Note from Darian: This post was originally published in September of 2008. Since then this video has been one of the most watched and discussed videos on my YouTube channel as well as on the blog. Last night I had the pleasure of participating in a discussion about sexual roles among gay men at The Deeper Love Project here in Atlanta and I thought it would be nice to revisit this conversation. Do we tend to devalue effeminate brothers or those we perceive to be "bottoms" in our community while placing more masculine brothers or those we perceive to be "tops" on a pedastal? I know how I would answer that question.
"You don't have to twist and turn and do all of this and that. Be who you are-that's your business. But when you put your business out there don't get upset when they holler at you, hey punk, hey fag"!-Bobby Blake
This post is for all of my fem brothers who have written and asked me to speak about the harassment and ridicule they face for being who they are.
As I sat and listened to adult film star Bobby Blake over Pride weekend discuss one of the aspects of gay culture that he absolutely deplored as he promoted his new book 'My Life In Porn', I couldn't help but look at him sideways and roll my eyes and I'll tell you why.
It's not easy being black and gay in America, but the load does seem a little lighter when you're hovering over six feet with a presence that would intimidate the average person. Unlike many effeminate black gay men who are easily 'clockable,' if one was not aware of Blake's past involvement in the gay porn industry they would probably assume he were straight. After all he has become famous for his sexual prowess and his ability to dominate the very men he looks down upon.
But the problem I have with his views on effeminate gay men reaches beyond Bobby Blake the "actor" and into the broader community where I believe we all suffer from the same twisted self-hate.
Our community is comprised of all different shades of gay and somewhere along the way the social constructs of masculinity along with the influence of hip-hop in gay culture has ostracized the 'fem queen'.
You remember him don't you? The one who couldn't hide his sexuality behind a do-rag, wife beater, and a pair of Timbs. The one who bore the brunt of anti-gay harassment because there was just a little too much sugar in his kool-aid. The one that realized that "straight acting" was just that-acting and at the end of the day he was still gay.
Let's face it there are some brothers who couldn't butch it up if they tried. So why have these men become an embarrassment to our community? Sure, I believe there is a time and a place for everything, but there is never in my book a time to conform to heterosexual ideals as a gay man when you risk losing your authenticity.
Our differences should be celebrated and not denigrated, especially not by those within our own community.