Was Lee Thompson Young Gay? Mind you, we have never even slightly speculated this notion in these pages in the past.
The only other time we had mentioned Young was when we named him the second most talented and attractive actor of color to make the transition from child star to adult performer.
Having said that, the other sites on the list were FULL of speculation. This is the current state of the Black American man. Even in death he has to face gay rumors and gay whispers. We live in a gay witch-hunt society full of TMZ and black gossip sites full of women and gay men working hard to Out celebrity after celebrity.
I would argue that MediaTakeOut. The problem with this is to even speculate is to fall in to the same trap that that Bossip. Disregarding facts for rumor. Besides being an attractive private person, Lee Thompson Young gave no reason for us to think that he killed himself because he was gay.
What rubbed me the wrong way was not that people were falsely labeling Young of being gay. No, what bothered me was the insinuation that the ONLY reason Young would have committed suicide was because he was gay. Yes, that totally explains it, right? I mean, why else would a young, masculine, attractive, successful celebrity with so much future potential choose to end his own life?
What could be so unbearable that would make this black man say there was no other way out? So does Hip Hop. Gays kill themselves every day, right? It all makes sense now. Wait, why is the fact that he was attractive matter? The better looking you are, the more opportunities, favors and courtesies you are seemingly afforded.
This is not a position that I wholly agree with given that I know so many broke, unemployed and uneducated men and women who are absolutely beautiful. But I understand the rationale. But I do get it…life just works better when we have explanations for unexplainable things. When people see single black heterosexual men, especially if they are attractive, do they really see closeted gay men on the brink of suicide? However the percentage of black gay men who have been successful with even just attempting suicide is still very low, let alone actually killing themselves.
Lets look at some numbers. According to the census , there are roughly 42,, Black or African Americans living in the country. Now compare that number to the total Black American male suicides in So to say that black gay male suicide is epidemic is incorrect. Black Men in America are just more depressed and face more psychological distress without treatment than their Caucasian counterparts.
And not only because of insecurities about their sexuality. Poverty level affects mental health status. African Americans living below the poverty level, as compared to those over twice the poverty level, are 3 times more likely to report psychological distress. Whites are more than twice as likely to receive antidepressant prescription treatments as Blacks. Added to that, there is a societal shaming that comes with black men seeking therapy so many avoid it at all costs.
What about Lee Thompson Young? Lee loved to travel and was always the first to tell everyone to take a breath and enjoy the beauty of life. Their belief is that if somebody commits suicide, they will be punished in the hereafter.
Just before his death, he visited a small village in Africa for something reportedly related to the religion. A source notes that he was close with his mother and sister, but relatives were worried his close friends no longer lived in L.
And the potential causes of depression are numerous: A divorce, separation, or breakup of a relationship, a serious illness, a terminal illness, chronic physical pain, Intense emotional pain, loss of hope, a loved one being victimized child murder, child molestation, kidnapping, murder, rape, assault, etc.
Oh and a feeling of not being accepted by family, friends, or society because of their sexuality. Way down at the bottom of the list. Some speculated it was prompted by a breakup with his ex-girlfriend but we may never truly know given that there are so many potential causes for his suicidal thoughts. He was only years-old!
He was single and arguably just as attractive with as much future potential as Lee Thompson Young. Was he also a latent homosexual? And Soul Train creator, Don Cornelius committed suicide as well. Was he also a closet gay? No, depression is serious and real for many different reasons.