So last Labor Day featured the Annual Black Gay Pride celebration in Atlanta where tons of Gay men migrated to the city to celebrate their gayness. I guess. Here’s what you missed:
Dry humping in clubs and public parks with only your underwear on!
Yaaay, I’m just spurting Black Gay Pride all over the place!
No seriously, did seeing that video make you “Proud”? Did it fill you up with the inspiration many felt after watching “The Butler”? Or the same pride felt on the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington?
Did you think, “What’s the big deal? Looks like there were having a lot of fun? What’s the harm? Straight people act like this Black Straight Pride events, too.”
If so, more power to you. I’m not here to convince anyone to not live your gay life the way you want to. Conversely, I should be afforded that same right as well. That’s just not my scene. Granted that video did not represent the full picture of what happens on Labor Day in Atlanta, but its clear that many black gay pride events are becoming the homosexual equivalent to the infamous freaknik events of the 90s.
Now we here at Cypher Avenue have been VERY critical of Gay Pride events and the Gay Lifestyle in general:
Typically, the salacious sex-driven gay culture just doesn’t interest us. On top of that, are the sexual & superficial messages these events send out prideful in a community plagued with high HIV transmission rates and full on depression spawned from the pressures of maintaining a certain appearance, weight, fashion image and financial status to just fit into the black gay community?
We’re raising a culture of young gay men who feel forced to spend 10 months slaving away in the gym, just to show off their stomachs for 2 months of the year for a little attention and self esteem…or even just to get a date.
And the sex. Sure I’m a man, I like looking at a little flesh just as much as anyone. However some of the antics seen at Atlanta’s Black Gay Pride seem extreme and irresponsible given the community’s huge problem when it comes to sexually transmitted diseases.
My gay friends and I have had loads of fun in the past without the need to rip off each others shirts, oil ourselves up and dry-hump strangers in public parks (Dr. King would be so proud).
But because I’m black and I’m gay, I can’t escape being associated with the “proud” gay scene no matter how hard I try. This is meant to inform who I am as a black gay man. This is supposed to make me proud, instead of just plain embarrassed.
People have said to us in the past, “Your criticism of the gay community is just proof that you have a problem with being homosexual in general. You’re internally homophobic. You need to just be yourself, stop acting straight.”
That’s it, isn’t it? When it all boils down to it, gay people who embrace the stereotypical gay lifestyle, salacious gay pride events and the problematic gay community are all “authentic gays”. Those that don’t, they’re either self haters or they just deep-down want to be straight.
This sounds familiar. You know when an ignorant “hood nigga” sees the black kid who can speak properly or reads books says he’s “acting white”…or when you have someone like Don Lemon or Cornel West speak contrary to the cookie-cutter black-elite sanctioned opinions, they get called “Uncle Tom.”
According to them, they’re not just individuals who have their own opinions, interests and ways of being…they are actually self-hating wannabes. Sounds like the same situation here.
Again, I’m not trying to take away the sense of “Gay Pride” you feel by dry humping oiled up male models wearing only rainbow flag colored underwear in public places. If that is how you define and celebrate your homosexuality, more power to you. I, on the other hand, define and display my sexuality in a much different way. This website, for one. That should be enough. Why should we have to conform to someone else’s view of “Gay” in order to be fully and proudly gay ourselves?
Gooble-Gobble! One of Us! Gooble-Gobble! One of Us!
That’s the rub. These “one of us” gays all want me to embrace their way of life as AWESOME but they refuse to give other gay people that same courtesy.
This weekend I got into a Twitter debate with one of our readers on this very issue. After getting frustrated that I wouldn’t concede and reject everything that has made me a happy black gay man in exchange for embracing a more inclusive flamboyant gay lifestyle like himself, he said this: “At the end of the day you suck dick. If masc or fem in USA u still a fag not gay. Get over (yourself) look for decent people first.”
Huh? Okay. It goes without saying that the conversation pretty much ended shortly after that.
Sarcasm aside, the point that he so inarticulately was trying to make was: Don’t fear embracing the flamboyancy of the gay community just because you fear what heterosexuals will think of you or how they will view you. Embrace flamboyant gays into your circle (even though you don’t have anything in common except for being attracted to men) because at the end of the day, you’re “still a fag”.
Whoa, he really “read” us, huh? Cue applause from our black gay (so-called) intellectual elites:
Ah, gay elites…Your hypocrisy is so beautiful. You want Heteros to accept you for who you are but refuse to accept some gay men for who they are if they differ from your narrative. An exquisite contradiction.
But in this case, they actually have a valid point…unfortunately this point HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH US AT CYPHER AVENUE. We could care less about heterosexual approval or assimilation. We run a VERY gay website. If hetero approval was our concern, Cypher Avenue would be the last thing we’d spend years building and creating.
No, our discomfort has more to do with us feeling like we’re a part of the gay community in name only. We seemingly have very different likes and dislikes than most other gay men.
Another often unspoken side effect of criticizing the black gay community is when you do, someone will always feel rejected or attacked. To say I don’t like black gay sex-parties, the people out there that do like gay sex-parties will feel personally attacked. In their feeble minds you are saying, “I don’t like people who like black gay sex-parties.” Even a reader of our site took my simple “shout out” on Twitter to “all the fellow gay men who don’t watch Scandal” as a personal attack.
I’m slowly learning that I should really stay off of Twitter.
So, instead of trying to force the black gay community into becoming more to our liking, we started our own community here at Cypher Avenue. And we’re loving it. We finally feel like there is a place for us to voice our interests, opinions and attitudes as black gay men in a non-messy environment amongst a community of others who think just as we do.
This brings me back to the question in the title: After viewing the debacle that was Atlanta Black Gay Pride 2013, am I still a proud black gay man?
You betcha. Mainly because I didn’t attend the shameless festivities of that weekend, even though I live in Atlanta.
I instead chose to continue to make Cypher Avenue an example to influential young gay men that being gay doesn’t mean changing who you already are in order to demonstrate your self acceptance and pride. You can like what you like, dislike what you dislike and be who you are without conformity.
More power to the men out there that enjoyed the festivities of Black Gay Pride 2013…even more power to the men out there that found ways to demonstrate their homosexual pride in more mature, classier ways. There are many young gay men out there watching and learning from us all.