An Open Letter to Mister Cee: A Response from ‘The Ignant Intellectual’

Executive Director of PhillyGayCalendar

Dear Mister Cee,

I won’t pretend to ‘feel where you’re coming from’. I won’t pretend to ‘get it’ as both would be lies, but I am writing in hopes of translating to you the message of love—more specifically, self-love—more specific than that, radical self-love. I, like you, am a black person living in America. Those two identities alone send many to an early grave. But something I am not is a black male-bodied person living in America so I won’t pretend to ‘understand’.

I won’t belabor you with in depth recaps about your recent media involvement or even about this most recent incident when you were reportedly arrested in an attempt to solicit a male prostitute—as you, unlike the rest of us, were present for it all. I would like to focus less on your actions and more on the things that it seems you are not doing—or perhaps unable to fathom.

I’m not here to place a label on your or your sexuality. I’m certainly not here to judge your actions. Enough people have those jobs on lock. I would, however, like you to know that who you are is amazing. Whoever your authentic self is. He’s amazing. If he loves men. If he loves women. If he loves men and women. If he loves neither men nor women, but a blend of the two. You’re amazing. Far too seldom does the world tell us that. And given the larger social think regarding black male (non-hetero) sexuality, I doubt many people have affirmed you in possibly having a non-hetero sexuality—especially given your profession; one that is hyper-masculine, male-dominated, and straight.

Overall this letter isn’t about your sexuality, per se. It’s more so about what seems to be an inability to be your authentic self (which is partially manifesting as a battle with your sexuality) versus your fictional self. Whether or not you’re gay isn’t what truly matters, but it’s clear to me and the rest of the world that you deeply struggle with being ALL of who Calvin LeBrun truly is; the ways in which you skirt around questions in your interviews, the ways that you choose to answer questions when you do answer them, that your ability to pick up gay/trans-gender men is ‘dumb luck’, and the fact that you have been found engaging in sexual acts with males thrice, yet you deny having a fluid sexuality. It is those things coupled with the ever-present questions, “In what other areas is he choosing to let his fictional self be seen as opposed to his authentic self?” and “How does this lack of access granted to his authentic self, impact his spirit man and psyche?” that have inspired me to pen this letter.

I’ve listened to various interviews you have done post being "caught" and, quite honestly, they all seem to share two common themes: denial and internalized struggles. It seems that not only are you denying things to others, you’re denying them to yourself resulting in deep seeded melees. It appears that you are trying to convince, not your listeners, of your sexuality, but yourself. I don’t listen to you through my physical ear, I allow myself to hear you with my spiritual ear.

Mr. Cee, I don’t wish for you to come running out of a closet as an out and proud queer black man. But I do wish for you to consider these two quotes:

The authentic self is soul made visible. – Sarah Ban Breathnach


No legacy is so rich as honesty. – Shakespeare

Given your profound impact on music as one of the country’s most well-known and skillful hip-hop DJs and radio personality at one of the country’s most famous radio stations, it’s safe to say that you desire to leave a rich legacy. I also believe that given your response to the allegations, it’s safe to say that you may benefit from giving thought to what I like to call ‘the other side of fear’. Everything you want is on the other side of fear. Affirmation, success, love, amazing sex with those who you are truly attracted, wealth, etc. But you must choose the rich legacy of honesty to experience it. I argue that (aside from messages around masculinity, sexuality, patriarchy, etc.) you choose fear because you cannot fathom any good coming from acknowledging all of who you are. All you imagine is the negative backlash, possibly losing your job, messing up existing relationships, etc. so you choose fear. But I assure you, standing in your truth will provide you with more amazingness than your current situation ever could. Accepting who you are ALL OF WHO YOU ARE, will bring you a life beyond anything you could have dreamed of. Additionally, the world needs you. But it needs you as the authentic Calvin LeBrun. He needs to come through in order for us to ‘Cee’ your greatness. (You see what I did there?)

I applaud you for attempting to uphold what you know because it has served us, but I challenge you to explore your truth because it will serve YOU.

In solidarity & Love,
Just a Brown Queer Boi Tryna Live an Authentic Life
a/k/a ‘The Ignant Intellectual’

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