He's showing every little (and big) inch off right now!
We’ve got two heavy-hitters of controversy gearing up to unleash one of the most mind-exploding pieces of culture on us right now, and we want you to proceed with caution as you go through this story. Rapper and reality star Milan Christopher has decided to bring together African American culture, gay culture, and art in a way that will definitely make some people uncomfortable. But that’s the whole point: confronting your fears so that you can accept it and move on.
It’s quite taboo to be gay in the hip hop community, even though attitudes are rapidly changing about that. That’s part of the reason Milan wanted to show it all off for the spread.
He told Paper, “Well, I just feel like in our culture it’s so taboo for a guy to show their bodies but it’s ok for a woman to do it. I just kinda want to break that. I think I have a nice body and I think it’s art and I just think that it should be celebrated like they celebrate women’s bodies. So you know, I could be a guy and be gay and be black and be artistic and be artistic in a nude fashion shoot in the same way that anybody else could.”
All the Labels
As Milan mentioned, he represents so many different things. He wants to spread around his attention between all of them with this one shoot. He said, “I think about them separately because they are very separate. But I also feel like all those things encompass who I am. During pride month, I always think about all of the things that the LGBT community lacks and things that I feel like should be changed. And I think about equality, and the stigma and the taboo, and all the things that we work so hard to break through.
“So I think that this particular shoot, I think this is really important for not just the culture but for the community and pop culture in general. I’ve never seen it done in you guys’ magazine before and I’ve really never seen it done in a way where it’s like woah. It’s been years–I think something [there was something like it in] the 70s–I forget the actor, but he did a full frontal and it was really crazy.”
(That was actor Burt Reynolds.)
Being Black and Gay
Milan doesn’t just live his life the way that he wants to, he consciously and deliberately tries to represent gay men in the African American community through his actions and his art.
“I think it’s not that many gay guys who are African American who are out and who are comfortable? Right now, I can probably name about 5. And it’s millions, you know what I mean? I do think that I have a huge [responsibility for] representation of the community and I do think that I’m doing pretty well. I’m always being honest and being my authentic self, not really holding back and just putting my best face forward and trying to make things happen.”
You can see exactly how he did that with his photos next!