By: Jason D. Perry
Being a black gay man is not the ideal life some of the black community has for its men. The expectation is that you will get an education, get a good job, marry a beautiful woman and raise a great family. All of those expectations became a reality for some men, with exception of the wife part. Unfortunately it seems your education and success means nothing if you’re a gay male in the black community, the fact that you’re gay often takes precedence over everything else that makes you who you are. I spoke to a group of black gay men and they say that “telling your family that you are gay is like inviting them to your funeral.” I think some people attach themselves to an idea of what or who someone should be, and when they are not that, it’s a disappointment. Historically, the black male has been viewed as the perfect specimen for masculinity, intimidation and superior strength; basically a warrior, and with those attributes who could ever accept the idea that two black men can love each other and be physically and emotionally intimate? I’m not sure if it’s fear in the black community, or the negative sermons they hear at some of their local black churches, but there is a definite separation in the way black gay males are treated versus those of other ethnic groups.
The most common reason people say they do not support gay people is “my religion.” It is funny that a large portion of the people who say that , do not protest the sexual act it took to make that baby outside of marriage, or the fact that they are drunk every time the club doors swing open at 2am. No one should be forced to support anything they do not believe in, but a respect for people and their lives is absolutely necessary. Now the Bible is clear on the subject of homosexuality:
Leviticus 20:13 – “If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They must be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.
If you are person who lives your life exactly the way the bible describes, then this next scripture is something you should support in regards to women who are found not to be virgins before marriage.
Deuteronomy 22:13-21, 21: then they shall bring out the young woman to the door of her father’s house, and the men of her city shall stone her to death with stones, because she has done an outrageous thing in Israel by whoring in her father’s house. So you shall purge the evil from your midst.
How many of our mothers, grandmothers and daughters would be dead if we applied these same principles in the world we live in today, and when will the protest in support of that scripture take place? The society in which we live puts being gay on a pedestal, which ultimate leads people to think that there are degree’s of sin, God see’s all sin as the same and shows no favoritism to those less sinful by human standards. Your religion and beliefs should not be used as a weapon to suppress a group people, but a tool to fellowship, enlighten and love.
Some people associate being gay with the desire to become or portray characteristics of a woman, the truth is most gay men have no desire to be a woman, that’s another community in its self. Black gay males are a community of diverse individuals with a social structure far too complex to place in one category, or even give an educated guess that would sound somewhat valid. One could argue that the black community is doing its self a disservice by not utilizing the talents and skills of these members of their community, and also indirectly creating more homeless youth who are not loved, and continuing to allow family, co-workers and friends to remain ignorant on the complexity of the subject of homosexuality. I respect the Bible dearly and value my Christianity more than anything, but the conversation of being a black gay man cannot continue to live behind closed doors, in quiet whispers and in the pages of the Bible.
Having a system of beliefs is as old as the world its self, but the love of God is older than everything, so how dare we presume to decide what it should look like, and whom those who are not like us should be allowed to share it with. Contrary to popular belief ,all black gay men are not twisting and speaking with extended syllables. Some of these individuals are you favorite rappers, football players, uncles, fathers and brothers. Consider the love you have for them and decide if their sexuality would change it. A group of people have never been able to survive without some compromise and intellectual growth, every generation should be wiser than the last and the catalyst for something new. This is not an attack on morals, values and religious foundations but an attempt to increase sensitivity, respect and understanding of a life that may not look like your own.
We have a duty as people who have been beaten, oppressed and ostracized, to support any member of our community trying to better themselves by being honest with who they are whether they are straight or gay. It was not that long ago that black people were fighting for civil rights and equality, and in many ways we still have a long way to go. Let us not waste time separating ourselves, but spend more time understanding each other, respecting our differences and using those differences to enhance the expectations of our people. The black gay male is not out to destroy our family structure or create a generation of feminine men, but is simply asking to have a family, love and success without shame and harassment. Black can be beautiful in many ways and can be delivered in many different packages, but the hands that care for it can make it or break it.