Why Can’t Black Men Explore Their Sexuality Without Being Labeled?’

Discussion in 'LGBT News and Events' started by cuspofbeauty, Nov 15, 2016.

  1. cuspofbeauty

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    Insecure Asks, ‘Why Can’t Black Men Explore Their Sexuality Without Being Labeled?’

    IF YOU HAVE NOT SEEN THIS EPISODE DO NOT READ THIS

    "Why can't black men explore their sexuality without being labeled as gay, or bi, or whatever?"

    I hope you’re watching HBO’s Insecure. If not, get your life. It’s like Girls but actually funny. And set in L.A. And black.

    Based partially on Issa Rae’s acclaimed web series Awkward Black Girl, Insecure offers a dynamic representation of young black womanhood not seen on television since Girlfriends, Kelsey Grammar’s greatest contribution to television (and I love me some Frasier).

    Rae stars as Issa Dee, the kind of awkward millennial just doing her best, kinda, that’s easily relatable regardless of race or gender. Her best friend Molly (played by serial scene-stealer and wig-snatcher Yvonne Orji) is, to put it plainly, a hot mess. But her looks are always on point so you gotta give her that.

    In the latest episode, written by Amy Aniobi and directed by Debbie Goddamn Allen, the perpetually single Molly learns that the current dude she’s seeing—a real "nice guy" and a departure from the usual tools she dates named Jared—has had a same-sex experience.



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    At this point Molly has already confessed to making out with a girl at a frat party, as nearly every college girl has done, but she’s not prepared for Jared’s own homoerotic dalliance—even though he tries to assure her that it was strictly a one-time thing.



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    She then, of course, turns to her girlfriends for advice. Tiffany, who won't even entertain the idea of her man being anything less than 100% straight while admitting that there's a double standard when it comes to men and women, immediately dismisses Jared and his "one time."



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    However, neither Kelly (the the tell-it-like-it-is-no-matter-what-the-circumstances friend we all have or need) nor Issa are having any of this reductive nonsense. Kelly challenges Tiffany's belief that a man so much as touching another man's penis makes him gay.



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    While Issa argues that Jared does not "subscribe to the heternomative rejection of sexual fluidity" (come through, that one gender studies class from freshman year) and then asks a question that hasn't been posed nearly enough:



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    It's a question that has myriad answers, but Molly responds with one that is very telling:



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    No surprise there, but Issa's reaction to it is surprising, and it's what makes this scene truly remarkable.



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    Issa challenges Molly's relation to masculinity, while highlighting the fact that if Jared was white, she would just "chalk it up to the game," meaning that a double standard exists not just between men and women, but also between black men and white men.

    For example, take New York Giants wide receiver and certified hottie Odell Beckham, Jr. Beckham has been the center of not only gay rumors but also anti-gay harassment because he goes against traditional perceived notions of masculinity, particularly black masculinity. Then you look at someone like Cristiano Ronaldo, who has had his fair share of gay rumors, but no one really seems to be incensed about it.

    If pics of Cristiano Ronaldo making out with a dude suddenly appeared on the internet, A.) hooray, and B.) one could easily dismiss it as him being "European" and therefore more sexually liberated, or maybe he was just drunk. Whether you believe it or not is up to you, but if pics of Odell Beckham making out with a man surfaced, A.) also hooray, but B.) he'd be branded gay, no questions asked. Because black men are rarely allowed to view our sexuality, or our masculinity, as a spectrum, which leads to conflicts of identity and overcompensating to appeal to a masculine ideal that does more harm than good.

    By Issa confronting Molly with her own homophobia she's taking black women to task for being complicit in the propagation of toxic masculinity. Shows like Insecure and FX's fantastic Atlanta and the critically acclaimed film Moonlight are part of an exciting wave of art challening the very concept of black masculinity, both as an offshoot of slavery—the Mandingo of yore—and as a necessity in a world that treated black masculinity as something to be feared, undermined, or destroyed.

    As gay men, we can also challenge what it means to be a man and stand up against the toxic masculinity run rampant in our own culture. So next time someone comes at you with that "masc 4 masc" bull, hit 'em with one of these:



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  2. Nigerian Prince

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    I loved that they touched on this topic in the show. As the saying goes with sexual fluidity, "Bi the way, she can but he can't"
     
  3. DreG

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    I thought it was so cool that they went there.Everyone has a past.He said he didn't like or do it again.And it was years ago.I feel like she'd had given him less grief if he said he had unprotected sex in college.She shut him down for no good reason,and then tried to act like she was a victim.smh
     
  4. OckyDub

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    Just to be clear...per the article:

    A man being homophobic and rigid is due to toxic masculinity.
    A woman being homophobic and rigid is due to toxic masculinity.

    How is this not a problem exactly?

    So an article about double standards and hypocrisy when it comes to men and sexuality turns around and does the same thing its criticizing, as it pertains to women and anti-homosexual attitudes.

    Amazing. PRIME example of why I do what I do.
     
    #4 OckyDub, Nov 15, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2016
  5. Omega Level

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    Its always interesting when a topic like this is introduced and in particular within the black community. The whole sex experience and orientation thing is corny as fvck to me when the double standard POV is women can experiment and not be a lesbian, but men DONT DARE experiment and not be full on gay. SERIOUSLY?

    I usually don't entertain it in the least and just pass it off as people with that way of thinking being products of their environment and the programming of what a "Man" is and does. And as for my folk/Black men, when they grow up in black communities, black church etc it will most likely continue to be as rare as a pink and blue elephant the idea of sexual fluidity, experimentation, and sexual exploration without being flat out labeled as GAY AS FVCK.

    The question I pose to the topic when I do muster up the interest to entertain it is,

    So as a gay as fvck man, which I am, if I go have sex with a women tomorrow, am I straight now?

    Room is silent a bit, than the inevitable response erupts, "Oh nah man, thats different". Etc, etc. The conversation usually becomes mute because with that topic people are usually going to stay true to their programmed way of thinking as oppose to challenging the way they were taught about what is sex vs actual orientation.

    Sex is just SEX. I love sex and although I am not Bi, as sex goes I find sex between humans FANTASTIC. Whether its with a man or woman. I have had and still could have successful sex with a woman right now and it be good as fvck. Do I want to continue anything with her? No. Because I am a gay man and I want to share my life with a man.

    So I would assume It could be dudes out there that have had sex with men and could do so, but ultimately want and love women. Its JUST SEX. But that way of thinking is VERY progressive and I love my black folk but if its one thing we are often not is the most progressive thinkers.
     
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  6. OhSheit

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    Gonna have to check this show out.
     
  7. Cmolove

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    Good post. Good show. Love Issa. Haven't made it to that episode, yet. I try to tell people, there are just as many men who go from gay to bisexual as there are men who go from bisexual to gay...for a lot of reasons. And, yes, men can have all sort of sexual experiences and not be gay, bisexual, or any finite defined orientation. We choose our sexual identities for a lot of varied reasons, but ultimately, the need to "define it" is a Eurocentric paradigm that shows up as a need to categorize & hierarchicalize (if I can make up a word here) every-gat-dayum-thang.
     
    #7 Cmolove, Nov 17, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2016
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  8. Dante

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    In the Black community, two of the rules of being a Black man are:

    1. Only women are required to touch you.

    2. You are only a "real man" if you are straight (and 1. disqualifies you to be if a man does so). This is why there will always be gay and bisexual men on the DL/in the closet and an absent understanding of sexuality for a LOT of people (Black people indeed).

    Straight men are the reason why women get away with "playing with each other's pussies" and expunging it from their record the next day and still being able to say "I'm straight..." with no attack, ridicule, embarassment or shame on her womanhood at all. These men are self absorbed with their love of it that they don't really fucking care, unless women decide to all ban one day and form a permanent, world-wide anti-dick revolt. I have knowingly seen straight dudes befriending gay women (lipstick or butch) just to try to see if they can get some or "fuck the gay out of them". Even if they get a pass to try once, it is all good to them.

    And straight women are to sub-blame bc they don't care what goes downtown in their city, just be down there. Unlike straight men, they care about whether or not men are "playing with each other's dicks and asses", bc "dicks belong to them"-they are the socket for you to plug your cord in. If you are not straight, you better hire them as a fag hag or be up in that hair salon helping them with getting that weave and nails did. And if you are not straight, you better be dicking them down and keeping your "gay shit" on the low. And if it was an anti-pussy revolt for them, they would quickly adapt and form a "Ladies' Carpet Munch Shower" or "Lick The Clit and Pamper Me Party" in a heartbeat. They will dyke it out to get theres for sure.

    Will men be able to have sexual liberation as women do?
    "Fuck no...Go on over there with that gay shit!"
     
    #8 Dante, Nov 18, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2016
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  9. Winston Smith

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    So true. The label thing is ridiculous. That's why I just use "gay" as that's how black folk roll whereas I consider myself just a black human being that loves and fucks other black human beings, male or female (but a preference for dudes). We adopted the "one drop rule" as a people due to the influence of white, western religion as @Ockydub always points out:

    * white supremacy: one drop of black blood makes you totally black.
    * black ignorance: one bj makes a man totally gay

    You could drag all kinds of boring history and anthropology studies showing Africans had all sorts of sexual arrangements prior to the mental destruction wrought by Islam, Christianity, and Marxism, but people are going to think what they think. That's probably why so many gay black men just give up and go with white gay culture or just leave and disappear like James Baldwin.
     
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  10. Cmolove

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    Seriously considering the Baldwin way.
     
  11. Winston Smith

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    Nah, just live your life, but follow the words of an old proverb "sometimes its better to walk alone than suffer the company of fools."
     
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  12. Cmolove

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    Indeed...
     
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