Monday, March 06, 2006

Young. Black. Male. Gay.

Dance. Music. Sex. Romance. (Ok. I don't know where that came from. *LOL*)

I was on the phone for nearly three hours Sunday chatting with Beans. You'll recall Beans was part of my trifecta weekend of dates. Hemingway we actually were supposed to hang out last weekend at some bar but I wasn't able to make it. I sensed that he wanted to ask me to hang out again but didn't want to come out and say it. Honestly I wasn't really feeling like going out since the weather was slightly sucky but not wanting to blow him off again, I decided to ask him if he wanted to hang out. He quickly agreed.

He told me about his weekend up to that point, which included a trip to Indianapolis with a group to see a play. I don't remember exactly what he went to see. I focused more or less on his company during the trip.

Beans mentioned being in a van with ten other people, most of whom he didn't know. The driver of the van organized the trip and got all the participants together. Beans cracked me up with tales of one brother that farted multiple times. Another brother was dressed up in a brown fur coat and being a 'diva'.

I got the gist from Beans words that everyone in the van were gay. He mentioned that several of the attendees were dressed very flamboyant and overly feminine. Beans noted that as a result, a lot of attention (both positive and negative) was focused on them when they arrived at the theatre.

So Hemingway Beans mentioned that the driver was looking to mentor a few of the young black gay men in the community. Basically be a role model for how to make it as gay men in a prejudiced society. Beans stated that in his opinion one of the things that young black gay men needed to learn was how to act like men.

With those words, I know I'm entering controversial waters. Beans made the point that a lot of the images blacks gays receive on how to act comes from the white gay community. I had to think about it but in a lot of ways, what Beans said was true. I mean the so-called "gay accent" that a number of gays I know have I first heard from white guys. If anyone can prove me wrong, I'm more than welcome to hear it.

He argued that a lot of gay blacks assume that they're facing discrimination because they're gay when in actuality it's because they're black. (Of course it is possible that a person can be discriminated because they're both black and gay. Between the two, though, which trait is the more obvious of the two? I think your blackness would stand out before your gayness.)

So Hemingway, Beans argued that if a decision maker that happens to be white had to choose between two gay men, one white and one black, they would choose the white gay guy. Gay black men are doubly shunned by both the white community and the black community at large.

Let's get back to Beans basic opinion of young gay black men needing someone to teach them how to be a man. When it comes down to it, what does it mean to be a man? If you're able to bench press 200 lbs, does that make you more of a man? How about if it's only 100 lbs? Are you less of a man? If you cry during a movie, does that make you less of a man?

Let's take it up a level. How should a gay black man act? Is it required for a gay black male to have a "gay accent"? Must a gay black male be a good dresser? Must the words "girl", "honey chile" or "bitch" be spoken in each sentence? If you don't do none of those things, are you less of a gay?

When it gets right down to it, there are about as many answers to how a person should act based on their orientation as there are people living.

I do think young men, regardless of sexual orientation, do need some guidance. The bottomline is that these men need to be productive citizens and not contribute to the ills of society. The question becomes how do you reach out to them and what message do you give.

For better or worse, the media's protrayals of how certain segments act greatly influences how said segments do act. The key I think is that as long as you're a productive member of society, how you decide to rep yourself is secondary. Ultimately when it comes down to it, how an individual lives their life is completely up to them. You can lead a horse to water (in other words, guide a person however you think they should act) but you can't make them drink it.

As for hanging out, Beans wanted to go to a bar on the southside. I swung by his neck of the woods to pick him up. He had a hankering for Harold's chicken so we stopped there to get a bite to eat. It was pretty uneventful. When we got to the club, Beans decided he didn't want to go, namely because it didn't look crowded enough, plus it was a $5 cover.

So I drove him back home and then headed back myself.


Blogger Cash S. said...

Hmmm, ya'll must have went to Escape or The Pub.

I get what Beans was saying, and he's right. YBGM do need good positive role models.

(Sorry about saturday)

8:40 AM, March 07, 2006  
Blogger *Madosi said...

you know i understand what is being said. however, do they really need role models that re gay? hmm, i dunno. many of my rol emodels growing up were straight. i knew flamboyant black gay men growing up, but they wer enot really role models for me and i really did not want them to be.

i think we all need good role models, hands down. whether these people are black, white, gay straight, masculine, feminine, really does not matter. as long as they are good role models, fair, honest, open minded and loving ...

11:24 AM, March 07, 2006  
Blogger chase said...

Yes, gay or no our young black men need role models, whether those rm's are gay or not is almost irrelivant if the rm is as madosi said fair, honest, open-minded and loving....

Pretty cool to see that just cause he didnt want to go, you didnt let it ruin your night. bravo

11:32 AM, March 10, 2006  

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