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12 comments | Monday, November 02, 2009







Over the weekend CNN's Don Lemon moderated a brief panel discussion on homosexuality in the black community during a special presentation on "Black Men In The Age of Obama." The discussion served as a precursor to Lemon's upcoming Gay In America series.


Much of the discussion, unfortunately, centered around the down low and the effect the deceptive behavior is having on the health of black women. Nothing new here. However, Lemmon injects a harsh dose of reality when speaking about a closeted black gay man who refuses to come out for fear of losing his family.


Transcript via Pam's House Blend


Lemon:I was researching something for a story I was doing as part of our Gay in America series, and there was one young man at work who said -- I said, well, do you know anyone who is on the down low who I can interview about what have you? And he said, no one, I couldn't tell you. He said, I am. And I said, why can't you -- why won't you just come out? He said, because my sisters won't love me. They won't accept me. My family won't love me. My family won't accept me. And I say, so you walk around working, pretend that you're straight? And he said, yeah, I have to do that in order to survive. What is that drama?


That drama is the reality for so many black LGBT's who are willing to sacrifice their authenticity, self-esteem, mental, physical, & spiritual health in order to remain bonded to their blood rather than risk losing them by telling the truth. Does anyone else have a problem with this?


After profiling both the black and latino communities it's only appropriate that CNN examines one of the last minorities still fighting for equal treatment under the law. Loldarian.com was contacted earlier this year regarding Gay In America and the producers seem committed to including black LGBT's in the story. Let's hope this is still the case because we sure weren't represented on this panel.


I'd love to hear your thoughts. Get into the video below:


12 Comments:

<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

That was not a good examination of LGBTs at all. It was a stereotypical discussion in my opinion. Thats why it's so hard for us to come out.

November 02, 2009 9:29 AM

 
<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

Maybe its just me, but I didn’t get enough from the video to see that the conversation was one sided or under represented of Black GLBT people.
The ONLY thing I totally agreed with was the sistah at the very first of the video when stated that the African American Community needs to “GET REAL”! (aint that the truth).
Far, far, far, far, too long have we as blacks avoided discussing this issue honestly and candidly.
The few times it is discussed, nothing substantial is ever learned or gained from it.
In my personal opinion, more of the fault lies within us as Black GLBT Brothas and Sistas. This is OUR LIVES, and WE must stand up and be counted that we are viable/loving/tax paying/mentoring/educated/productive/sound minded men and women who is present in all aspects of society. I feel that before any type of conversation can take place WITHIN the black community, that Black GLBT community needs to clean house of their own first and foremost.
A little over a week ago, Darian posted an open thread titled; “Open Thread: Why Are Black Gay Men Absent From The Gay Civil Rights Movement?” and although there were a wide variety of mixed responses, what resonated with me is that as a whole, there is such a discord just within Gay Black Men in regards to our diversity and the ability to live openly within society that its NO WONDER we can’t begin to demand the respect that we deserve from our own community, hell we on the most part don’t have respect for OURSELVES as Gay men of color!

It will be interesting to see the report on Gay in America, its about time that a real conversation is being spoken, especially within the black community.
Before I point fingers and say that the above clip was mis representative I would have to see the whole presentation in order to form an opinion.

What I DO know that is that our community is lacking vocal, strong black Gay & Lesbian leaders to take charge and bring these issues and of the lack of acceptance of GLBT people of color amongst our own to a national stage.

Hopefully, this report will start the ball rolling to get us the exposure that is well past needed.

November 02, 2009 12:15 PM

 
<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

I watched the show in its entirety. Based on what Don Lemon
(the CNN facilitator) said on the show, he thinks of black gay men ONLY in terms of a down-low stereotype whose primary purpose in life is to infect themselves and "innocent" black women with the HIV/AIDS virus.

Suprisingly, the panelists weren't buying what Mr. Lemon was saying about black gay men. To a man (AND the black woman Essence magazine editor who offered her insights), they ALL said that gay people should be respected and treated equally.


@ME
It is NEVER going to be easy to "come out". It's not the job of straight black people to make it "easy" for black LGBT people to come out. If you come out, you do so because it is the life affirming thing to do and not because someone made it easy for you to do.

November 02, 2009 1:15 PM

 
<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

I'm just really sick and tired of the "dl" lifestyle always being the focal point of any public discussion about gay black men. Believe it or not black men aren't the only group of people to have closeted homosexuals living double and deceptive lives. There is a lot of gray area in human sexuality as a whole. So the DL is, has, and will forever be around no matter how much self esteem progress is made. I also have to question the validity of all of these statistics that folks are tossing around here as being the absolute truth. I don't doubt that women have been infected with HIV from down low men, but I'm not sure that it's to the extent that some would want us to believe it is. Sometimes I feel like black gays are often over analyzed for not being up to speed with the white gays. I also feel that we are sort of being denied the time and/or opportunity to make mistakes, learn from those mistakes and grow at our own pace. It seems like someone somewhere is always reprimanding us from the inside of our community on out.

November 02, 2009 1:17 PM

 
<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

"I'm just really sick and tired of the "dl" lifestyle always being the focal point of any public discussion about gay black men."

The question is what are black gay men going to do about it? Whining about being stereotyped on a blog is NOT going to solve the problem.

Keith Boykin, where are you?

November 02, 2009 1:39 PM

 
<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

"The question is what are black gay men going to do about it? Whining about being stereotyped on a blog is NOT going to solve the problem."

Contact CNN and complain about Don Lemon and his homophobic views about black gay men. Demand that black gay men be allowed to come on CNN and defend themselves. Do it now!

November 02, 2009 4:30 PM

 
<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

(1) What openly black, educated gay man has a national or regional spotlight. Keith Boykins is not longer the black gay leader. He retired.

(2) the damn black prides are all about sex. Who the hell needs to fight for sex?

(3) what issue does black gay people have that is not already covered in white gay or the black civil rights

(4) the problem is that the black leadership does not want anything to upfront their fight for civil rights. So, if you come out, then you are being left behind--maybe this is changing if you have money.

(5) the black gay organization are fixated on youth (sex, looks, and music)

November 02, 2009 7:27 PM

 
<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

(1) What openly black, educated gay man has a national or regional spotlight. Keith Boykins is not longer the black gay leader. He retired.

(2) the damn black prides are all about sex. Who the hell needs to fight for sex?

(3) what issue does black gay people have that is not already covered in white gay or the black civil rights

(4) the problem is that the black leadership does not want anything to upfront their fight for civil rights. So, if you come out, then you are being left behind--maybe this is changing if you have money.

(5) the black gay organization are fixated on youth (sex, looks, and music)

November 02, 2009 7:27 PM

 
<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

Besides the fact that a DL lifestyle was heavily focused on, I do agree with some of the views that were mentioned in the clip. Yes we are as a community living in the "51st state of America, which is the state of denial," and I'm glad that a panel of our black men-some in support, and some not- can come together and discuss this in a manner that is respectable. It's all about progress.

And another thing, was when I guy on the panel mentioned that while we (as gay African-American men) are being alienated by our own people, we need to be embraced by our church family, and not shunned out. Great points on what I did see, and I'll defnintely be checking out the rest soon.

Thanks for posting.

November 02, 2009 7:28 PM

 
<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

I believe that we should use this platform as a way to rise up and work together more in our own community. If we are not accepted in their churches or on their jobs, then hell, create our own safe and relaxed work environments along with our own churches that are accepting of everyone. We spend so much time trying to please and be accepted that we forget to please and comfort our own community.Stop making everyone else look fabulous and creative while we sit behind the scenes like some fifties housewife.( sorry to anyone offended) Our strength comes in numbers , so it is time to represent;just like the boycotts of the sixties and maybe keep it in the "FAMILY" just like the Jews. Everyone is scared of rejection or appearing wimpy but having a physical sfe haven is more important, because it is a resting stop in our daily activities. Lets begin to make more things physically tangible and stop hiding behind the scenes or on the net.

November 02, 2009 10:59 PM

 
<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

It was a poorly articulated discussion especially since Don Lemon used JL King's book as the beginning of the discussion. Those on the down-low aren't the majority of black SGL males in this nation. There are a number of out-of-the-closet black males, but most of them have regular careers that requires them to spend their time on. The only blame I can lay claim on is those black-oriented LGBT organizations that have dropped the ball in middle game on getting their message heard. One prominent organization is NBJC, which needs to step up its A-game.

Also as MyPOV said, the black SGL community is just getting their feet wet in the past decade with organization basic things. Honestly, you can't expect them to form into a powerhouse demographic block overnight. However, I also agree that black prides other activities such as informative seminars and productive activities aside from the sex and clubbing needs to get more prominence.

November 04, 2009 4:54 PM

 
<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

"Contact CNN and complain about Don Lemon and his homophobic views about black gay men. Demand that black gay men be allowed to come on CNN and defend themselves. Do it now!"

Honey you do know Lemon is a gay man don't you? I think he was trying to be objective in his questions, sort of leading the panel into one or another direction. I've noticed he does that often, but he's not homophobic, trust.

November 16, 2009 4:17 PM

 

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