Race & Sexuality: How Do You Identify Yourself?
A Cypher Avenue member asked this question on our interactive Activity Stream. The question was “How do you identify yourself; as a gay black man or a black gay man?” I’m sure we all have seen this type of question asked throughout the years and I’ve always been curious about those men who answer the question with their sexuality being first when phrasing their identity. I must admit, no matter their rationale, I can’t follow their logic. To each, is own I guess.
I’ve always thought about and answered the question from what I felt was a more logical scientific classification approach. I’m a human being first, a male second, then my race and finally my sexuality…yep in exactly that order. For the most part, the vast majority of humans born are either male or female. Yes, there are exceptions (intersex); nonetheless, a person’s sex is usually obvious.
Regardless of how many people claim to be color blind and “don’t see race”, I want people to see and acknowledge my race because it’s a part of the totality of who I am along with the experiences that come with it. It’s not all of me but it’s a part. Unlike my race, my sexuality is not as obvious due to my masculinity or what may be considered “traditional maleness”. Even though I can be discriminated against due to my gender, race or sexuality; I feel my race is where the discriminatory impact is greater.
Now I know experiences may be different for our more effeminate brothers and also depending on place of residence or origin around the world but I feel people see race before they see sexuality. What are your thoughts? Also how do you identify yourself; Asian, Latino, Hispanic African, African American, Indonesian, White then your sexuality, or the other way around?
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