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I think it's important that Black LGBT history is included in our conversation around black history. Intersectionality has long been overlooked within our communities and so here's a post that celebrates those cross-sections of race and sexuality.
Share your favorite historical black LGBT folks!
Here's My TOP 5:
Langston Hughes's name is almost synonymous with the Harlem Renaissance. At a time when African-Americans across the country were struggling to find a foothold on par with the rest of society, Hughes and his contemporaries were flourishing in Harlem, writing, creating, and living lives that were expressive and revolutionary. He discovered the scene uptown while studying at Columbia University in New York, and eventually became one of the first black writers to support himself through writing with his accessible, relatable voice. He was known for stressing the message of "black is beautiful" and racial consciousness without anger, in a pre-Civil Rights world. It was well known that he was engaged in significant relationships both sexually and romantically with both men and women. Making him in today's language, bisexual.
Essayist and poet Audre Lorde not only wrote passionately, but she also gave the gift of words to others as a librarian in New York public schools during the 1960s. In her published work, Lorde eventually fully embraced her lesbianism, even with her marriage to attorney Edward Rollins from 1962-1970. Her first volume of poems was published in 1968 at Tougaloo College, where she met long-term partner Frances Clayton. Her 1976 work The Black Unicorn was a masterful summation of her life, so far, "as a black woman, a mother, a daughter, a lesbian, a feminist, a visionary," as contemporary Adrienne Rich said.
Later in the literary journal Callaloo, Lorde responded to critics, specifically antigay North Carolina Sen. Jesse Helms: "My sexuality is part and parcel of who I am, and my poetry comes from the intersection of me and my worlds... Jesse Helms's objection to my work is not about obscenity... or even about sex. It is about revolution and change... Helms knows that my writing is aimed at his destruction, and the destruction of every single thing he stands for." Lorde later chronicled her journey with cancer after she was diagnosed in The Cancer Journals. In her last year of life, 1991-1992, Lorde was the poet laureate of New York. She died in 1992 of breast cancer, but her legacy lives on in the Audre Lorde Project, an LGBT organization in New York focused on social and economic justice.
Schools across America and around the world make sure to commemorate the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., every year, but King's work could be incomplete without the help of close confidant and organizer, Bayard Rustin. He was the key strategist in many of King's actions, often making him the target of the federal government as he organized demonstrations, rallied activists, and lobbied politicians to help make life better for people of color. Even with such a high-profile position within the Civil Rights movement, during the 1950s and '60s, Rustin was openly gay, and evidence shows that he was embraced by King, whose message of acceptance continues to resonate decades after his active years.
(He was also my Illustrious Bruh as he is/was a member of Omega Psi Phi, one of the first fraternities created for black men.
At a time of segregation and discrimination, author James Baldwin was able to eloquently express the everyday life of African-Americans in the U.S. However, in order to do so, Baldwin, like Baker, fled the country for France to write more freely. Baldwin's semi-autobigraphical Go Tell It On The Mountain was a large success and remains a critical favorite, while his later work Geovanni's Room was controversial, as it was one of the first mainstream novels to tackle homosexuality. He died in 1987 in France and was buried in his birthplace, Harlem, N.Y
Richmond “Jimmie” Barthé was a sculptor and a key figure in the Harlem Renaissance in the 1930s. That he was also a gay man who expressed his orientation in his work is most likely why he fell into obscurity by the 1940s. Much of his art depicted African-American men in sensual poses, often nude. Today, his work seems not that confrontational, but in a basically racist, sexually nervous America of the middle of the last century, it is remarkable that his work received the acclaim that it did. (He was also of Louisiana Creole descent, being half LA Creole that makes me personally proud. Louisiana Creoles are one of the first and most distinctive groups of people of color in this nation.)
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- Thread: NICK'S ADVICE: Whether You're Gay, Bisexual, Shy, Nerdy, Overweight, Underweight, Introverted, etc
- Thread: Dude is Suspect
Any dude that's over 30 who is handsome, in shape, doesn't have a wife, girlfriend, baby mama, kids, and is very secretive about his personal life. Sends up a red flag. Also dudes who are meticulous about what they wear, are always "fashion forward," and always well groomed are suspect to me.
- Thread: Do You Have Any Hobbies?
- Thread: Self Acceptance
The first step is letting go of viewing yourself and homosexuality through the eyes of straight family, friends and society. That is often the biggest hurdle...we don't want to "disappoint" others. My favorite is when young people neglect living their lives to the fullest to not "disappoint" grandparents who DID live their lives to the fullest. Its wasted time and a wasted life.
And also realizing that EVERYONE dislikes something about themselves at some point or another...even heterosexuals...even people with great bodies...even wealthy people...even people who seem to have "perfect" lives. We all face this struggle, sometimes all our lives. Some people are better at handling it than others...some people learn to let go through therapy. But reaching out to talk about it (like you did here) is a good start.
Hey you! Yes you. Over there in the right lane. Why are you trying to speed up as I'm passing you? Ya ass been driving 62mph in a 70 for a whole entire 2 miles and now that I'm passing your slow ass you wanna speed up? Nawl mane. GTFOH! Sit yo muhfuh ass back and stay ya ass in your original lane where you have been for now 2.5 miles.
- Thread: Kinsey Scale Test
- Thread: Are "Tops" going extinct?
When you and a guy are casual,it's totally understandable to stick to the lane you're most comfortable with.Outside of that ,when you're with another man you have to adjust to the reality that he has a penis too,and wants to be pleasured. . If the connection is anything serious,then I think compromise has to be achieved.
A lot of guys who are posting about a lack of tops are often turned off for some reason when hey find out their desired top(s) bottomed for another guy at some point in their history.Really as long as the person you're wtith (for just tonite or long-term) is compatible with your sexual needs or willing to conform with them,then worrying about their label as some type of defining trait is pointless.
- Thread: Dude is Suspect
Lol Sailor Moon is the biggest red flag XD! (Joking I liked SM growing up too!) That's a great question, honestly like you I'd say mainly my interests or lack of certain interests. Not into sports and if you were to ask me my favorite artists I'd mention MC or Sade vs a rapper or some band although I enjoy all kinds of music. Really the one thing that has always made me stick out like a sore thumb is when guys (or females) talk about girls or ask me what I think of someone!!
Now I do find women attractive, I can tell when one is obviously but I'm just not good at being thirsty for one lol!
Straight Guy: "MAN she got a FAT A$$ don't she brah?!?"
"OOh Yeaaah I-I suuure would hit that...mmhhmm"
- Thread: What Does Your Username Mean?
I have been wondering what or why some people chose what they did for their names. Some of them are pretty self explanatory.
ControlledXaos = controlled chaos =
Rollercoasters. Rollercoasters are controlled chaos. They give you different feels, scared, excitement, fun etc and can release endorphins. However it's totally controlled even though it feels like it isn't when you experience them.
26. I have a photo to prove it.
However I'm thicker with higher body fat but stronger than I was then too. So I'd say that in comparison to then and now, I cancel things out between the two different bodies.
I'm working in reigning things back in but....
This is so true.
However, people can still get their body right, they just have to put in more effort and finding what works for them and their body. I'm working on my IIFYM numbers now.
- Thread: What Would You Do?
This actually happened to me like 6 years ago. Met a guy on the chat lines, dope masculine voice, was very discreet due to his music career. We talked on the phone for hours. Planned to finally meet a couple days later.
I chose a local dive bar since I figured he'd want something private yet still public.
I wore my typical attire, a fitted cap and skateboard sneaks...and waited in the bar for him to arrive. When I tell you this dude showed up looking like he was in a Prince outfit and wearing some bright yellow boots, I lie to you not. And he had his curly hair out in a big Jewish permed Afro. He was technically a black guy but was mixed with at least 4 different things.
The dude was beautiful though, great features and skin, good convo... which is why I still kicked it w him.
It was kinda embarrassing in that bar though.
- Thread: Self Acceptance
It's a day to day process. I feel like so many black gay men are broken because of all the things we've had to face our whole lives. Many of us look for love and acceptance through other men and that's just just a recipe for toxic, needy, and unhealthy relationships. We should really find it within ourselves because at the end of the day, the only person who could make you truly happy is yourself. If someone isn't comfortable with themselves, they're going to poison any relationship they have with someone else.
I just say fuck the world. I'm pretty introverted, so it's easy. I have a handful of friends and family who care for me. And that's all I need. Whenever I'm facing something difficult or feeling insecure about something, I always think "What's the worst that can happen?" A lot of the time, the worst isn't even all that bad. And even if it, so what? If it's gonna happen, it's gonna happen. You can't change that. The only thing you can change is your mindset.
- Thread: Props To Nick
I have to say, I've never seen the founder(s) of any site interact with their followers as much as @Nick Delmacy and @ockydub. It amazes me how they manage to hold down full-time jobs(Nick), shop all day at Whole Foods for nutritious/upscale foods, entertain several gentleman friends, go on luxurious boating trips and run the most popular website for Gay men of Color. They didn't just create it and sit back and pat themselves on the back, but they actually take the time to interact with with members ALL THE TIME. I never see that on other websites. Although I'm not on as much as i used to(the whole moving and working thing), It's cool to see new members interacting with seasoned squad members. And I know so many of these young dudes appreciate the attention they get from the founders. I Appreciate the work guys. I know it's hard and time consuming to do what you do but you do it damn well and it's definitely appreciated.
The DL or “down low” has been a topic we’ve covered in posts and podcasts since our first website Discreet City. Till this day, the word “discreet” still screams DL for a lot of people. Well, whatever.
Something that I have always found peculiar is that when there is a story of a married heterosexual White congressman or White conservative pastor who is exposed as a hypocritical closeted homosexual, the main stream media never refers to him as DL. The Down Low is uniquely African American…we started the term. We created another vernacular barrier that Black people have embraced to negatively label many Black same gender loving men.
For many in the Black community, DL isn’t limited to living a homo/bi sexual double life (in the traditional sense) but has evolved to also describe a non-descript homosexual man. This means he is not easily or outwardly identifiable as homosexual to other homosexuals or heterosexuals. Another term for this is “unclockable.” Even if this man is not deceiving anyone (which is the crux of the DL outrage) by simply existing, he is guilty of “hiding” in plain sight thus partially being deceitful.
Since 2011, there has been numerous DL or closeted homosexual related scandals and rumors pertaining to African American celebrities or personalities. From Bishop Eddie Long, former NFL players like Kerry Rhodes and Kordell Stewart, Elmo puppeteer Kevin Clash, DJ Mister Cee, Andrew “I’m Not Gay No More” Caldwell, Rapper Young Thug, Michael Sam and the latest, former boxer Yusaf Mack.
Admittedly my degree of empathy is not equal between Eddie Long compared to Kerry Rhodes. While the good Bishop has long been against any form of LGBT equality, Rhodes was exposed by a supposed jilted ex-lover. Nonetheless; I think it would be disingenuous and delusional to not acknowledge the predominate factor that creates the down low or closeted men in the Black community, which are conservative ideals based in religion.
This is not about “well (White, Asian, etc.) people do it too”; this is exclusively about Black folk. We have a serious problem concerning the lack of empathy as it relates to DL or closeted LGBT individuals in the Black community; a community that through its actions and religious dogma, produces secrecy and hiding.
The typical recipe of ingredients for creating a down low man is as follows; teach him at an early age that society disdains his feelings and he is an abomination (not-natural). Teach him that his soul will burn in lakes of hell fire for all eternity. Teach him he is the same as a pedophile who abuses and kills children. Teach him he is a faggot and faggots are weak. Teach him that he wants to be a woman and not a man. Add a heaping spoon of judgmental ignorant hatred and stir. Just look and listen to the video below but keep in mind its nothing you haven’t heard before.
This recipe has been passed around in the Black community for countless decades and has been inserted into the thoughts and minds of a large number of young males who may have same sex attractions. As it cooks, it destructively nourishes their beings, beginning possible long term struggles with denial, self-esteem, depression or other mental conditions that can fester and manifest in dangerous ways.
Through conditioning these males learn to hide who they are as they maneuver through life seeking acceptance within their families and communities. By doing so many do what they see their peers doing; date and obtain girlfriends. Like most humans, what these males have been taught in their early years of development (their sexuality is bad) remains and travels with them to adulthood.
This year I found out a man I briefly dated (if you want to label it) years ago, not only was a pastor of a church but was married with children. At that time, I was already out of the gay scene and I had no idea that he was a well-known DL pastor. I found out because someone on social media reposted an old exposé with his picture. I was shocked that he so many knew of his personal business and affairs. The article also featured his online username, his bathroom nude pics, his phone number and several screen grabs of text messages. That post led me to another article which had a link to the pastor’s own rebuttal webpage. Of course it was filled with explanations like “I been lied on and my name has been dragged through the mud but I’ve been anointed with the blood of King Jesus…blah blah blah.”
In that moment, I truly felt bad for him. Growing up in the church and establishing a career and livelihood within the institution, he has been hiding his true self for almost his entire life. This is a direct result of the fear of rejection and disappointment from those in his family and ultra-religious church community that have taught him to hate his sexuality. I sent him a message to do a possible interview anonymously via email, where I hopefully would get him to share his obstacles and explain first-hand why he is DL and closeted. I’m sure he’d forgotten who I was and expectedly my email went unanswered.
The latest DL scandal finds retired boxer Yusaf Mack’s sexuality being exposed by way of a gay porn scene he starred in. In a matter of days his story went from him being drugged and having no recollection of the film to admitting that he lied about being drugged and he is in fact bisexual. In an interview, he stated while walking the streets of his native Philadelphia, many associates who were previously friendly with him, were now shunning him. A friend pulled him aside and told him the reason people were not speaking with him was because they had seen the gay porn film he had made months before.
As noted, Mack’s first reaction to this news was to lie. This was his conditioned natural reaction to the embarrassment and rejection by his community. I think it can be concluded that he wrongly assumed that no from his “heterosexual” hood would see him in a gay porno. Being honest, my first reaction to the story was “why is this dude lying…doesn’t he know he is making the situation worse?” I think most can correctly assume he’s doing porn because he needs the money.
Mack has since released an apology in which he states;
“After reflecting on the mess I had made I realized that I hurt a lot of my loved ones – and the people I cared about the most were left disappointed and confused. It was unfair and time to come clean.”In the numerous articles, blog postings and social media commentaries; compassion or empathy from African Americans (both heterosexual and homosexual) for Yusaf Mack is almost non-existent. There were the typical derogatory responses from straights and not surprisingly, gays were not chanting the popular gay mantra of “it gets better”. No one was telling him, “The world is so much bigger than your hood in Philly. There are people who will support you regardless of your sexuality.” No one was questioning the current state of his mental health since the gay porn scene came to light. Yusaf Mack denied taking part in gay porn out of fear of rejection…and the Black community proved him right. After the gay film production company threatened to sue, Yusaf owned up. While this scandal continues to play out, I just hope he doesn’t do something drastic like Lee Thompson Young or Sam Sarpong and take his own life?
“I want to say sorry to my children and my ex fiancé, I am so sorry that I was a coward and hid a huge part of my life from you all.”
“I’m not looking for sympathy or even understanding, I’ve kept this secret for a long time.”
“It is time to move forward and this is me walking in my truth.”
“There are other men and women that are set up in the similar situations and I just hope I can be inspiration to be just be you.”
“The extreme taboo and harsh criticism of living a same-sex lifestyle, especially as an African- American male, makes it hard to be completely honest and comfortable within yourself.”
“But I had to remember that I am a champ and I can fight and will fight through this.”
“I am more than my sexual orientation.”
Fear of being revealed and then rejected by friends and family is the DL or closeted man’s Kryptonite. On the outside looking in, who am I or anyone else to say when is the right time for someone else to “come out” being that their personal hardships or plights aren’t known? I’m sure the longer they hide their true selves the harder it is to escape the ruse that has been established.
I don’t condone a down low lifestyle or any type of relationship built on or around deceptions. I haven’t been a down low or closeted man in years. I do however; fall into the category of not wearing my sexuality on my sleeve, thus for many in my community, I’m guilty of hiding in plain sight simply because they can’t readily identify my sexuality.
Why do so many in the African American community have such a lack of compassion or empathy for down low or closeted men? I think many hide behind the simple reasoning that these men are dishonest, but rarely will these same African Americans hold a mirror to examine how they personally contribute to and drive the deceptions committed by their sons, nephews, grandsons, uncles and fathers. Many never will stop and think what anti-homosexual language they have used around their children or family members. What unobtainable negative concepts of masculinity have they conveyed? What foolish micro-aggressions like “boys shouldn’t eat bananas” have they instilled?
The African American community doesn’t have a problem studying the generational psychological traumas of slavery or psychosomatic side effects as it pertains to fatherless households, police brutality or prison incarceration. Is it possible we can study the roots of generational anti-homosexual attitudes in the community as well? Maybe then we wouldn’t circumvent the magnitude European supremacy has had on shaping the ideals of sexualities of African Americans as well as indigenous peoples throughout history through mass slaughter, enslavement and religious enforcement.
The African American community has made strides. We have a Black President and First Family who supports LGBT equality. We now have many open Black gay (and non-gay) pastors and bishops who focus on love and not fire and brimstone. In addition, we have had a number of Black same gender loving athletes to break barriers. Also, there are elements of the younger generation whose views and ideals are not as rigid, so I do feel there are some shifts in a more positive direction. However; let’s not pretend LGBT suicide, youth homelessness and transmittal of HIV among black homosexual men is not prevalent.
Even though many of our paths are different, I’m sure we all know what rejection feels like. Sometimes it has distinctive sting when it comes from people who look like you and are unwilling to show compassion or empathy.
Read the whole post here.
- Thread: What Does Your Username Mean?
My favorite composer-Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov. NikR.
In grade 8 I was trumpet section leader in the 9-12 band. I thought I was so cool until they handed me this one march by Rimsky-Korsakov. It was without a doubt the most difficult music I've ever played. It humbled me. I grew a lot that year.
I was a band nerd
- Thread: What Does Your Username Mean?
- Thread: Olympic Thirst TrapsTraps
- Thread: Worst Roommate I Ever Had
I lived in a suite my freshman year of college. Four rooms, eight guys, and a shared living room and bathroom. Each room had two guys. They were stereotypical "bro" suitemates. Loud, abrasive, etc. First semester my roommate would bring girls over and have sex in our room. A few times was okay, but I found it annoying the more it happened. I would just sleep in the living room if I knew I was being sexiled. One night I was sleeping, he brought a girl over and started having sex with her when I was literally still in the room. I got annoyed, grabbed my blanket and pillow and went to the living room only to discover that my other suitemate was also having sex with a girl on the couch. Nowhere else to go. Tried to go down the hall to the lounge but it was used up. Luckily one of other suite mates was getting high somewhere and left his room unlocked so I went to sleep in his room. Fortunately, I sorta had my revenge later in the year. I started dating my boyfriend at the time and made sure to sexile my roommate just so he could see how it felt. Me and my dude even sorta messed around in the living room once or twice. Nothing too explicit, but definitely not G rated either. That definitely made my suitemates uncomfortable. They would lock themselves in their rooms or leave. Not trying to see no gay shit. Meh.
- Thread: THE INTERNET GUITARIST STEVE LACY CONFIRMS HE’S BISEXUAL – BUT SAYS HE WON’T DATE BLACK GUYS
Why do black people care about who is attracted to them?! At the end of the day, if you are not trying to date this man then go find a black man who is into black men! That's it! Don't sweat this dude. Pretty much anyone that has ties to GOLF WANG is anti-black when it comes to dating aside from Syd. Tyler, The Creator, Frank Ocean and Steven Lacy.... they all don't date black but my day is still fine and I know I still look fine AF just like you guys are fine AF.
- Thread: How to be a better Top?
The single-most common article I see when perusing LGBT sites, although few cater to the BLACK perspective exclusively, are articles that claim to instruct bottoms on how they can be better partners in life and the bedroom.
With headlines claiming that inside said article is all you need to know about being a bottom and you must read it in order to keep your man satisfied and various other heteronormative BS ideals we tend to internalize all too often as same gender loving folk yada yada yada.
What I notice is that much like with women the onus is always put on the bottom to perform right or lose. Fuck when we want, cook when we want what we want, spend their money on us, be like a homie but also be our bitch, don't be too masculine but don't be too feminine either. With constraints like those no wonder bottoms are confused about our needs as tops and often internalize a lower self value because they feel they can never measure up, a fact I believe we enjoy the benefits of as tops.
As long as we are in demand many of us feel that bottoms are replaceable even for the simplest of perceived flaws. Many often hop from one to another because the options are plenty and if you don't do exactly as we demand someone else will. It's a bit of a power trip in conjunction with something we all can be accused of at some point in our journeys, believing that the grass is greener on the other side.
With all that being said I've decided I'll start putting together articles addressing my brothers in "toptivity" in hopes that we can point the lens inward and start to do our part, work out some of our insecurities, and be better life and bedroom partners to the men we cherish.
I'd like this post to serve as a thread where tops and bottoms can post their ideals, how they view themselves at this moment and what they believe they can do to improve not only the kind of man they are but the kind of partner as well.
Don't worry verse bros you aren't left out! In fact I believe you all have a unique perspective to add to this conversation because of your duality. Please feel free to share as well!
- Thread: Sexy Eye Candy
I'm weird because I NEVER had any interest in dating and all that until I got older....True I got horny, but that was about it...I was totally focused on my career goals after high school through my 20s.
It wasn't until I hit about 28 that I had the "missing out" feelings that most of you are describing....mostly from the perspective of not even having a gay friend at the time, 100% of my friends were straight and didn't know about me (or knew/suspected but didn't say anything).
So I jumped on the sites like Adam 4 Adam to find both platonic friends and dates. That's how I met Ocky, as friends only. The dates, I was more successful meeting them in person and on chat lines (which were slowly fading away by 2009 but still had some dope guys on there).
Anyway, like so many others, the dating shit that teenagers and college kids went through is what I started to deal with for the first time at almost 30 years old. I naively thought that grown gay men would not have time or interest in playing games and wasting time, boy was I wrong.
But one thing I realized when meeting and dating dudes who started dating in their teens and early 20s is that, years later, their asses were just as single as me...On top of that, they had been through countless short-term relationships that either damaged them or made them cynical about dating altogether.
So coming out and dating in high school and college like so many straight friends is not always the fantasy romance life that we envision.
- Thread: CA Coming Out Party!
Coming out be hard in Jamaica dude, well for masculine dudes at least. That context coupled with my particular situation makes coming out still that much harder. I am out to some people and not to others. I came out "ish" last year when my girlfriend at the time found some "questionable" texts between me and a gym buddy. This is after she suspected me and my best friend of being in a side relationship... that's another story, some Frank Ocean shit. After that and many a confrontation later I told her I am "bi" the relationship continued after that for a bit, but it didn't last, we are still cool today though. After that my best friend started to look my ex girl behind my back and even went as far as telling her some of my business ... but that's another story.
As for the complication, You have to understand that Jamaica has a harsh relationship with gay people, as It hinges on deep christian values. Although most young people dont practice what they preach, when push comes to shove they jump on the bandwagon. and I have heard though not seen many mob beatings and killings that have occurred, in fact my friend at one time had to fight off a mob and run to a police station to avoid being well ........ In this context my "Family" Exist as a popular figure. My Aunt is the head of the Legal profession , My uncle is the head of the churches of Jamaica and my Dad is a famous lawyer and represents the churches of Jamaica in their bid to keep the Buggery law legal in the island. The buggery law, criminalizes any form of anal intercourse. Though to be fair my dad is pretty liberal, he is cool with a number of things, for one he believes the personal lives of his children, me and my 4 other sisters, are our personal business. and though we have different mothers, except two, we were grown as a super close family.
That being said the break up with my girl friend of 4 years and finding out that I had 2 extra brothers, one 16 and the other 1yr, that were basically hidden from us (fucked up my medz) . So push came to shove and I had to tell someone, too much shit going onn , eventually I told my other good friend, who for the most part, having harsh views against gay people, stood by me, for the he has changed, through me I guess (similar to that cypher post about the short movie about homophobes) . He helped me come out to the rest of my bredrin (friends) who all didnt really give a fuck. I told my mom 6 months latr, who after a mini freak out just avoids the topic. I still havent told my dad for obvious reasons. Although he found out that my sis has a girlfriend, a son who is gay is a whole different animal down here.
This was pretty long, but its the condensed version of what happened. sorry for any grammatical errors, English and I have a troubled relationship.
- Thread: The Men's Guide To Height
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