ABC’s What Would You Do is famous for showing the abundance of double standards and hypocrisies that exists in our society. Scenarios focusing on from race, gender, sex, religion, politics; WWYD has covered it.
Recently WWYD set up shop in the ATL, the current Black Gay Mecca of the United States. Two segments focused on the current holy trinity of hot button topics pertaining to the homosexual African America male; HIV, Black homophobia and Religion…or we can call it, the “controversy triangle”.
First up is the HIV video.
Kudos to the African American women and the White men on how they reacted and handled the situation. It goes without saying that large segments of our overall society is accepting or tolerant of others. Nonetheless we also know that there are large segments who don’t accept anything that is foreign or “other” to their beliefs and way of life.
As a website that is geared toward Black men specifically non-heterosexual Black men of course my focus is on (you guessed it) the Black men in this video. So let me say, really Black dudes from the segment…you’re worried about saliva? Something tells me that neither of these two dudes put on condoms before they received oral sex from a woman. Also, one of the gents said he would kill himself if he found out he had HIV.
Usually when the topic of Black anti-homosexual attitudes or homophobia are mentioned in Black online spaces, the default reaction deflection is “White people do it too”. Not only did the Black dudes in the video demonstrate homophobia but they also put on display how basic education or knowledge of HIV does nothing to combat stigma.
This goes beyond heterosexuals because some BLACK GAY MEN share and exhibit these same (ill-informed, uneducated) attitudes about HIV…even though they are the most disproportionately impacted.
At some point, the line that is drawn concerning shame and stigma needs to be crossed for the sake of health and well-being. In other words, there needs to be a more healthy progression towards, “fuck what other people think”.
Second we have the “Pray The Gay Away” video.
Once again the Black women come through, but I want to be careful here.
My senses are heightened when it comes to imagery concerning non-white people. In both video segments, the more progressive minds highlighted are from Black women and White people. I understand (and hope) the producers are simply recording scenes from the non-actors as they were presented. It must be noted that there are heterosexual Black men who are not anti-homosexual or homophobic. This is not reflected in either segment. Viewing these two videos in a vacuum, does create a certain narrative about Black men. We are the ones who are dysfunctional, homophobic, disease infected; who need assurance, mental illumination and guidance from those outside of us.
Not only does there need to be sensitivity concerning these topics but also equal sensitivity on how they are presented, observed and discussed.