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4 comments | Sunday, November 25, 2007

This post was inspired by a wonderful video rant by B. Scott.

No fems, no queens. If you log onto just about any personals site you’re bound to see the aforementioned characteristics listed as undesirable traits in a man or a prospective mate. They’ve been replaced by thug, down-low, masculine top, and other popular adjectives in this hip-hop driven world that we live in that has somehow permeated itself into black gay culture.

The idea of a man whether he’s straight or gay embracing his feminine side publicly has long brought about harassment and condemnation from a society that clearly defines gender roles.

Gay people have been the punch line for stand up comedians, late night talk show hosts, big budget Hollywood films, and countless sketch comedy shows. Who could forget the infamous Blaine and Antoine from In Living Color’s “Men On Film"? If you didn’t personally know any gay people you probably would’ve believed that we all wore Chanel # 5, dressed in drag, had a limp wrist, and gave everything we considered fierce two snaps up. Let’s blame sheer ignorance for the massive amount of heterosexual people who believed the stereotype and thought they had us all figured out. But surely our own would recognize and respect the fact that our community is extremely diverse and reject the notion to oppress a part of our identity in order to elevate another, right? Wrong.

I’ve been told it comes down to personal preference when someone deliberately chooses not to befriend or become romantically involved with a man that is effeminate or considered by the untrained eye; “clockable”. That may be the case but could it also be possible that the effeminate man being who he is, unable to hide his sexuality, is a threat to those who are closeted and undoubtedly struggling with their identity? After all it takes a strong man to STRUT in his truth 24/7 with the threat of physical harm constantly hanging over his head.

This is particularly troubling in the black community where an effeminate man is often considered a disgrace to his race and ultimately a waste. Who created the rule that a man should be measured on his hyper-masculine appearance, swagger, or his ability to effectively put a ball in a hole?

It’s a sad but obvious truth that LGBT people not only face discrimination from those outside of the community, but our own brothers and sisters are guilty of the same offenses based on our differences, the same differences that makes us all so unique. Our transgender brothers and sisters are all too familiar with this cruel reality.

I must admit I’m not the most masculine man you’ll meet (yes, I can queen out with the best), yet I’m not the most effeminate either, I’m somewhere in the middle and I’ve always been fine with that. Why? Because I’ve always had a strong sense of self-worth and I developed a thick skin early after being on the receiving end of numerous anti-gay slurs.

Many people argue that effeminate men send the wrong message about who we are as gay men (usually the masculine tops). I agree their definitely needs to be more diversity in the media and I think some progress has been made. For every Jack (Will & Grace) character there’s also a Wade (Noah’s Arc) to provide balance and show the world just how diverse our community really is.

There will always be fem boys, stud girls, and gay men and lesbians who fall into the more traditional gender roles. But I believe we owe it to ourselves as a community to shed our own personal prejudices, and reject the idea that a man is inferior if he is flamboyant or openly identifies as gay. While we are busy putting people into boxes the opposition is quickly devising a plan to keep the LGBT community separate and unequal. I don't know about you but the latter is the battle I'm choosing.


<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

I'm not quite sure what your point is. Are you trying to suggest that fems get no love because masculine men have issues with effemininity? That's a bit of a stretch.

Are all of us supposed to like all the rest of us? Does individual choice, personal preference and natural physiological attraction play no role in how we connect to one another? Are all effeminate men attracted to everyone, or do they too choose their partners discriminately?

The great undiscussed topic in the gay community is that we have ALL been bamboozled into thinking that all gay men are effeminate. Gay and effeminate are NOT synonymous terms. Not all gay men are effeminate and not all effeminate men are gay.

Many of us, who have lived our entire lives as masculine gay men, have felt conflicted by the dual messages from both the straight community, that gay men are all nelly queens, and the gay community, that wants to label masculine behavior as somehow trying to hide who we really are. We're not hiding, we're not "acting" straight, we're not trying to pass and most of us are not on the DL. We are naturally masculine gay men, many of whom--dare I say it--prefer the company of other masculine gay men.

The diversity within our community that needs to be embraced is that some of us are naturally fem and some of us are naturally masculine and that within that context we are all free to like who we want.

November 26, 2007 7:25 PM

<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

i swear that you stole this line from b scotts bgc profile !!

"...wore Chanel # 5, dressed in drag, had a limp wrist, and gave everything we considered fierce two snaps up.."


you are so NOT queeny! anyone who has seen u in those khaki churchpants knows what a big strong boy u really are ;-)

November 26, 2007 8:04 PM

<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...


You know full well that a man who live his life trying to be a female in every way possible is not getting in "touch" with his "soft" side. This issue is bigger than that.

November 26, 2007 9:40 PM

<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

First and foremost I would like to applaud Darian for posting this article for this is exactly how I as a Black Gay Feminine Christian feel when it comes down to living everyday life in a society where it’s not easy to be yourself. But at the same time, here I am living, definitely walking and breathing in my truth with satisfaction and yet it is not considered the “norm” in a community of people of diversity. That’s what the Rainbow flag stands for. But I digress. Now for the READ:

Captian- For someone who’s claiming to be heterosexual and against homosexual acts you’re on this site quite a bit. Most heterosexual men or what you would call “ REAL MEN” that I know don’t have the slightest clue of what this site is about Let alone this blog and yet on every posting you always have something to say. But its okay WE know the truth! And F.Y.I Not all feminine men don’t try to be women, that’s absurd! I can’t help if GOD the GOOD LORD AND SAVIOR gave me some extra seasoning in my Gumbo of life! Why can’t the fact that feminine men just happen to be different cross minds? And not all feminine men are gay DUH!! Why is it that when you see someone whose feminine they’re automatically perceived as inferior or trying to be a member of the opposite sex? IN FACT I BELIEVED THAT FEMININE MEN ARE REAL MEN FOR THEY CAN LIVE IN THEIR DIVERSITY, WALK FIERCLY IN THEIR OWN DRUM AND BE CONTENT ALL ON THE SAME NOTION. I can’t turn my sexuality and mannerism off as if I have a light switch! And honestly Who would choose to be oppressed, gay bashed, raped and used as sexual objects and not thought of as a person and other obstacle that we have to face on a daily bases? If you think being gay is a choice, You’re crazy as hell!

And for all of my masculine brothers. I understand that personal preferences does play a role when it comes to choosing a potential mate. HOWEVER. There’s is a difference between preference and prejudice and from my experience and the experiences of other feminine cohorts, feminine men don’t get any love. All we’re saying is don’t count us out! Include us in. For we too are apart of the community reside in. Prime example. When the AIDS epidemic broke out during the 80’s and the group ACT UP was protesting the government for it’s negligence to provide treatment for those who were infected, it wasn’t the hyper masculine men who were still in the closet or struggling with the mixed messages of the two communities standing on the frontline, it was the “QUEENS” who were out there in their attire of choice who were making their voices be heard. So If anything, feminine men should be just as respected as another other man, for we too are MEN. And another thing. We are not your play things!! We are not the towel bowls where you can deposit your insecurities and fears and leave us feel destitute. Neither are we going to any longer be the punching bags for BLACK COMMUNITIES, CHURCH COMMUNITIES, OPRESSED COMMUNITIES and I be DAMNED IF I EVER ALLOW ANOTHER MAN TO TELL ME THAT I AM UNWORTHY OF LOVE AND THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS BECAUSE THE DEVIL IS A LIAR.

The problem is a lot of men(NOT ALL MEN) are given this illusive and somewhat dysfunctional model of what a man is supposed to be instead of finding and following their own definition of MANHOOD.

November 29, 2007 3:29 PM


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