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4 comments | Friday, May 20, 2011

Blogger and friend to loldarian.com Son of Baldwin responds to the highly publicized coming out of CNN anchor Don Lemon and the bitter criticism of Lemon's coming out by activist Cleo Manago. I believe this is worth discussing.

From Son of Baldwin:

I have no evidence of this other than my own experiences, but I tend to believe that black gay men who either criticize or express apathy (or antipathy) toward other gay black men who "come out" are doing so out of one of two things: fear or shame. Or, perhaps, both.

I believe that the black men who aren't out to friends or family feel a kind of pressure to do so when other black gay men come out; they feel implicated and called out by the action of the black gay man who announces himself. In order to resist that force, they try to delegitimize the coming out experience by recasting it as something unnecessary or undesirable; as a sign of weakness or selfishness; as something reserved only for white gay men. They play up the benefits of a heterosexual facade and ridicule those who either cannot or will not maintain the facade.

By viewing "coming out" in this light, those who don't want to come out can feel undisturbed by their decision while simultaneously pretending that their position is the courageous one. But, in fact, it takes no courage at all to pretend to be straight or to completely hide your true sexuality for fear of judgment or violence; it may be convenient, but it isn't brave. It's easy to point at the fellow who comes out, who refuses to abide by fear or the shame inflicted upon him by others, and say, "So? What do you want, a medal?" (Or, in some cases, "Why does he have to draw attention to himself??" by which they mean, "Why does he have to draw attention to me??")

I don't think black gay men who come out want a medal. I think they want to be loved, accepted, and respected for who they are in the same way their heterosexual brothers who announce they're getting married to the woman of their dreams are. The opposition says, of course, that "Sex is a private matter!"

Someone should tell that to all the heterosexual couples who have had incredibly public weddings for the last 2000 years. Because isn't that what a wedding is, at its core: a public announcement of one's romantic and sexual commitments? Why then should only some members of society be entitled to that privilege?


<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

Wow!! Every Black gay man should read this! Thanks for highlighting this blogpost Darian.

May 22, 2011 6:00 AM

<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

I agree with your post. I support any man who is brave enough to admit who they are. In my opinion, it takes more energy to play "straight" it is definitely more stressful! Trust me; I tried for almost 25 years.

Please support my endeavors:

Deep Dark Secrets

May 23, 2011 9:05 PM

<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

I agree as well. What disheartened me also was the reaction to the possibility that he is currently dating a white male. The attacks of he must hate being black or hate black men because he is "possibly" dating a white guy is very disheartening.

May 24, 2011 1:01 AM

<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

rey rey said:
its true, like in my case a closeted black gay man, I don't knock those who come out but I express apathy (never antipathy) toward other gay black men who "come out". Yes, I do so out of both fear and shame. However inside i jump for joy and pride that he was able and willing to take such a step in his life.

The thing for many of us is not hate for ourselves but the hate from ohers towards us and our kind. So we hide things that seem "gay" in this society and at the sametime maintain a "heterosexual and or masculine" state of being for the public.

Many of us(closeted gay-black-men) are generally brave but the thought of the masses hating us if we were to come out 'today', and the same masses had loved us 'yesterday' but then now loved us no more is lethal to their life-energy; it could drive a man crazy. I hope u can relate to why some of us are living like this.

October 26, 2011 10:05 PM


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