Monthly Archives: April 2010
Will you be making your car a no phone zone?
I personally wasn’t going to take the pledge because I thought hey I am a responsible driver and I know I won’t ever get into an accident because of texting on the phone.
Well one day when I was driving home from campus after a class I turned down a street and the woman coming in the opposite direction was driving in the middle of the road and had her head focused on her cell phone as she sent a text. She looked up at the last minute and swerved out of the way avoiding my car and she ended up running off the side of the road into a ditch. It was in that instant that I realized how dangerous driving while talking or texting on the phone is so dangerous.
I know we all feel like we have to be connected every second of every minute of every day but there comes a point where being connected has to be weighed with being safe.
I encourage you all to take Oprah’s No Phone Zone pledge to make your car a phone free zone. I promise you the call can wait, the text can wait. It’s not your life or someone else’s.
The black gay community more than anyone should know better than to reconstruct a Jim Crow mentality, in which privileged gay men think that other gay men should be LUCKY that they can stomach to be around them let alone associate with them. As African Americans, short term memory is our worst enemy and so many of us seem to think that the oppression and discrimination that we faced is a figment of our imagination. But I have news for you, it wasn’t. It’s very real and it’s very present.
Please find something better to do with your time than to lend credence to the ignorance that somehow straight acting gay men are better than men who embrace the duality of their feminine and masculine beings and don’t actively shun anything remotely feminine about themselves.
There’s nothing commendable about trying to “OTHER” people who are not lke you. There’s nothing commendable about trying to ridicule and demean people who are not like you.
We gain nothing from using tactics from the white racist handbook.
Gay men and women, if you don’t want to live your life openly and authentically for yourself at least do it for the next generation of gay men and women who would at least grow up knowing that there’s nothing wrong with being gay and that homosexuality isn’t something that you can age out of.
Our collective self hate only poisons the water for the next generation of gay men and women.
They deserve to enter a world more tolerant than the one we entered. This can only be accomplished if we take a stand and lead by example so that they may grow up knowing that homosexuality isn’t something to be hidden or be ashamed of.
When you are rooted in truth it becomes increasingly hard for others to hurt you with their lies. When you are rooted in knowledge and research it becomes increasingly harder for others to hurt you with their falsities.
This is why it is vital for gay men to educate themselves about sex, sexual orientation, gender, and gender identity. There are a million lies out there about what sex is and isn’t, what sexual orientation is and isn’t, what gender is and isn’t, and what gender identity is and isn’t. And it’s only through education and information that you can cut through those lies and use truth as your authority. You’ll be better able to recognize all of the lies that people used to demean and belittle gays, such as the notion that homosexuality is a choice or that being molested is a determinant of ones sexual orientation.
When you know are rooted in the truth you won’t be shuck by lies and you’ll be better equipped to handle homophobes who may be out to deny yourself or other gays of humanity.
You are probably asking where does one start if they want to become more educated on Human Sexuality and I have the answer. Well I have a link to a website that has been instrumental in developing my point of view and challenging some of the assumptions I have had around human sexuality.
This is an absolute deal breaker for me. I simply do not believe that anyone should remain in a relationship with someone who beats on them. If we have come to the point in the relationship where violence physical or emotional has become one of the recurring themes of that relationship, it is time for us to part ways. Fighting in a relationship is not cute, it’s not romantic, and it’s not proof that your love for each other is intense. Fighting and abuse in a relationship is a sign that two individuals are lying to themselves. Love does not have to be violence, it simply doesn’t need to be.
Your Boyfriend/Girlfriend and your Friends
I hear a lot of people talk about how they won’t bring their boyfriend or girlfriend around certain friends. This is one of the most dismaying things that I hear, because that statement, in and of itself, should be a sign to the person uttering it, that they do not trust the person they are with. If you cannot bring your boyfriend or girlfriend around your friends and vice versa, that is a clear indication that you you are in need of a new boyfriend/girlfriend, and some new friends. Yeah I know people argue, that you wouldn’t bring a thief around your valuables, but we aren’t talking about thieves, we are talking about thieves and inanimate objects! We are talking about two consenting adults who should have self control for themselves and respect for you. If you can’t trust your boyfriend or girlfriend to be faithful to you why are you with them? If you can’t even bring your girlfriend or boyfriend around your friends without feeling like something is going to happen, thats a clear indication that you are in desperate need of some new friends or a new boyfriend or girlfriend. I mean seriously what are you saying about the caliber of friends you keep and the caliber of men and women you date if you feel like neither can be trusted around the other?
I hear a lot of women in particular saying that “a man is just going to be a man” and it always disappoints me to hear women openly expressing such low expectations of the men they are attracted to and date. We have all been lied to by patriarchy to believe that men have insatiable sexual appetites, that there is absolutely no way that men can resist cheating or having sex. Aside from the falsity of this notion it’s always largely responsible for the culture of rape we all live in. I encourage men and women to have high expectations for the people you date. Lowering your expectations for the person you are with is a recipe for a disaster. Assuming that the person you are with is likely to cheat, be abusive, lie, or steal is not a healthy environment for any relationship. There are plenty of men who do not describe to the asinine notion that as a man they are just going to be like all the other losers out there and women don’t settle for men who do. We all have self control and self discipline. We all have the ability to make choices. Don’t accept any less from your boyfriend or girlfriend.
And in closing I would encourage everyone, whether gay or straight, to approach their relationship with an egalitarian mind frame. To do this you are going to have to let go of your reliance on stereotypical gender roles and norms but I assure you it’s going to be well worth it. There does not have to be a dominant person and a submissive person. There does not have to be a leader and a follower. There does not have to be a provider and a receiver. Shared responsibility is the name of the game. No one walking ahead of the other, no one walking on the other, and no one walking behind the other. But being comrades walking next to each other on this journey we call life.
Last night one of the hottest reality TV shows of the spring crowned its winner. Unfortunately this show is called Rupaul’s Drag Race, a show in which talented Drag Queens from all over the country compete to be crowned America’s next drag superstar. The show is executive produced by and stars one of the most successful African Americans in TV, Rupaul. The shows Season 1 winner (Bebe Zahara Bonet) as well as its newly crowned Season 2 winner (Tyra Sanchez) have both been Black.
And yet as of 1:17 PM not one of the following black blogs had a single post dedicated to the the show or its winner.
Now the aforementioned blogs don’t slack on their share of coverage for other reality shows like Tiny & Toya, Fantasia For Real, Flavor of Love, What Chilli Wants, or any of the other many shows featuring heterosexual African Americans. Despite these shows being no where near the success of Rupaul’s Drag Race the three Black Blogs listed shower them with coverage but couldn’t dedicate a single sentence to Rupaul Drag Race Season 2 winner Tyra Sanchez. Now don’t get me wrong the blogs don’t completely ignore the Black Gay Community. Crunktastical in particular has an affinity for offering up pictures of flamboyant gay men for public ridicule. The sites owner and its many members log on and hurl whatever clever thing they can muster about black gay men.
There’s a message being sent by black blogs and that message is clear. They are willing to cover black entertainment as long as that entertainment is predominately heterosexual. Of course they will include Dwight from Real Housewives of Atlanta in a post or two all the while rolling their eyes. But given the chance to dedicate a single post to the winner of Rupaul’s Drag Race, they couldn’t be bothered.
It’s interesting that Entertainment Weekly and Jezebel.com both sites that are predominately white have showered Rupaul’s Drag Race with coverage and love. But the very black blogs that pretend to exist to showcase and comment on Blacks making waves in the Entertainment business have failed to do so for the Black Gay Community. Their homophobia is just a window into the treatment that Black gays face in the Black community.
It’s unfortunate that the Black Blogs mentioned chose to pretend to not know that Rupaul’s Drag Race had crowned it’s new winner but ultimately their exclusion affords us a sad realization. Blacks go on and on about how the mainstream media overlooks us and only cares about certain people (Whites), but when given the chance to be inclusive of all Blacks our Black bloggers turn around and do the same thing.
Congratulations to the winner of the second season of Rupaul’s Drag Race, Miss. Tyra Sanchez from Orlando, Florida.
She had the Charisma, Uniqueness, Nerve, and Talent.
Congrats to Rupaul on another successful season of Rupaul’s Drag Race and congrats to Tyra Sanchez for having what it takes to go the distance and realize her dreams!
In our patriarchal society thats rooted in sexism, racism, and homophobia people are always clinging to be seen as legitimate. Black gay men have the double burden of not being seen as legitimate based on their racial identity and also not being seen as legitimate based on their sexual orientation.
Now the role that masculinity plays in this equation is that most men falsely associate masculinity with legitimacy. In a sexist society where men are seen as superior and women are seen as inferior most men want to be associated with characteristics and traits that are seen as legitimately male by other men. The reason being who wants to be seen as being woman like because women in their eyes are inferior.
This is why expressions like:
“You play like a girl”
“Don’t act like a girl”
“Man you a girl”
Can be thrown around as insults used to deny legitimacy to other men.
The association here is that girl = weak = inferior = illegitimate
Despite women having bigger brains, sharper senses, and longer life spans we associate them with inferiority. Of course we do in our sexist patriarchal society.
So a Black gay man who already is seen lacking legitimacy because of his race he has to pull his trump card and most black gay men have been conditioned to believe that it’s their masculinity that is going to secure them the legitimacy they are so desperately seeking.
Hey everyone look at me I am masculine! Is the message that they are sending and a pat on the back is what they are looking for.
It’s my belief that people should proud of themselves period. One should not have to resort to lording their so called masculinity over other people in order to make themselves feel good. Nor should they denigrate and demean others for not meeting their random masculinity requirements.
I have no problem embracing my masculinity and my femininity. I think it’s only healthy that we accept our duality as human beings instead of shunning one in favor of the other.
This morning I woke up to the following forum topic on a website for black gay men that I frequent often:
IS HOMOSEXUALITY A CURSE?
The user went on to state:
DISEASES, SEXUALLY INTENSE ENVIRONMENT WHICH CAUSES PEOPLE TO WANT TO HAVE MORE THAN 1 SEX PARTNER, VERY FEW HOMOSEXUALS WANTING TO COMMITT TO OTHER HOMOSEXUALS, LAWS BEING MADE TO WHERE HOMOSEXUALS ARENT ABLE TO DO CERTAIN THINGS, SOCIETY LOOKING DOWN ON IT, NOT BEING ABLE TO HAVE KIDS, ETC…. WHAT YALL THINK
Now I am always dismayed by internalized homophobia this early in the morning, but I took the opportunity to share some historical information with him.
This is was my response:
You do know that people asked the same thing about Blackness?
If it was a curse.
That we were diseased laden.
That we were promiscuous.
That we couldn’t commit.
There were laws that prevented us from doing just about anything. Couldn’t vote, couldn’t hold property, couldn’t get an education, couldn’t get a fair trial.
Society looked down on us.
They tried to prevent us from having kids via eugenics.
Good thing our ancestors weren’t dumb enough to internalize that hatred because our community would have been wiped out of America years ago.
You know the funny thing about internalizing the dominant cultures attitudes and values towards you… It only helps further your oppression rather than help end it.
But you wouldn’t recognize that.
You see the thing that homosexuals don’t realize is that America and to a larger extent The World has always painted someone as the dangerous “Other.” At one point it was Jews, then it was African Americans, then it was Muslims, and now it’s Gays. We won’t overcome by internalizing the dominant cultures negative views of us as a matter of fact that will only further denigrate and oppress us. We have to construct pride in who we are. We have to construct self worth in who we are. That’s the only way we are going to over come.
I’ve begun to realize that the biggest threat I face on a daily basis isn’t homophobic heterosexuals, as I can generally handle them very easily.
It’s the homophobic homosexuals that cause me the consternation. The ones who have internalized the dominant cultures hatred of them and made it their own.
The ones who think they are gay because they didn’t have a father growing up.
The ones who think they are gay because someone molested them.
The ones who think that homosexuality is a lifestyle choice.
The ones who think themselves and other gays are going to hell.
The ones who think so called masculine gays are superior to so called feminine gays.
The ones who think that being ashamed of who they are is a badge of honor.
The ones who think that having sex is what makes you gay.
The ones who think that you can grow out of your sexual orientation and flip a switch and be heterosexual.
The ones who think gay men are to blame for homophobia in society.
The ones who think that heterosexuals are superior to homosexuals.
The ones who have never taken a course on human sexuality but think they know everything there is about sexuality.
Protect me from the self hating homosexuals.