Terry McMillian’s ex husband Jonathan Plummer is no stranger to controversy, but these days he’s quietly reinvented himself post scandal of being the outed gay husband of the Waitng to Exhale scribe. Plummer is now the co-host of his own new entertainment show, No More Down Low TV and has already begun building the next chapter of his life.
VIBE caught up with the man forever immortalized in the novel and film How Stella Got Her Groove Back to get his take on the outed teens in the news, the recent rash of gay suicides plus Morehouse's Mean Girls. Plummer also revisits his own outing process and after rounds of public fighting and mutual lawsuits between them describes what his relationship with Terry is really like today.—Ronke Idowu Reeves
VIBE: Tell us about the new entertainment web series you are hosting, No More Down Low TV
It’s for people who are curious about their sexuality, sexual orientation, their sexual honesty and if you’re in deep denial you can click on and check things out and nobody has to know. And it will entail shedding some light on some positive, progressive things in the community. And which people are making a stand and who are willing to share their stories of their whole transition. With No More Down Low TV I want to do something good and change the whole negative connotation that the Down Low label has and help make a change.
Your episodes feature a lot of celebrities gay and straight talking about homosexuality. What has been the overall celeb reaction to the show?
They’re pretty much very supportive. It’s nice that they are willing to do interviews and share their ideas and concepts on how they view the gay issue itself. I’ve been glad that they’ve been pretty much open to speaking openly about homosexuality, especially about people in their personal lives who’ve had to navigate through the process or who are struggling or coping with coming out.
What’s it been like hosting a show? Are you nervous or is it all coming easy for you?
It’s been nervewracking because I’ve never done this before. When I was dating and married to my ex-wife Terry I was always in the background. Now I’m in forefront and its been good in a sense. I’m trying to enjoy it and it’s just hard to be comfortable in front the camera when we’re filming. But the more I do it the more comfortable I’m getting. I’m enjoying it so far.
What’s your take on the homosexual teens and young adults catching hell for coming out and their varied degrees of self expression. Like the mean girls on the Morehouse campus.
I think it’s so sad in this day and age people are being passed out of society in that aspect of trying to find themselves, in whatever way they want to express themselves and the fact that Morehouse is against it, it saddens me.
And there have also been a rash of young adult suicides on college campuses from people being outed as gay before they were ready. As someone who had a very public outing what do you think about this current unfortunate trend in our society?
I wish that people felt more comfortable. In today’s society thank God we have shows like Glee, Modern Family and Brothers and Sisters where we see same sex relationships and they are being portrayed in a positive light—which is great. It’s sad that some of us are still thinking that being gay is wrong and others still have to struggle with their sexuality and identity. And the fact that homosexual are still cast out of society, scrutinized and ridiculed constantly, hence the suicides—it just saddens me. I didn’t have the best coming out process myself, but everyone has their own way of expressing themselves and their own journey to find their sexual odyessy and sexual identity. I just wish there could be more people supportive of that, who were not against it and who didn't make a mockery of it.
Being the husband and now ex husband of Terry McMillian instantly made you a public figure. So do you feel like one?
Now I do. After the Oprah interviews and having people recognize me I’m embracing it now. I used to deny I was myself when folks would recognize me on the street. I used to say, ‘Oh it’s not me I just look like him.’ But I’ve accepted myself and I’m more comfortable in my own skin. And my family has accepted me for me and even Terry has accepted me for me and my sex life and sexuality. I call it self-preservation— it’s all personal growth.