Cypher Avenue Rating: 2.5 of 5      

As I watched MTV’s True Life: Secrets, Lies & Sex (view full episode below), I had to frequently question what was real, staged or scripted.Since news and a trailer about the show have been out for a couple of weeks now, the internet (including gossip blogs and facebook) has put these two young men under a microscope. Some have stated like most of all Reality TV, this episode of “True Life” is really staged or partially fake.This particular episode (which should be titled “Gay Secrets, Lies & Sex”) features Coke and TaRodd who are both in their early twenties and consider themselves DL.  Yes sadly it doesn’t seem like this angle will never go away in all forms of gay media.  TaRodd states he is the owner of Badboys Club Entertainment, which is basically a party promoter and Coke is the MC of these parties.  They view themselves as “local celebrities” and “are known all over town” as they put it. I do respect the entrepreneurial spirit and attitude of being a business owner but something about this episode seemed like “seeking attention” for validation and using the “DL shhh don’t tell no-body” topic for promotional purposes.

PictureI’m DL and a Gay Escort. Shhh Don’t Tell Anybody.

Footage of the two at the club events they sponsor, show them dancing with and kissing other men.  There is also footage (think Bad Girls Club) of what seems like promotional YouTube videos for some type of pseudo reality show (view them here and here) that was uploaded by TaRodd.  In these videos you can see the young men of Badboys Club Entertainment acting messy and completely queening out.  The date of the uploads show the videos are from as early as 2010.

So how at some point, (especially within the local black community) word would have not gotten back to the “girlfriends” of these local celebrities that not only they may be gay but also cheating with both men and women?  I can understand the adults or parents in their lives who may be technically challenged and not into the internet, facebook or YouTube not knowing but not the young girlfriends?  We are to believe that over the years no one ever pointed out the YouTube videos or the facebook pages with pictures to the girlfriends…really?

Hmmm…It seems to me like this is a case of wanting to be fabulous and famous gay black celebrities and MTV saw an opportunity for a somewhat real life scripted new episode for their series.  At any rate, I am sure there are some nuggets of truth in there but I had to adjust my mindset to not fully embrace this as “real life” but as another black gay web series in the guise of a reality show.  Interesting idea to say the least.

Many times I do try to find the silver lining or beauty in “negative” situations or circumstances so my attitude was no different here.  I usually avoid gay black web series and movies due the overabundance of feminine and negative stereotypes but since I promised a review on this episode (even after watching the preview) I went into this looking for the positives and there were a couple that one could expect without ever viewing the episode.  Meaning, “I am DL, I am now on TV telling my story, so therefore I am coming clean and telling the truth about my secret”…and end scene.


As far as the positives, one of them is simple but yet hard for everyone, not just gay men and that is be true to yourself, honest with yourself and learn to accept and love yourself.  No arguments here.  Another positive element was learning to take responsibility for your actions…okay, we can check that off the positivity list.By far the best scene for me was between TaRodd and his mother. This is a very beautiful moment in the episode when TaRodd attempts to tell his mother that he is gay or bi-sexual.  Her response before he can really reveal the secret is that “I know you liked Marvin like a girlfriend. I am your mother and I have always known.  You are my son and I am going to love and support you regardless”.  As TaRodd cries, his mother comforts and embraces him in her arms. This was a very caring and touching moment.


So I did succeed in my goal of finding the positives in the episode but damn there were SO many negatives that I could easily write pages about them.  I had to check myself when watching this episode and say “I was young once, and had to find my own way” but never in my late teens, early twenties and now in my thirties have I ever conducted myself in public the way that mostly all of black gay men on Reality TV and other forms of media conduct themselves.  Like having a three way gay kiss in the club with your friends.Why do I have swim through all of the negative imagery and come up for air to get the positivity.  I am tired of holding my breath.


I do get it.  MTV has a certain demographic audience they are attempting to appeal to, so the age range of Coke and TaRodd is within that demographic. Also everyone doesn’t learn the same.  The positive messages that a creator is attempting to convey for the intended audience should be tailored to that audience.  So in its own way, this episode may help.

Yes, I know there are plenty of twenty-somethings in the black gay community who have a certain mindset which is seen in these young men but what about those black gay men and women who don’t?

There are plenty of us who are not borderline hood, in the gay scene and plenty of us who have transcended environments and come out of the gay lifestyle but that doesn’t mean we are problem and issue free.  Where is positive motivational messages and imagery for these type gays of color?

In this one episode you witness; men cheating on both men and women, child molestation being the excuse for bisexuality, gay domestic violence, the devastated baby mama who was lied to and betrayed by the cheating black man. Absent black incarcerated fathers, out of wedlock birth and not to mention enough tattoos to feel a professional NBA basketball team.

I hear people say all the time “you shouldn’t judge”…why not?  We use our judgments to form opinions which help us makes decisions and choices.  If my judgments and observations are not out of malice, what’s the harm?  Maybe if more of us started using our judgments to hold each other and ourselves to higher standards we would be better off.  Maybe then some black women would hold themselves to a higher standard and not settle for a bad boy with multiple babies from out of wedlock relationships.  Maybe then gay men of color would look for something more than face, body, and dick from within the gay lifestyle.Maybe gay men will stop referring to one another as boys or “bois” but refer to ourselves for what we truly are and that is MEN. Really…WTF is up with that shit?  Why do so many gay men refer to one another as queer, trade and bois?I looked at the resources that must have been spent by the real people on screen in this “True Life” episode.  The aforementioned tattoos, cloths, shoes, partying, hair appointments, hair extensions, nails, drinks in the club, etc.  If only we took 10% of that money to seek and obtain professional help in the form of psychological therapy.  Then maybe we would spend less time seeking attention and validation through other means and see the power within.  Maybe we would stop looking to sexual relationships and hookups as gratification to cover up our damage.  Hopefully then we could attempt to heal and move forward like Coke and TaRodd (if it’s sincere) by the end of the episode.

You can view Secrets, Lies & Sex in its entirety below.  Feel free to let us know what you think of the review and episode.