50 Cent Takes Transgender Boy Under His Wing, Will Teach Him How To Stunt

50-cent-dream-schoolYou would think that with songs like “Disco Inferno,” “Many Men,” and “I’ll Whip Ya Head Boy,” rapper 50 Cent — a.k.a.  Curtis Jackson — would be a gay icon. But over the years, Jackson has said and rapped a lot of garbage about queer people. He’s hoping to make amends now. Starting Monday night, you can watch him on the new Sundance Channel reality show Dream School, where he’ll spend 30 days mentoring a trans boy named Alan.

“It’s interesting,” Jackson said during the premiere episode, which you can watch in its entirety here. “Once you achieve a certain level of success, you start to be interested in your legacy. And people who do things for others resonate the strongest.”

Until recently, Jackson’s legacy has been marred by a pattern of denigrating queers — particularly gay men — in his art and life. In a 2004 Playboy interview, he said, “I ain’t into faggots. I don’t like gay people around me, because I’m not comfortable with what their thoughts are. I’m not prejudiced. I just don’t go with gay people and kick it — we don’t have that much in common. I’d rather hang out with a straight dude. But women who like women, that’s cool. I could actually get into that, having a woman who likes women too. We might have more in common.”

In a recent interview with The Wrap, Jackson — whose mother was a lesbian — claimed that he was never anti-gay and that his words have been misrepresented in the past. “When you actually make music that mirrors the environment, you use the terminology,” he explained. “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.”

Let’s, for the sake of space and sanity, not parse through the various fallacies at play in Jackson’s analogy. Instead, we’ll give him the benefit of the doubt and wait to see how his change plays out on “Dream School.”

“50 Cent has street cred,” said Jackson’s fellow celebrity mentor David Arquette. “He ran with the wrong crowd, he’s gotten into trouble, he did things he wasn’t so proud of. But he worked through all that, and through hard work, he became a successful musician, entrepreneur, philanthropist. It’s gonna be interesting to see how he relates to these kids.”

Dream School is the brain child of celebrity chef Jamie Oliver, who produced a similar series in England in 2011. Here, as in England, Oliver helps to pair young people who haven’t succeeded in traditional school environments with celebrities and leaders who help them to awaken their passions and productivity. Mentors for the American version also include Rainbow Coalition founder Rev. Jesse Jackson and millionaire lesbian Suze Orman.

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  • hephaestion

    You know, I used to hate and scorn 50 Cent for his anti-gay comments.
    But I saw him on “Live with Kelly and Michael” the other day and I was SHOCKED by the huge transformation he has undergone in recent years. The new 50 Cent seemed to be extremely bright, loving, and not homophobic. I could hardly believe my eyes!
    I think he seems to be a new pro-gay dude. I hear he speaks out for gay marriage now. I suspect he is finally hanging out with the right crowd and learning that it’s cool to be pro-gay now. I won’t hold onto my old feelings about him. That’s in the past. I just congratulate him on becoming such a positive, smart and loving man today.

    That said, I still can’t stand to listen to his music. Whenever I hear rap, I instantly recoil in disgust as a conditioned response to so many many years of hostile, hateful anti-gay and anti-female messages in rap music.

  • Red_Dragon_888

    OK, he gone through a change and he is the new and improved 50 cents. Tell that to all the rappers that followed his act and tormented gay people with vicious words. Gee, it feels like cool rain drops on a warm summer day, and back then it tasted like blood after a terrible beat down from the voices so called super homophobic macho rappers. Write some pro-gay songs, be at a gay marriage, support a gay organization, etc. etc. etc… and make me believe that the crap that I am reading is true by actions and not just words.

  • Dxley

    Transgender, you say? Um… Okay, good for him. He’s more tolerant than I am, I must admit.

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  • Tookietookie123

    I know his homophobic comments are from a while ago, but I must get it off my chest. If I hear another straight man say “you’re not gonna flirt with me are ya’?” I will punch them. Do some of them seriously think that we get turned on by anything with a penis? “Honey, don’t flatter yourself, you’re extremely far beneath my standards”, that’s my usual comeback to their stupidly offensive joke. It might not seem like it, but it does hurt their ego when you don’t like them, straight guys would like to think they can attract anyone, as we gay guys would feel proud if we could attract women, even though we would never act on it, it’s a good feeling of being wanted.

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