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Russell “Hollywood” Simpson speaks to Bossip about his alleged relationship with NFL free agent Kerry Rhodes:

Kerry paid for everything. We had a very good life together. I always got any and everything I ever asked for. Vacations, red bottoms, the private jet in my video was us going to training camp together. I had a driver and he even gave me his Aston Martin. He later bought me my own car and because I’m not a dumb bi**h I made sure to get it my own name and he paid the whole thing off! He treated me very well. I will never talk bad about him in that way because he was really good to me.

And yet you put him on blast.

Listen, I am always down for the shenanigans. But I also know that if this was a woman doing this, her name would probably be all sorts of synonymous with the term, “bitter jump-off” right now. And I’m not saying that he is. Actually, I’m not saying anything because I don’t know for sure who is or who is not telling the truth. Right now, it is Simpson’s word against Rhodes’s word – as well as some very suspicious pictures. We can infer all we want, but with this week in the media, with supposed reputable news sources getting their facts completely wrong, it has taught us that it’s best not to draw conclusions too quick.

Not that what these two consenting adults do is any of our business anyway, which is why I am happy to read some of the pushback to this sort of sexual outing. To me, it amounts to bullying. And I know certainly this would be the attitude if Simpson had been born with female chromosomes. If Simpson was a woman, we would be questioning where his self-respect and self-esteem had gone for daring to be so tacky as to go public with their intimate details. We would be calling girl Simpson a bird and accusing her of breaking all sorts of side-jawn codes. We would be testifying about how these cluck-clucks “do the most” and pondering about what he hoped to gain from exposing such a relationship. Money? Fame?

If Simpson was a woman, we most certainly would we imploring her to take responsibility for the role she played in this situation and verbally flogging her for the part she was playing in trying to ruin this man’s reputation. And then a friend on Facebook shared this link from Funky Dineva with me and I began to think about the nuances of the If-Simpson-were-a-woman comparison more fluidly:

There are also certain segments of the gay community who are using this story to promote their anti-feminine ignorance. Sites like Discreet City have been exploiting the story to further their own agenda. The Twitter account for the site sent out a tweet implying that Kerry Rhodes is in this situation because of feminine gay men, and that the actions of feminine gay men like Kerry’s alleged ex-boyfriend are why masculine gay men don’t like to mess with feminine gay men. It amazes me that people will use any situation as an excuse to scapegoat a group of people. Instead of looking at the ways that homophobia prevents all gay men from being viewed in a nuanced light, sites like Discreet City promote the ignorant view that the problems of gay men are rooted in the fact that some men are feminine. It’s as if the site thinks that homophobia would cease to exist if only all gay men were masculine–never mind that a significant chunk of homophobia rests on a overall hatred of men being with other men.”

Simpson gets a pass because what he says is not only scandalous but it also helps to stoke already existing paranoia around gay men, particularly gay black men. However, he does not get a pass from being on the outskirts of what is considered normal and acceptable masculinity. And in a lot of ways, his limp wrist, shrill voice and hip switching while walking are more uncomfortable and threatening than his actual loose lips. And why is this? Probably for the same reasons some call these men, “pu**ies” or “mitches” as a way to demean them.

Of course, the inference here is that anything associated with femininity and womanhood should be considered as weak, inferior, or less than manhood. And over the years I have learned that regardless of sexual orientation, there is nothing more important among men than maintaining “manhood” – or at least the perceived characteristics of what manhood is supposed to mean. It’s probably the reason why AP.9, the unknown rapper whose claim to fame was outing Ice-T’s wife Coco, can still maintain his “dignity,” despite his gossiping. And it is probably part of the reason why Rhodes doesn’t want to come out the closet – allegedly.

Yet and still, I am tired of the kiss and tell genre of gossip. Everybody is trying to be the next Karrine Steffans, but they come up looking just starved for attention. I don’t know enough about Simpson to make that determination, but anyone clamoring to get on reality television has to be looked at in a fishy manner. And unless Rhodes was some sort of right-wing, anti-everything nutjob preaching hate and intolerance while living this secret lifestyle, I don’t really see the relevancy in discussing who he is sleeping with. Honestly, if not for his connection to the NFL – and the homophobic connotation that is associated with the league – most folks wouldn’t care anything about who Rhodes was screwing. Most of you are probably even saying, “Who??” Plus, sexual snitching is just the worst, just think about Ray J.

Listen, I understand his feelings are probably hurt. Nobody – woman or man – likes to be viewed as a secret lover. I can imagine how it must feel to hold hands behind closed doors and once someone comes along, be shoved into the proverbial bushes – not that this has ever happened to me, but I do understand the feeling. With that said, did he not seem perfectly fine and cool with being shoved into the proverbial bushes prior to this very public outing? Maybe he had his money cut off. If you were conscious enough to accept that position before when he was tricking you off with red bottoms and car notes, you can’t quite claim victimhood now that you two are – allegedly – no longer together.


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