This is PART TWO of the article, please see PART ONE HERE.

Any possible explanations I list would all be speculation on my part. It’s sort of like having puzzle pieces all laid out on a table but you had no idea what the picture looks like. Also, when speculating, a great deal of generalizations and stereotyping comes into play. Let’s go back to the beginning and try to decipher this Rubik’s Cube.



As I previously stated, acquiring non-pornographic advertising for black gay content is extremely difficult. Especially when our own black gay consumers seem so obsessed with sex, flesh and porn. It has to be infused into everything just to hold our attention. Even rising black gay media personality Lonnell Williams is forced to feed into our insatiable salacious appetite for sex to propel his company 3LWTV’s web views and exposure.

This experienced interviewer (who’s hobnobbed with the likes of Oprah Winfrey, Gayle King, Iyanla Vanzant and just about everyone else of note in the Black gay community), can be seen doing interviews with other gay men while they both sit shirtless in a king sized bed for his “Pillow Talk” series. This is a gimmick that even Derrick L. Briggs used to some extent in his ADTV series. Is this what it takes to hold the gay audience?


PictureIn my admittedly short research, it was hard to find any of the many 3LWTV YouTube videos that didn’t feature at least one photo or clip of an oiled up model or guest. This is no slight on Lonnell Williams, he’s a smart entrepreneur creatively giving the short-attention-span gay audience something to look at while he asks substantive questions and reports entertainment news on the community. With over 2 million YouTube views and thousands of fans, he’s obviously doing something right. But why does our “Gay Male Oprah Winfrey” have to take off his clothes just to keep our people engaged on video interviews with already interesting topics being discussed?I say all that to say, a possible reason for the lack of financial support in the community for some may be that not every gay endeavor goes the direction of the flesh. By going the more “clean” route, they risk being not as interesting to the Black/Latino gay consumers out there.

“The Gays” seem to quickly get bored when they don’t see random eye-catching flesh displayed from models, porn advertising and party promotion flyers. Among our top 10 viewed Cypher Avenue webpages, most of them are our handful of articles on “How To Get A Man,” “Sexy Web Series” and “Porn Stars.” Admittedly, we do have our fair share of “sexy” photos sprinkled on the site, but regular visitors will agree those constitute a very small percentage of what we present.

So that brings us back to the very popular adult social-networking sex site BGCLive, the website that conveniently lets you list your penis length, girth and foreskin status right there on your profile. After their unsuccessful attempt to get rid of all porn advertising, in February of this year a site administrator made this statement:


“Raising revenues on an adult themed website is not as simple as [people] are making it seem. Unfortunately the companies that openly welcome adult sites as a medium to advertise their product are Porn, Night Clubs and Health Organizations. Porn companies are also not doing as well as they once were because of freely available porn on the internet. Health Organizations face cuts backs due to reducing government spending. So site’s like BGC faces new challenges in generating revenues to keep moving forward.

[A previously mentioned] point about increasing revenues by simply increasing [membership fees] is flawed. A new user does not mean more revenue. In fact, it can get to the point where one new user actually increases [our] costs more than it increases revenue.

We understand that not everyone can pay to use certain features of the site and we would prefer not to have to charge new users to view messages but running a site this big is difficult to keep profitable on porn ads, club ads and health ads.

A lot of users claim that [Adam4Adam] is still free but [Adam4Adam] and BGCLive have a very different user base. Their base is much older and [more Caucasian] and more likely to sign up to the porn sites advertised. They also generate a lot of revenue from the large number of escort profiles which is a market we wish not to get into.”
That was a mouthful but still very informative in many ways because those points not only apply to sites like BGCLive (even they seem to concede they are pornographic in nature, hence the descriptor “adult themed website”), they also apply to non-porn black gay sites like G-List Society, Ronald Matters and Rod 2.0 Beta. The type of non-porn blogging that some of us do for the community is very time consuming with little return (this includes the article you are currently reading). How many Black/Latino gay sites have you seen with direct sales advertising from Nike, Coca-Cola or any other major corporation?So what are non-porn website owners and content creators to do? A popular option is Google Adsense but the payout is inconsistent and not as high as direct sales advertising. YouTube Partners only make $0.00 to $5.00 per 1000 views based on many different factors. If 1000 views equals $1, then 10,000 equals $10, then 100,000 equals $100, then 1,000,000 equals $1,000. Hardly enough to run a sustainable film business. And many of these figures depend on if the audience clicks the Ad or skips the Ad…most choose skip.As BGCLive stated, the Black/Latino audience appears less likely to click on the Ads and actually purchase the products, thus making it more difficult to secure higher paying advertising dollars to keep the growing websites sustainable and free to the public. It is unclear if this behavior only applies to young Black/Latino men who may have lesser income due to school/living expenses or if it applies across the board, no matter the age or tax bracket.But does this contradict the data? According to Market Research:

Nearly six in ten (58%) gay and lesbian consumers are more likely to purchase everyday household products and services from companies that market directly to gays and lesbians.  Around one in five (19%) say they are “much more likely” to do so.

If this data is correct, does it only apply to Caucasians? Black consumers have notoriously been stereotyped to NOT be very loyal when it comes to their money. They will drive 20 miles further to save .10¢ on a gallon of gas rather than support the station in their own neighborhood. It seems to be a buyers market when it comes down to it. The Black/Latino gay consumer determines the price and the price they will always choose is “Free.”

So that now brings me to:

What are the reasons gay Black/Latino musicians, artists, filmmakers and writers have a hard time directly selling products to a gay community that supposedly supports them? To answer that I would ask another question: Does this gay community really support them at all? I’ve been to MANY gay clubs, parties, events and social functions and I have yet to hear a single DJ drop an mp3 by an openly gay Black/Latino artist (not counting a certain R&B singer whose name I promised to never say again on this website).


DJ Baker of Da Doo Dirty Show (another gay personality arduously providing content for free) has been making this point for years. Theoretically, if club promoters help to promote these openly gay artists in clubs, their gay fan base could increase, which leads to a greater demand for personal appearances where the club promoters could charge even more money on the admission fee.

In simpler terms, I can’t imagine a club promoter with a party targeted specifically for Latin Americans that didn’t play any music actually made by Latin Americans. Or does the responsibility fall back to the fans? If a DJ did play the music from independent openly gay artists to generate a buzz, would the gay crowd complain that the Top 40 radio hits weren’t being blasted instead?

As the math in Part One of this article showed us, these gay entertainers and content creators apparently already have thousands of fans, it should be easy to get at least half of them to pay $5.00 one-time for quality content. But there’s the rub. That one word I just mentioned: Quality.

As regular readers have seen in the past, here on Cypher Avenue we try to review as many gay entertainment products from people of color as possible, partially because no one else is doing it, but mainly because we’re overly opinionated like Statler and Waldorf from The Muppet Show. We can be harsh, but we explain in detail why we liked or didn’t like a product.
Whether our review is positive or negative, we definitely expose more people to the work. And many readers don’t agree with us most of the time but would have not otherwise been exposed to the projects. As they say, there is no such thing as bad publicity. What we’ve learned over time is this: A lot of the work out there sucks. Real talk. Both from a technical and creative standpoint. Not all of it, but a whole lot of it.Some of these gay content creators have been doing this for YEARS but the quality of their work has somehow still not improved. This doesn’t encourage the gay consumer to financially support the work, or even more desirable: recommend the work to as many other people as possible.


 As we mentioned in a podcast, our experience at Maurice Jamal’s 2013 Mixfest International LGBT Film Festival was very disappointing. While it felt good to support the event, the opening night had many, many hiccups and embarrassing missteps. We spent $20 per person for a late starting screening from a laptop-projected DVD on the wall of a college classroom, not the actual movie theater originally advertised and changed at the last minute. While we took it all with patient stride, it planted seeds of hesitation to attend next year’s event and recommend it to others.So if most of the Black/Latino gay content out there is mediocre, are the consumers actually telling the gay content creators and event organizers, “Oh sure, I support you now but only because its free. I wouldn’t ever actually spend hard earned money on this stuff.”If that’s the case, then we’re in a perpetual catch-22 situation. The content creators and event organizers need money to improve on the quality of their work but the consumers won’t give them money until the work is at a more acceptable level of quality.

Its the Chicken and the Egg. The Terminator and John Conner. Marty McFly and the DeLorean. Okay, I think the nerd in me may have lost the analogy thread in there somewhere.

Another possible explanation is that these “apparent fans” are only fans because the work is free and they just want to stay updated on the actions of the artist. They never had any intention on purchasing anything in the first place. Once the artist begins asking for money, they just move on to another artist who’s not.

Why should they pay to see one gay web series, when there are 10 other gay web series available for free? Not to mention bootlegs, torrents and file sharing sites that let many people circumvent financially supporting the “starving gay artist.” As previously stated, the consumer determines the price and it appears that they will always choose “free.”

[Side Note: That’s the beauty of the current business model for Cell Phone companies and Internet Service Providers in this day and age. Not many people can get out of paying for these services. If a person wants to get all the free content in the world that they can get, legally or illegally, they likely still have to pay their cell phone bill or Internet bill.]

Lawd Ha’ Mercy, how the hell should I know?!

Seriously, as a content creator, composing this article was kind of depressing in many ways. Whether some gay people like it or not, Cypher Avenue (and the upcoming new incarnation) fulfills a niche that no one else does. From a business standpoint, that’s financial gold. However when one looks at the data, in regards to the Black/Latino audience, it’s hard to get real substantial revenue.

We may all be a part of that $743 Billion in Gay Buying Power mentioned in Part One, but it appears that we’re not spending that money back into the Black/Latino gay community.

The Black/Latino Gay community doesn’t have any website as large or revenue generating as or The Advocate (that doesn’t feature splashy ads for porn). Nor do we have any current network television shows or well-funded web series with crisp camera work, clean, sharp audio and precise editing. The quality gay musicians that actually cater to the community don’t seem to get the same type of support as the popular gay artists who ignore them. It’s all very disheartening.

One possible solution: Improve the quality of the work. As many excuses I hear from Black gay content creators about why things can’t be done at a certain level of quality, I see just as many examples from heterosexuals or Caucasians with FEWER resources who manage to make it happen.

Take pride in your work. If something is bad, admit to yourself that it is and work your hardest to improve. If you’re going to put something out there with your name on it, even if it’s a pseudonym, make sure it represents you well. If it doesn’t, go back to the drawing board.

As successful as the First Season of Freefall was, filmmaker Lamont Pierre was not happy with the content so he retooled the entire show for the new “Season One” (He disliked the first batch of episodes so much that he refuses to call them an official season. Hashtag = #StepChild). But as a result, many fans are very eager to see the new episodes and the quality of the show appears to have greatly improved.

Content creators, bloggers and event planners should focus more on the quality of the work and less on just being famous. A crossover effect happens when the work is quality, you become viable to a larger non-Black/Latino audience. Also, each new project really represents us all because there’s so little of it out there. A very poorly made web series was featured TWICE on The Huffington Post, a website with very high traffic. Some people may see that and think its the best we’re capable of as a group. We’re only as strong as our weakest link.



As Patrik-Ian Polk explained in an interview with us:“I think if you’re trying to make a movie I would say: Do your homework; make sure that you study something, somewhere. As well-intentioned and well-intended as a lot of our independent projects are, I don’t think it serves us too well if the quality is not at a certain level. Whatever you do, just do it well. Whatever you’re going to do with art, do it well. And do your homework. Make it as polished, complete and good as you can.”I cannot agree more. If this comment was on Facebook, I would click LIKE a few times. As a consumer, when I see a new gay project or gay event that is well-planned, well-organized, well-made and creates an overall enjoyable experience; it makes me not only feel like I got my money’s worth, I also become eager to support the person/business again and tell everyone I know to do the same. If you’re going to bother doing it, do it RIGHT.What responsibility falls on consumer? A great deal. Understand that the work many of us create for the good of the community takes time and effort. If it were to all disappear overnight, we would all be lost and taking a huge step backwards.

These quality films and albums don’t get made merely with the flashing of abs; it costs real money. These events don’t organize themselves; many times the promoters lose money. These websites and blogs don’t just magically create daily content with the blink of an eye.

Understand that you vote with your dollars. If Caucasian Heterosexuals see that there is a viable financial market for Black/Latino gay themed work, we will see more of it sponsored and financed outside of the confines of our own community. But if we could get it to start here, imagine the force of nature we could be. We all have much more power than we realize.

– Nick D

Please continue the conversation in the comments section and If you want to help and support any of the content creators or organizations mentioned in this article, click on one of the links below for more information on how to do so: