MidnightsChild saidBecause both the African American and other black cultures and the Latino cultures are very based on some of the same ideas of machismo and (false) masculinity I wanted to ask some questions to get a non heated dialogue raised:
1) How do you identify both your sexual orientation and your ethnic/racial identity?
2) How long have you been out of the closet? What lead to you deciding to come out?
3) If you are not out of the closet why are you still in there? What factors be they societal or personal have kept you in hiding?
4) When you hear the term 'gay black man' of 'gay Latino man' what is the first thing that pops into your head?
5) If its more masculine than feminine why do you think that is? How does what is in your head match up with the reality you've seen?
6) If its more feminine than masculine why do you think that is? How does what is in your head match up with the reality you've seen?
7) If what you thought of was more masculine than feminine does that or did that contribute to you staying in the closet longer because you did not fit that image?
If what you thought of was more feminine than masculine does that or did that contribute to you to being in the closet longer because you did not fit that image?
9) When you finally accepted yourself for your non heterosexual status did that affect how you saw yourself as a man for any period of time?
10) When you came out to other African or Latino Americans how did they react? How do they react now when they find out you are non straight?
11) Have you ever felt as if being non straight made you less black or Latino?
12) Do you sometimes feel like you have to pick a side: gay or your ethnic/racial identity?
13) Would you say you mesh in with the rest of the gay black or Latino community?
14) Lastly what is your opinion yourself now as a non straight black or Latino individual?
I'll answer my questions to kick things off. I'm writing and trying to eat at the same time so I will fill in more answers as time goes on:
-- I am gay and black
-- I've officially gay for once year but altogether non straight for three years
-- The first thing that pops into my head is RuPaul or Dwight from Real Housewives of Atlanta
-- It's obviously more feminine and for the most part matches what I've seen from openly gay black men. The ones around me are either incredibly feminine or not out of the closet, lol.
-- When I thought of gay people growing up I thought of white guys anyway because I didn't believe or rather I was taught black people were not allowed or supposed to be gay
-- In a way it did change how I saw myself gender wise. Well not really. I mean I had always known I was not traditionally male and so coming out of the closet allowed me to explore what that really meant and whether I was a man at all and I've come to discover that I'm really not or I don't feel like one sometimes
-- Most black people who were not related to me already assumed I was gay anyway. So when I came out it was almost like a 'what else is new' type of vibe, lol. To this day I am a little hesitant when I meet a new black person because I know it's going to come up. So I usually just throw it out there and get it over with.
-- When I was closeted I actually saw my gayness as an affront to my blackness. Again for most of my life I was taught that black people weren't supposed to be gay. Black men were supposed to real men, stronger men as compared to white men. So coming out as gay made me question some things.
-- There are many times when I feel like I'm forced to take a side on an issue. It's not an internal conflict but more how others react to me being gay and black. Most black people at first assume I'm straight so when the topic ever comes up they expect me to be on the anti gay side. And when I'm with my gay friends they expect me to kind of turn a blind eye to the racism in the gay community. I actually had one white gay man say to me 'oh please I'm a fag. How can I be racist?' So there's that.....
-- I didn't mesh with the straight black community and I don't with the gay one either. Mostly because I'm not really active in it. I don't do clubs unless I'm with someone and I'm not into a lot of things they are into. The black gay community is a strange animal to me because it seems very entrenched in the mimicking of heterosexual society. I have never seen so many fem/masc pairings in my life. I rarely see two masculine black men together. I guess it's their own problem and not mine.
-- I like these layers to myself. I'm proud of each one. I wear them like badges of honor. I take pride in the fact that I lucked out to be different. It's not always a barrel of laughs being different. But when I think about being a boring ole breeder I sigh in relief.