A Commentary on YUSAF MACK by Jim Linger for Never Blend In

Former professional boxer Yusaf Mack is embroiled in a mess for living a down low lifestyle, and not coming out as an openly gay man. 

He now says he’s known for almost a decade, even though marrying a woman and having kids. He created that mess of a lie. Some people have bravery in different areas. He didn’t feel as a black male athlete that he would be respected or taken seriously by being openly gay. 

I’m sad for him, even though living a lie is always wrong. Truth is, for those of you reading who don’t realize, it can be sometimes detrimental to career and family to be authentic. It was mine. 

Of course having the integrity to be yourself should prevail. But let’s point out something no one is talking about. Life and death. When I came out in the military in the mid 80’s I was disowned by my family, taken out of the will and lost friends and the military was challenging on epic levels. But somehow I had confidence in myself and felt strong. Then I was harrassed and had death threats. I have stitches in my head from a hate attack. It’s real. It’s often real hard. 

Yusaf became suicidal when he was outed because of the backlash. He’s received death threats. His oldest daughter told him he was an embarrassment, and to go kill himself. Yusaf was wrong to lie. But life is serious. And precious. And NO one deserves to die. 

Yes, I’m a little scared for him. His story makes me sad. Society and media make it seem coming out is easy and everyone is open and accepting. You probably are. Many are not. 

Right now I wish I could call up my parents and other family members for love and support. Trying to make it in San Francisco, I sure could use the financial support. I gave all that up, and sometimes I feel lonely and needy. But I struggle proudly on my own. We can judge people. Blame them. But we haven’t lived their life. I accept Yusaf’s apology, but understand why the woman he lied to can’t. I hope he gets away from negative people, and seeks professional help, and thrives healthily. Lives can change. Bad can become good again. Time heals.



Retired pro boxer Yusaf Mack, coming clean after being threatened with a lawsuit, writes:

“This is an issued public apology from my heart. I want to address a few situations with the first being the false claims I made about being drugged during the Dog Pound adult film. I have never spoke negatively about the company that produced the film although the claim to have been given a drug by someone during set was a lie. I was completely aware and fully conscious during the film.
“The second situation, which further explain the first, concerns my lifestyle. I did participate in the adult film because at the time I needed money but also because I am a bisexual man. Meaning I enjoy safely being intimate with whomever I choose.
“Lastly I would like to address the reason I lied. My life was completely destroyed once it had been outed that I participated in a gay film. I selfishly tried to cover the truth and remain in denial, rather than accept the fact that I was leading a double life secretly.
“After reflecting on the mess I had made I realized that I hurt a lot of my loved ones and the people, my fans, I cared about the most were left disappointed and confused. It was unfair and time to come clean. I want to say sorry to my children and my ex fiancé, I am so sorry that I was a coward and hid a huge part of my life from you all. To the ones that were once my friends and now feel disgust, I’m sorry, but this is my life. I’m not looking for sympathy or even understanding, I’ve kept this secret for a long time. It is time to move forward and this is me walking in my truth.
“There are other men and women that are set up in the similar situations and I just hope I can be inspiration to be just be you. The extreme taboo and harsh criticism of living a same sex lifestyle, especially as an African American male, makes it hard to be completely honest and comfortable within yourself. But I had to remember that I am a champ & I can fight and will fight through this. I am more than my sexual orientation. To all of my supporters I thank you dearly.” 


About neverblendin

David Watters, a graduate of Napier University, Edinburgh, Trinity College of Music, London and the Institute of Education, University of London, has worked internationally within education and Educational Management for more than 20 years. He has taught extensively within many socially and culturally diverse settings; most recently as a Head of Performing Arts within Further Education. He is a personal and professional development associate with The Pacific Institute (www.pacificinstitute.co.uk), personal coach, freelance writer and founding member of NBI Associates. He is a writer on social equality issues, is a key player in the Equal Love Campaign UK and author of the forthcoming book, NEVER BLEND IN which features key voices from the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender community and which aims to inspire and encourage those who may lack self-esteem or who question their validity. David is currently promoting a youtube campaign"Give 'em Hope"and is asking individuals, couples and groups to make and share videos telling about the benefits of living with personal authenticity. He has shared a platform with Stuart Milk and Peter Tatchell and is a supporter of 17-24-30, The Trevor Project, Schools Out, The Terrence Higgins Trust, The Albert Kennedy Trust and numerous others. His background in arts and education, combined with a solid understanding of Cognitive Behavioural Strategies, and his passion for Equality Advocacy drive every aspect of his work as a personal development facilitator, motivational speaker and writer. View all posts by neverblendin

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