I've been asked by people on many different occasions and even by relatives why I would choose to be both black and gay in America, sometimes I even ask myself if life would be easier if I had been granted the heterosexual privilege.
I would probably be in Alabama with multiple degrees, a wife, children, 2 cars, a house, a dog, and a closet filled with secrets.
I knew by the time I reached second grade that I was "different", and at the time I didn't even know what being gay meant, but I knew I couldn't speak about my feelings.
Throughout grade school I had my share of harrasment, bullying, self esteem issues, and suicidal thoughts. I even experienced "puppy love" and did exactly what was expected of me until keeping up the facade of being heterosexual proved to be more than I could bare.
Once I came out at 16 to my mother and my sister, the once close relationship I shared with two of the most important women in my life became almost non existent. They would ask me, "Darian why would you want to go and be gay? You're a black man and life is already hard enough, this is just another strike against you.
What my mother and sister didn't realize is that I didn't choose to be gay I was chosen. Now that I'm older I understand the fear they experienced when I came out, our world is not kind to minorities and if you're gay or lesbian you're considered subhuman.
I don't know of any person alive that would choose to welcome rejection, spiritual attacks, violence, death, and being denied the rights and privileges that are taken for granted everyday by straight Americans.
If you think those are things I decided to include into my everyday routine in the second grade you're wrong. But what I did decide to do was walk in truth even when it hurt. If I've ever exerted courage it was at that moment.
Over the past 3 years I've watched my SGL brothas and sistas get bashed, shot, dismembered, stabbed, and left for dead . This all happened right here in America and with little to no news coverage.
Our lives matter. Our BLACK, GAY, SAME GENDER LOVING LIVES MATTER. The level of hate in this country from people who cave into homophobia from lacking the understanding of people who are different has reached an all time high.
That could have been any of us whose body parts were dismembered and stuffed into garbage bags found all over New York City, or beaten in a park and chased into speeding traffic to be hit and left for dead.
Years later we're still feeling the stings of slavery and Jim Crow. Racism is not only projected onto us by the "man" but can be found in the way we deal with each other as black people. The HIV/AIDS epedimic, the black community's silence about the issue, homophobia in churches across the country, and you ask me why I chose to be gay?
Doesn't it sound like an orientation anybody would choose?