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12 comments | Sunday, April 20, 2008

Last week I put out a call for help in finding author Rashid Darden and the call was answered. Thank you guys so much! Not only did I connect with Rashid but he was kind enough to send me an advanced copy of his soon-to-be released novel "Covenant" which I read in less than 48 hours. What an amazing read!

Covenant is Rashid's second book and is a continuation of the story from his debut novel "Lazarus". For those of you who have not read either book allow me to bring you up to speed.

Both books are set on the campus of Potomac University in Washington, D.C. and tell the story of Adrian Collins, an intelligent and highly respected college student who is coming to terms with his sexuality while pledging a traditional black fraternity, Beta Chi Phi. Amidst conservative and homophobic surroundings, Adrian is determined to be himself, experience love, and become a respected member of his fraternity.

The pledging process is not a cakewalk for Adrian as some of his brothers suspect that he might be gay. Adrian is frequently subjected to verbal and even physical abuse. But like Lazarus he continues to rise.

I know many gay brothers in traditional fraternities identify with the fear of coming out to or being outed by their brothers. Most black fraternities embrace Christianity as a foundation for their organization and have purposefully worked to exclude openly gay members.

So is there an alternative for openly gay brothers who don't want to retreat to the closet in order to experience brotherhood? Of course there is, actually there's hundreds of options. And I'm not talking about the MIAKA's. But here's just a few.

Take a moment and browse their websites to see what they have to offer. Remember there is always an alternative when you've been abused and rejected by traditional organizations. Be it a church or a fraternity, you should surround yourself with people who lift you up versus tearing you down.

A special thank you to Quan Rutledge, president of the Iota Chapter of Gamma Mu Phi in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Gamma Mu Phi Fraternity Inc.

Delta Phi Upsilon Fraternity Inc.

Kappa Psi Kappa Fraternity Inc.

And for my beautiful lesbian sisters- Beta Phi Omega Sorority Inc.


<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

Wow, glad you got in contact with him and thanks for posting those links to the Fraternities.

Cash S

April 21, 2008 8:12 AM

<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

I've reached the point where I do not feel SAFE around straight black people. They are some creepy, bigoted people. I have to admit, if I am truly honest with myself, that I do not like them. They obviously do not like me or people like me.

April 21, 2008 12:48 PM

<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

i think comments like that cause a break-down in any potential discussion between gay and straight individuals. i can appreciate that your experiences may have led you to make that statement, but i ask if that statement will close you off from some straight people who do not think in that way? would it be fair of me to say that all gay people have a chip on their shoulder and won't enter into conversation with me without being suspicious? absolutely not. so you are punishing and assuming that future interactions will be like past interactions. that's sad...but to each his own, i guess

April 21, 2008 7:25 PM

<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

Selene- You took the words right out of my mouth. Thank you.


April 22, 2008 12:13 AM

<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

I'm anonymous 4-21-08, 9:18 am:

Yesterday, I walked into a store. I was minding my own business. A black female clerk yells the word FAGGOT. Everyone turns and looks at me, as if to see who the faggot is. I am humiliated, hurt and angry. No one stepped to my defense.

Sometimes people, black people, just stare at me or look at me and bust out laughing. This is happening on a regular basis here in Cincinnati, Ohio when I go out in public.

I am not a flame (although there is nothing wrong with that). I am a well groomed, middle-income black gay man. I have worked hard over the years and I take very good care of myself. Perhaps that bothers some black people in this city whose population is almost 1/2black but the average black person you see on the streets (especially the average black man) looks down-at-the-mouth, so to speak. They tend to look like they need a bath, a shave and some new clothes. People who come here from other cities where blacks seem to have better opportunities, have commented about this to me.

Selene: How dare you equate my anxiety/depression and pain over this abuse with "having a chip on my shoulder"? In order for your words to mean anything, you have to say "no" to anti-gay abuse WHENEVER YOU HEAR IT. You have to put your heterosexual safety on the line. Don't lecture ME, lecture homophobic straight people about their homophobia.

Darian: What kind of black gay man are you to agree with her. Her comments were dismissive and abusive. One reason why black gay men will NEVER have a black gay movement is that they don't know how to empathize with each other. Why would you take the side of a straight woman against me, a fellow black gay man under siege in this miserable town? Now that you know more of my story, do you STILL agree with her over me?

Darian: will black gay men ever learn to give each other UNCONDITIONAL SUPPORT? There can be NO solidarity between or amongst us until we learn how to love each other unconditionally. Why do you not know this?

My comments from the other day are based on my experiences. I've NEVER had a straight person defend me when this happens.

April 22, 2008 9:11 AM

<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...


If you're a regular visitor to my blog then you know I'm all about empowering and uplifting the black gay community.

We responded to the initial comment you left. Maybe if you would have gone into detail from the jump we would have responded differently, I'm almost sure the response would have been different.

Your first comment was the equivalent of how many in the straight community perceive gays and lesbians.You put all straight people in a box and labeled them all homophobic bigots, when in reality many of them are our allies.

I feel your pain. I too have experienced some of the same cruel and unfair treatment. However, I believe if we cut off all communication with those who wish to do us harm then things will never change.

I'm sorry you had to go through that yesterday. But I challenge you not to allow that experience to turn you into a "bitter"(for lack of a better word) victim, but a victor. We have the ability to change our community and the world we live in.

Believe it or not, posting your feelings here could have been the first step.


April 22, 2008 10:14 AM

<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

ummmm...since my response to anonymous's follow-up was not posted, i guess i will try again...

i assume the reason darian was able to agree with my initial comment is because he understands the importance of discussion between groups of people with differing viewpoints. he understands that in order to fix/heal the schism, then conversation must be had in the hopes that both sides will leave with a better understanding. anonymous, if you accurately understood my response to you, you would see that your first comment broke down those lines of communication because you "do not like them [hetereosexuals]." how do you expect non-SGL individuals to speak up in your defense when you clearly have pre-conceived notions about heterosexuals? you made a far reaching, blanket statement that is grossly inaccurate. if you feel that my comment is dismissive then so be it; you were quite dismissive from the jump. i attempted to provide you an example of how the other side of the coin looks, and you took it personally to mean i was talking about you (RIF, sir).

bottom line is this...you can feel the way you want about heterosexuals, but don't expect them to come to your defense when you hold such negative attitudes about a group of people based off past bad individual experiences.

i could say a lot more, but for what? clearly you know it all and probably will assume that it is yet another (imaginary) attack :-/

April 23, 2008 6:29 AM

<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

Anonymous 4-21-08, 9:18pm and 4-22-08, 5:54pm again:

"bottom line is this...you can feel the way you want about heterosexuals, but don't expect them to come to your defense when you hold such negative attitudes about a group of people based off past bad individual experiences".

Selene: It's interesting that at no point in your response to me do you express ANY outrage at the homophobic abuses I cited.

Would you like it if a man called you a bitch to your face or loud enough for you to hear? I don't need "dialogue" with you or anyone to know that it's inappropriate.
It doesn't take dialogue to know that homophobic name-calling is wrong. Name-callers KNOW their name-calling is offensive. That's why they do it - to hurt, to wound. If I have to "dialogue" with a straight BLACK person about homophobic name-calling (you are perfectly aware how black people whine like children when a white person calls them a nigger) I'm probably wasting my time.

By the way, I HAVE attempted to "dialogue" with straight black people about their homophobic name-calling and I didn't get anyhere. By my bringing it up, they knew they had gotten under my skin and the abuse actually got WORSE. So I know I'm right.

You sound like a white person "back in the day" telling black people to stay in their place and, above all, do not get "angry" because if you do get angry we will abandon you.

My "preconceived notions" are based the homophobic experiences I've had with straight black people including my own blood RELATIVES. I did not cause any break down in communication with straight black people because there was NEVER any communication between us in the first place.

Your underlying homophobia is evident based on your fighting me on this. You are not the "friend" of gay people you seem to think that you are.

April 23, 2008 11:31 AM

<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

thanks for posting my comments. i know some of them haven't been posted and i can appreciate why you may not. i know my sarcasm can be a little much, but i find it interesting that people make the assumptions they do about someone typing at a keyboard (who they don't really know). i try to be respectful of the site, trying to learn as i go. not to discredit his pain, but his responses (and his comments to me about acting like a white person "back in the day" and being a homophobe) could easily lead one to believe that he has just as many prejudices that he claims others have of him.

April 23, 2008 12:47 PM

<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

Anonymous again:

"i find it interesting that people make the assumptions they do about someone typing at a keyboard (who they don't really know)".

Selene: You don't know me either, yet you equate MY wanting to remove myself from the abuse of homophobic straight black people with THEIR homophobic abuse. How strange.

You say you "try to be respectful of the site". If true, then LISTEN to gay people, especially when they talk about experiences that may make you feel uncomfortable as a straight person.

Guess what. Your apparent dismissal of the FULL range of gay humanity, including anger and, yes, hatred (both of which are HUMAN emotions that I'm sure you have experienced), is glaring.

I have decided to put myself first, regardless of how society "sees" me and people like me. That means, it's not about what makes straight people comfortable. It's about OUR dignity as a sexual minority.

April 24, 2008 9:15 AM

<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

Greetings to all my Greek Pham,glad to know that now that you found him. Whats next? I happy to come across this page at my job. "Finding Rashid & Exploring Black Gay Fraternities" is indeed worth looking at.

This moring i woke up thinking about "myself" as a major player in the world of all the "Down Low bruthaz here in NYC. All my life i have dealt with who also deals with their wives and me too. I am trying to stopp! I have not had sex with anyman who states he is "Gay" or act Fem. I am into just Merried Men. Do you think this is something i need to stop.
Outside looking in.
Kappa Psi Kappa Fraternity, Inc.
New York City

May 28, 2008 9:20 AM

<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

I want to ask a question. I am a black,christian, straight women. My personal believe is that homosexuality just like lying, fornication( which I have committed before) are sins. I do not condone horrible treatment of any one, inlcuding Gay men or women. To each his own and you live your life .......that is between you and God. I even have friends who are gay ......they know my believes but I never judge them. Yet and still I am treated badly and callled a bigot. So b/c I am a christian woman with certain believes I should be Judged?! I think we all need to work on loving our selves and one another! If you are gay be open and don't risk your life or others. Some one might not agree with your choices , but it is your life to live!

December 04, 2008 10:35 AM


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