I've been so busy the past couple of days trying to finish up my next article for Clik Magazine that I haven't had the time to blog or watch the news, and I was accepting the fact that nothing new would be posted until early next week, that was before I received an e-mail and a very angry comment regarding the men of MIAKA from Houston, Texas.
These fraternity brothers who have taken it upon themselves to pattern their organization after the original women of Alpha Kappa Alpha have caused quite a bit of controversy in the past couple of weeks. Their pictures have been all over the internet and most recently on the nightly news in their hometown of Houston. The comment that was left by a reader on this site who calls herself "B", the irresponsible behavior of the men of MIAKA, and the negative reaction towards the gay community has caused me to respond to all of the lies and labels being placed on Black gay men because of this mess. I will respond to "B" first because sadly many uniformed people share her views.
"I think that what they are doing is disrespectful to any Fraternity or Sorority. I dont belong to a Sorority and I am sure that they are far more disgusted then I am. I cant beleive that they would subject our young black males to this....I dont have the words for what I feel for this. We have to make good impressions on our young black males and females, the males especially and to show them that being Gay is right is nothing but wrong. Our boys need a chance if they are going to grow up and turn into the mature men that love their BLACK WOMEN and take care of them and his family. Flaming men, that dont like women or what we stand for but yet and still they are mocking us. Lip gloss, make up, pink, pearls. I cant stand it. I heard this on the Steve Harvey show this morning and nearly lost my breakfast. I am not supportive of this and hope that it doesnt go any further then an idea. Dont they have to be approved to start such an organization???
There's three points that B attempted to make in her comment, (1) The men of MIAKA and Black gay men are wrongfully subjecting other young men to the "gay lifestyle". (2) Being gay is wrong. (3) We are all flaming men who don't like women but insist on mocking them.
I've said it before and I'll say it again, as a Black gay man I do not condone the actions of this group but this is NOT A GAY ISSUE and should not be argued as such, it is an issue of theft, unfortunately by men who happen to be homosexuals. Both sides can debate all day long the right and wrong of homosexuality, but at the end of the day nothing will be accomplished especially if biblical interpretation of scripture is apart of the dialogue. The thing that is so dangerous about this group is not that they have a desire to form an organization after a sorority that they obviously admire, it's that they give homophobes amunition to berate gay men of color.
The men of MIAKA do not represent every Black man who identifies as gay. It is not the goal of many in our community to steal the colors and traditions of Black sororities, truth be told we've been apart of the historically homophobic heterosexual fraternities for years and have even created our own inclusive organizations. We are not all flaming men and it baffles me that a few pictures of MIAKA and countless stereotypical images of gay men in the media would lead one to believe that we are all the same. We are quick to reject this belief about the Black race as a whole but it seems very convenient for those who sit in judgement of gays to accept this ridiculous ideal.
Contrary to popular opinion there are Black gay men who are living their lives honestly, who have families, who believe in God, and who hold Black women in the highest regard. I disagree with the belief that a man can only be considered a "real man" if there is a woman around and he's produced offspring to prove his manhood. It's time we redefine the qualifications needed to wear that badge of honor.
I'm extremely dissapointed in the men who are causing this scandal for not speaking up and defending their actions. Once again the media and straight folks are painting an inaccurate picture of who they think we are and MIAKA is sitting in silence. I challenge these brothas to show a real act of courage and step up and intelligently tell their side of the story, otherwise they'll be more hostility and more embarrassing new stories like the one below.