Rapper 50 Cent has never had a great relationship with the LGBT community thanks to some cringe-worthy lyrics and remarks he’s made about gays and lesbians as well as popular gay blogger Perez Hilton. According to 50 Cent, he’s never been homophobic and now he’s going the extra mile to prove it as he gears up to mentor a young transgender teen on his new TV series “Dream School.”
The Sundance Channel series aims to team troubled teens with celebrity mentors and instructors like Swizz Beatz, David Arquette and Rev. Jesse Jackson to help them deal with issues like violence, poverty and pregnancy.
In 50 Cent’s case, he’s taken on the task of helping transgender boy Alan, who was born a girl, to help build his confidence and deal with bullying.
“I want to graduate and get away from the people at my school,” Alan says on the show, premiering next week. “I got bullied. I went to the hospital. My mom just didn’t even visit me. I wish I was the person my parents wanted me to be. I wish I was born the person I am now because… I was born a girl.”
In a recent interview with The Wrap about the series, which 50 is executive producing, the rap mogul discussed his past homophobic lyrics and explains that he himself was never homophobic, despite his inflammatory lyrics.
“I don’t have homophobia. I never did,” said 50 Cent, who in recent times spoke in support of Frank Ocean and Obama’s push for same-sex marriage.
According to 50, he was just using harsh words to “paint a realistic picture” for fans.
“When you actually make music that mirrors the environment, you use the terminology,” he said. “You use the language. Like if you were making a painting, and you were painting the American flag, if I told you to do that, and not use red, not use the harsh terms or the tougher messages, you would never successfully paint the flag.”
50 also made mention of his late mother, who was a lesbian, and explained that he would never be homophobic because of her.
“My mom — that’s all I know of my mom,” he told TheWrap. “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.”
We’re not so sold on the idea that 50 was never homophobic. That would be like saying Paula Deen or any other person who’s used racist remarks isn’t racist. But we commend him for personally maturing and now using his star power to help LGBT teens. Check out some other reformed homophobes below. – nicholas robinson