During the continued lockdown due to COVID-19, I’ve been having very long and substantive conversations with fellow LGBT friends about a wide range of topics that I will soon be bringing up on Cypher Avenue for even more opinions/views/discussion.

One topic in particular that got mixed responses was: “What are your views of black gay relationships/couples on social media?”

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I’m actually one of those people with a mixed opinion on this. On one hand, after starting this website 8 years ago advocating for more masculine-leaning black gay representation in the media, I find it great to see so many positive photos of black gay love out there.

Not only for other black gays to see and possibly get motivated/inspired and show that they too can achieve this, but also so these images can eventually become a normality to homophobic heterosexuals (ie: The “Will & Grace” effect).

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pressure. 🗣

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Also, our heterosexual counterparts freely post every detail about their relationships online, some even becoming “influencers” and “famous” solely for being a couple. They literally possess no real talent, yet they have built entire brands (and income) just from sharing their relationships on YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, etc.

So why shouldn’t Black LGBT couples do the same? Especially when we need to see positive examples of “us” out there just as much as they do.

On the other hand, some of these social media couples just come across as blatant fame seekers. Especially the millennials and post-millennials. Here is a quote that I saw posted on a 28-year-old aspiring actor’s social media account recently:

These kids want to be “famous” so badly, they are trying to redefine what it means to actually be famous.

So when I see the photoshoot quality “candid shots” of gays with their baes, the cynical spidey-sense in me does start to tingle a bit.

Also, not every black gay man out there can pull these handsome IG-photogenic boyfriends. They may live in repressive communities, they may not fit the stereotypical gay body image seen in these photos, or they may not have the self esteem and confidence displayed. So does the sharing of this imagery create self esteem issues and misdirected envy for the perpetually single men out there?

Another cynical view is that many of these over-sharing black gay social media relationships don’t last. So unless you have an IG photo saving application like 4K STOGRAM, you won’t be able to see all of those deleted positive couples photos when they break up. This meme cleverly sums it up:

Having said that, I do lean more on the side of sharing black gay love online as being a good thing.

Admittedly, as a bachelor, I’ve seen quite a few of these superficially ideal social media black gay couples that have somewhat encouraged me to one day achieve that myself (my real life friends in relationships did most of the motivating, though). 

So instead of becoming discouraged by the dating woes, I remain motivated saying to myself, “if these attention seeking negroes found each other, then so can I, so just keep swiping/dating.”

My friends who I had this conversation with, for the most part they were split between two extremes. They either said the display of black gay couples on social was a great thing and showed others more positive depictions of our lives that didn’t involve explicit sex, clubbing and pink glitter exploding in everyone’s eyes…on the other side, they said the imagery did nothing for them whatsoever.

And full disclosure, at the time that I posed the question, all of the friends asked were in serious relationships yet did NOT share that part of their lives on their social media accounts (if they even had an online presence at all).

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🗣: …when they in both y’all DM 👋🏾

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So what are your thoughts?

How do you feel about others sharing their relationships online?

Do you (or would you) share your relationship on social media (assuming that you even have a social media presence)? Why or why not?