Filmmaker Lee Daniels says homophobia within the black community has all but forced many gays to live double lives and led to dire consequences.
Daniels, whose current film The Butler opened at number one at the US box office over the weekend, says when he went to research AIDS for his previous film Precious, he realized how many unsuspecting black women had been infected with HIV-AIDS.
'Black men can't come out. Why? Because you simply can't do it,' Daniels says on Larry King Now. 'Your family says it. Your church says it. Your teachers say it. Your parents say it. Your friends say it. Your work says it.'
'So you're living on this 'DL' thing and you're infecting black women - and its killing us,' he adds. 'The black culture and the Hispanic culture have a thing about [homosexuality].'
Daniels, who knew he was gay at the age of 5, found that out first-hand at a very young age.
Daniels remembers one day when his father and some of his policemen friends were playing cards, he walked down the stairs wearing his mother's red pumps.
'I got beat. He beat me severely for it,' he says. 'But that didn't stop me because the following Sunday I walked down the stairs wearing her blue pumps - this time with her purse.'