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1 comments | Wednesday, April 30, 2008

"We're in this box and in order to be in that box you have to be strong, you have to be tough, you have to have a lot of girls, you gotta have money, you gotta be a player or a pimp. You have to be in control, you have to dominate other men, other people. And if you're none of those things then you get called soft or a faggot or a pussy and nobody wants to be any of those things, so you stay in a box"-from The Masculinity Project

The Masculinity Project produced by The National Black Programming Consortium is soliciting the talent of filmmakers, visual artists, and audio producers to explore the critical question of masculinity in the African -American community.

The often seen media portrayals of black men as thugs and deadbeat dads have permeated itself into American culture and many within the hip-hop industry have done little to dispel these stereotypes. Unfortunately, many would agree that the violent and hyper -masculine images that have become synonymous with hip-hop has been embraced as an example of true black masculinity by some and further given truth to these awful and inaccurate stereotypes.

As an openly black gay man I've become accustomed to my masculinity being questioned simply because I don't fit the stereotype or adhere to the traditional expectations of the black man. I'm not married with two kids and a dog in the suburbs or I'm not on the street corner drinking a 40 and smoking weed, so therefore by some ridiculous standard as a black gay man I'm not even qualified to identify as a man. My same-sex attraction somehow disqualifies me and in some cases isolates me from the black community at large and my manhood.

I guess that would be the case if I didn't know any better, thankfully I do.

But what about other black gay men who wrestle with their sexuality and their place in the black community as strong men? We're all aware that if you're told you're an abomination or you're less than enough you'll start to believe it if you don't already know your worth. I think we've seen the destructive behaviors that result in SGL men who conform to heterosexual ideals, the most destructive being the down low phenomenon.

I encourage you all to visit The Masculinity Project website to view the video for yourself here. This is a topic that I find myself frequently addressing on this site as well as in real life conversations. I really think the definition of black masculinity needs to be broadened or at the very least not held up as negative stereotype that is to be lived up to.

In Case You Missed It:

When I Get My Timbs

I'm Not Gay, I'm A Real Man!

Darian Defends B. Scott & Black Gay Men

Hi-five to loldarian.com affiliate thebrotherlove.com


<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

It means you have more melanin than I do.

The definition of masculinity does not need to be broadened.. what is really needed is for the government to go out and seize all of the label guns that have apparently made it into circulation. Labels are in many ways more harmful than bullets. The pen is mightier than the sword.

May 02, 2008 9:46 PM


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