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6 comments | Thursday, September 18, 2008

This post was originally published earlier this year, but I felt the need to post it again after observing first hand how cruel we as black gay men can be towards each other. It wasn't pretty and it forced me to take a couple of days to re-examine my own interactions with others and my position in the community. As a marginalized group of people we could all benefit from giving and receiving more love in the face of hate. Until Monday, be blessed.


Are We Our Own Worst Enemy?
Originally Published on May 14,2008


When I came out to my mother at 16 I can remember one of her greatest fears was that I'd be subjected to the cruel and unfair treatment that gays and lesbians face in society. She was equally afraid that I would face employment discrimination as well as rejection from the church. I assured her at 16 that I was strong enough to deal with any curve ball that life threw my way as a result of my "choice". I would later find out the choice I made to tell the truth and walk with my head held high was not as easy for everyone else as it was for me. But it was that decision that filtered over into every area of my life that I believe shaped my character and eventually led me into activism.


Gay rights is a civil rights issue. No American should be denied the right to housing, employment, healthcare, or marriage based on their sexual orientation, gender identity or expression. But allow me to take it a step further. No American should ever have to feel unsafe because they decide to walk down the street holding their partner's hand or face rejection from their family and church because they don't fit into the traditional roles. There should be a place at the table for all of us. I believe there can be- and if doors are being closed on us before we can pull out a seat at the table, then by all means we should kick the door down.


The problem I'm finding in the black gay community is that not everyone believes they're entitled to these rights and it's painfully obvious in many different ways. Now what I'm about to say will probably upset a lot of people and you may disagree and fire off a nasty comment or e-mail and that's fine. But this is the truth as I see it.


If I never had to read another online message board it would probably be a good thing. You see it's online where people really get to show who they truly are. They use their keyboards to spew the hatred that would likely get them into a lot of trouble if it were done in the real world. But what's appalling is the division and anti-gay sentiment that often comes from those within the community and not just from the opposition.


I have my issues with the broader(white)gay community, but when it comes to rallying together to fight for their civil rights or to be represented in the media they are on one accord. How I wish it was the same for us.


It seems many of us are so afraid to live openly that we wear the DL title like it's a badge of honor. We sit in churches and listen to religious dogma that's detrimental to our souls, refusing to leave, refusing to acknowledge who we really are and willingly participate in the bashing.


We run to black gay pride celebrations all over the country in droves but we fail to show up to events that will have a long lasting impact on our lives.


We divide ourselves by our outward characteristics. Fems, fats, queens, thugs, trade, or "straight-acting".


We slowly destroy the very small representation we have in the media with the power of our own tongue. It happened with Noah's Arc and it's beginning to happen with The DL Chronicles. While we should always expect quality material we should never expect these shows to be all things to all people.


We scoff at the idea that black gay relationships can and do work often becoming jaded and closed off.


We're not in a position to defend ourselves publicly from attacks because we're too afraid to come out. And we wonder why the black community is content with equating gays with whites even when they know better? Our community spokesperson that we could all count on to speak for us whether you agreed with his politics or not is retired. Who do we have now?


Our self esteem plummets as a result of internalized homophobia and it leads to all kinds of reckless behavior.


This is a problem. Forget about the homophobes in the world and the great white gay majority because somedays it seems we are our own worst enemy.

6 Comments:

<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

Darian: Many black gay men don't know any other way but to tear each other down. This is a very real problem we have.

If you're going to call yourself a BLACK GAY ACTIVIST, it is a problem you have to commit to healing. Use your blog to educate and "point the way forward". You are making a difference.

September 19, 2008 8:52 AM

 
<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

This "self-hatred" infecting so many black gay men is rooted in the very real HATRED the "black community" has for us.

Many, perhaps most, straight black people hate black gay men with a visceral passion for various reasons including the AIDS/HIV crisis among black WOMEN.

Although the self-hatred is NOT OUR FAULT, it is OUR responsibility to fix the problem. No one else cares.

September 19, 2008 10:51 AM

 
<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

Darian can you tell us what it was you observed that got you thinking again on how we treat one another?
Not tryin to be nosey but a lot of times these observations are "teachable moments" helping to drive home the point to those who don't get to witness with their own eyes and could possible help folks avoid em.

Please share.

September 20, 2008 12:32 PM

 
<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

It's not just within the black gay community, it's in the black community period, black people

hate being black, it's a chore, with all the straigtening comb's and creme's and relaxers, and

having to hold your lip's in so that don't look too big, and having to put vaseline ( that's what i use it's cheap and it

works ) all over your body after a bath or shower, so you don't look ashy .

And then you have to watch the way you talk in front of white folk you don't wanna sound to black, and you have to watch how you talk in front of black people you don't wanna sound to white..

snd then if you go to bed with somebody outside your race you gotta perform to their and your expectation's or else it'll be all over town ( I had a white boy in Holland tell me once " I thought you'd be wilder " )

And then it's the same thing if you go to bed with a brother, now tell the truth, you know how it feel's if the brother is smaller than you.

and then you gotta have a big thing and be able to screw anything that'll let you screw it, don't matter what it look like, you gotta dance, and have the beat it's natural you see...

And you gotta love yah momma she can be a useless bitch on wheel's but yah gotta love her, if you don't you acting too white, can't have any mental issues, you see only white folk need thearapists

now I could go on, but you get the drift, it's hard being black, you ever hook up with a "black women" for any length of time...? if she educated, then she gonna always be smarter than you, if she ghetto, oh well you don't even wanna go there, and then the brother's well

brother's, apple don't fall to far from the tree...damn this could be a book, but it's hard being black, especially when most black people don't want to be black.

shoot white man got us falling all over ourselve's over a half....never mind....

it's hard being black, and then gay....shoot me.

September 20, 2008 3:59 PM

 
<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

I had a friend (Yeah, right!) who used every opportunity he could to feign upset so he could say all manner of mean and hateful things to me - to let me know how he REALLY felt. It did not take me long to get the message, but I also got a loud and clear message that it was not just me he disliked. It was his own self that he hated the most, and with that being the case, nothing more but the vileness that he spewed out upon others could be expected to come forth from him. While the problem most certainly has roots in our larger community ills, we at some point have to wake up to our own personal sicknesses, and become responsible for our own healing. Is it that we really don't know any other way? Is it really straight folks fault? Is it the fault of white folks? We don't need straight folks, white folks or no other folks to blame for our being mean, nasty, and downright vicious to other gay brothas, & often for no good reason. Is it really that DAMNED HARD being a black gay man? If so, then perhaps we ALL need to be shot and put out of our misery.

September 21, 2008 10:25 PM

 
<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

Well don't shoot me! LOL
I've witnessed some truly viscious queens do their mess and I've noticed sometimes when confronted by the people they've harmed, they will start mimicing their victims emotional response, like rehearsing for a play, absorbing the other person's emotinality and sending it right back to them only with more fury while continuing to spread lies defaming a person's character with the full strenght and righteousness of someone who might have legititmate reason for doing so.

In those situations it often hard for other people to tell right away just who is in the wrong since the liar can become convinced that they are in fact the victim after rehearsing another person's response to their vicious behavior

And just imagine what happens to the victim of the hateful acts when they realize others have become convinced by the liar. In that situation, it would be very hard not to retaliate.

Hate spreads like a virus.

September 23, 2008 2:09 AM

 

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