matter how much he may point to abusive parents, high school racism, or even his own influential brother as catalysts for his downfall, no guns were pointed to his head when he made his criminal and pornographic decisions (in actuality, he was pointing the guns…literally).

Lastly, Ta’Leon spends 146 pages telling us about all of his poor choices in life, then uses the final 2 1/2 pages to “sum up” why they were wrong decisions by blaming almost everyone/everything but himself for his past. There’s some personal accountability here, but not much.

This would have been a better cautionary tale for other young black men if he had actually gone into detail about that 6 year prison bid. How had he grown? How had his flawed mentality evolved? How had he healed wounds from his past? How had he reformed into the man he is today?

Or is he, deep down inside, still that man?

In interacting with Ta’Leon via email to review this book he’s been nothing but polite, humble, respectful and friendly. Are these personality traits that developed after his most recent prison stint, or was he always this way?

If he was always an overly “nice guy” that could explain why he was repeatedly convinced to do crime and porn against his will by stronger individuals in his life. However, the above traits don’t seem to match up with many of the criminal actions described in the book that he perpetually initiated himself (fights, armed robbery, purse snatching, home invasions, etc) and then bragged about.

So after reading his life story, I’m left still not knowing who the man is today. Maybe the answers to my question are in the very title of the book itself: In Search For A Better Life, this is How I Became…INFAMOUS.

After spending a fourth of his life in prison, this may only be the story of how he got off track…maybe the next book will be about how he turned that life of poor decisions (and his former way of thinking) around to overshadow the demons in his past.


“In Search For A Better Life, this is How I Became…INFAMOUS” is available under the pen name Kent T. Jackson at Amazon.com, BarnesAndNoble.com and Xlibris.com for only $3.99.

 

Photos Courtesy of Ta’Leon Goffney and Tibo Norman

 

About the Author
Nick Delmacy

Nick is a founder, editor and the pop culture expert at Cypher Avenue. Serving as the designer and webmaster of the site, he is the architect of The Cypher Avenue Matrix.

   
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15 Comments Feel Free To Join The Cypher.

  1. BlackguyExecutive | February 27th, 2015
    -1

    Have you ever been that desperate and down and out that you even considered turning to porn? I don’t view it as a last report option…its an easy option that you have to want just a little bit for it to remotely work.

    • SB3000 | March 1st, 2015
      -1

      Never. Not intending to be judgemental (tho I may be just that), but I can’t imagine that as a reality. It’s one thing if u WANT to do it, but unfortunately u get a lot of gay dudes who get shunned by their fams n end up feeling like its the only resort for a quick few dollars.

  2. KC | February 28th, 2015
    +3

    Identical twins are genetically identical but they could have different experiences in the womb. In terms of exposure to nutrition,hormones, etc in the womb.That’s why some identical twins are different heights. There are cases of one identical twin having a genetic condition and the other doesn’t.Also things can occur at birth that makes them different.We are more than just our DNA or genetic code

    • Rod Turpin
      Rod! | February 28th, 2015
      0

      Exactly. It’s like with left handedness, that has been shown to have genetic roots but one twin can be left handed and the other be right handed.

      • KBR | March 4th, 2015
        -1

        And identical twins could also be lying or confused about their orientation. Remember when Anne Heche was married to Ellen and sayin she was a lesbian. Now she is married to a man. Anne ain’t a twin but she is probably Bi. Some Bi folks are likely to call themselves whatever they want people to believe. Me thinks the twins are both Bi but each calls himself whatever makes him comfortable. A lot of us know Bi men that are totally unclockable who would never call themselves anything but straight! But they suck dick or get fucked. And they are not in prison.

  3. Ta'Leon Goffney | March 1st, 2015
    0

    It’s not about gay or not being gay. Or the shame of it for that matter. It’s not even about sympathy. IT’S ABOUT EMPATHY!!! I’ve been through things and to places that most of you have never been. The worst places. I pray you may never have to endure my life experiences. It’s About me being from one of the most desolate poverty-stricken cities in the country.(Camden, New Jersey). Not having a true support system or having the correct guidance and information on how to do better. I’ve seen people do the most horrible things for money as a means to escape my environment. It’s About the fact that I’m considered lucky despite all that I’ve done. Most of the people I grew up with are dead or in prison. I survived long enough to be able to have a story to tell. And since we’re talking about EMPATHY….I would love to see how most of you would fare out given the same circumstances that I was given. I’m Back to save those who got left behind. I’m Trying to be a true success story and no longer a statistic. My next book will reveal my transition into a better man. A changed one for the better and the events and lessons I’ve learned to become something and start seeing something better within myself AS A BLACK MAN!!! Trench said it best: “If you ain’t never been to the ghetto…don’t ever come to the ghetto..because you wouldn’t understand the ghetto!!!”…So to you suburban folks with your suburban thoughts…STFU!!! And keep your perspectives to yourselves. Thanks!!! 2014-09-15%2020.23.16.jpg?dl=0

    • TheEdge
      COSHAMO | March 1st, 2015
      0

      I feel for you. I hope that you can turn your life around. I’ve watched you sexcapades and I know some of your decisions were made based on financial need. I can tell by the scenes that you weren’t into it. But you’ve gone down that road and don’t be embarrassed about it. I hope you don’t feel any kind of way about it. It is what it is. You have a chance to turn your life around. You still have your health, your looks are not bad, and youth is in your favor. Be proud that you have a second chance, because I am pretty sure you met people in prison who will never get out. Who are in there for life. Be thankful, be grateful, be joyful. Life has many turns and tricks and rough roads and bridges to cross. Do the best with this and on to the next phase. Try to find a good relationship. Don’t shy away from being gay. Own up to it and live it. You made the choice to do gay sex scenes – own it, it’s your truth. Embrace your life and all that it has become. Make a better tomorrow one day at a time. Whether you like it or not, you will always be gay. You can’t run from yourself. When you come to terms with being gay you will have made a very significant milestone in your life and life will get better for you. Own your life, it’s your life.

      • Ta'Leon Goffney | March 2nd, 2015
        +1

        It’s a lot deeper than embracing whatever you think I am: http://youtu.be/vv_7LtayX1s BUT THANKS FOR THE SUPPORT!!!

        • Coon_dalini
          Pensive | March 2nd, 2015
          +1

          “Whatever you (think) I am”..,
          That statement alone makes me want to support you 100%

          • Ta'Leon Goffney | March 2nd, 2015
            0

            I thank you and whomever for that matter, who can understand a person tired of not being proud about the life they lived. And finally had some introspective moments to make them realize more for themselves, than what they’ve been accustomed to. What I went through was real, and now I’m just trying to come back a better man. But that’s the obstacle about certain mistakes. People perpetuate them. I’m Just looking for a second chance to be worth something out here, versus being a menace to society. I respect people like Nick Delmacy because at least he took time out of his day to give me a chance to be heard, even if he didn’t agree with my former life and thought process. Kudos to him for putting his judgment aside and helping me out. If more people put their judgement and criticism aside…then maybe the prison recidivism rate and black on black crime will diminish. I’m Going to advocate that when I prevail. So if you really support myself or anyone of similar circumstances…THEN SPREAD THE WORD…TELL THE WORLD ABOUT ME!!! Share this link with everyone you know!!! And if you’re against it, then your opinion belongs to you. Be well!!!

  4. Marco | March 25th, 2015
    +1

    I think Ta’Leon has an interesting personality. Strong and vulnerable at the same time. Always I have been fascinated by the twins’ story. I can feel the scream coming from a deep pain. One who is out looking for help, is already on the path of healing. I hope he will find self-consciousness and this will give him peace. Never too late to love ourselves and be loved by someone. Love heals and is what is missing in this story.

    • Ta'Leon Goffney | April 7th, 2015
      +1

      Thanks!!! Marco

      • Marco | April 8th, 2015
        +1

        U r welcome Ta’Leon and Happy Blated Bday from Italy! <3

        • Ta'Leon Goffney | April 8th, 2015
          0

          Thanks!! For sure!!

  5. Robert E | April 2nd, 2016
    0

    I recently got your book and read it in 4 hours. I was really touch by the upbringing Everyone has a upbringing. You state in your book about going to church I know how you felt. Me being 64 years old I was in church all of my childhood. Being the son of a preacher and Pentecostal too, we was in church so much I say when I get grown I will never go to another church. Well after I did get grown I was still going to church. I always wanted to be a bad boy. I am too old to be a bad boy My teaching and going to church kept me out of lot of things. Sorry to hear your dad was not around but I had my mom and dad. I am so happy you turned your life around many don’t have that second chance as you. I will keep you and your brother in prayer and your family.




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