Post submitted by Maureen McCarty, former HRC Deputy Director of Marketing

Yesterday in an interview with TheWrap, 50 Cent discussed his new Sundance Channel series, The Dream School, which connects teens dealing with everything from violence to poverty to pregnancy, with celebrity instructors. The series’ cast includes an 18-year old transgender student, Alan, who stopped going to school after suffering persistent bullying.

In the interview, 50 Cent, who has been accused of making anti-LGBT comments both in and outside of his music, talks about how his mother’s same-sex relationship helped him broaden his outlook.

“When I tell you she’s the most important thing that I’ve had in my life, because I don’t know my father at all, she’s all I have — it makes it clear that I don’t actually have those issues,” he told TheWrap.

Indeed there’s a growing trend of high profile rap and hip-hop superstars who have publically stood up in support of the LGBT community, perhaps marking the beginning of a major shift in tone from just a few years ago.

Ending homophobia and transphobia in media is an important step in the fight for equality. Anti-LGBT vitriol creates a toxic environment that can make individuals--- particularly youth – believe that they are not worthy of the same dignity that all Americans deserve.

Here are a few of the major players who are helping the hip-hop movement change its tune about LGBT equality:

  1. Macklemore x Ryan Lewis: The hip-hop duo emerged on the scene boldly declaring themselves as allies to the LGBT movement. Seriously, if you haven’t heard Same Love already, drop everything and listen now. immediately.
  2. Beyonce: This June, Queen B joined the chorus of allies who shared the modified HRC logo and supportive messages about marriage equality surrounding June’s historic Supreme Court rulings.
  3. Russell Simmons: In case you missed it, the hip-hop juggernaut is an HRC New Yorker for Marriage Equality. Watch his video to learn more about why he supports the right of same-sex couples to marry.
  4. Jay Z: After Frank Ocean made coming out history, Jay Z took to his blog to make a public statement of support. Later, Jay Z expanded on his support for equality to CNN stating: “I’ve always thought of it as something that is holding the country back. What people do in their own homes is their business and you can choose to love whoever you love. That’s their business. It’s no different than discriminating against blacks. It’s discrimination plain and simple.”
  5. Kanye West: In 2005, the Grammy-award winning artist began speaking out against homophobia in the hip-hop community after learning his cousin is gay. 

And the list of musicians, music moguls and artists taking to the airwaves to show support for LGBT equality goes on.

What do you think of 50 Cent’s support and the general rise in public LGBT support? Sound off in the comments below.

Filed under: Coming Out, Media

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