What does it mean to be black and gay?

  • Tropicalcium

    Posts: 95

    Aug 06, 2014 11:03 PM GMT
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/storyline/wp/2014/08/04/the-black-hiv-epidemic-a-public-health-mystery-and-love-story-from-atlantas-gay-community/

    Not good for gay black men. Why does it have a high rate of HIV Why does it matter? Will it cause tensions? Will it stop black gay men from being gay? Will it cause gay men to become straight?

    "ATLANTA — In the early 2000s, a young researcher at the Centers for Disease Control named Greg Millett set out to solve an epidemiological mystery. Nobody could explain why black Americans, particularly black gay men, had such high rates of HIV infection compared to the rest of the population. How were they putting themselves in so much danger? What were they doing differently from everyone else?"

    "Sullivan is interested in untangling the other factors that might contribute to the black community’s high HIV rates. His hunch is that stigma and the environment where people live also play a big role in putting the community at risk. For instance, black gay men report experiencing more homophobia in their lives, which then affects how often they visit the clinic, or even how willing they are to discuss a partner’s HIV status."
  • roadbikeRob

    Posts: 14360

    Aug 06, 2014 11:09 PM GMT

    Because black, gay men face the negative double whammy of being black and being gay thanks to the still rampant racism and homophobia that poisons a large portion of American societyicon_sad.gif
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    Aug 06, 2014 11:21 PM GMT
    roadbikeRob said
    Because black, gay men face the negative double whammy of being black and being gay thanks to the still rampant racism and homophobia that poisons a large portion of American societyicon_sad.gif


    Not to mention that black communities are usually very homophobic and machista.
  • jo2hotbod

    Posts: 3603

    Aug 06, 2014 11:23 PM GMT
    " Will it stop black gay men from being gay? Will it cause gay men to become straight?"

    What? You can't stop from being gay or change from being gay... It being gay
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    Aug 06, 2014 11:33 PM GMT
    Some folks seem to think the black communities tend to have a more machismo attitude, and that's why many stay closeted and engauge in risky sexual behavior on the DL.

    But if they're really so macho, you'd think they'd have the balls to stand up for themselves in spite of negative repercussions in their communities. This is why I have such a high respect for people (of all races) who live in anti-gay environments, yet still stand up for themselves.
  • roadbikeRob

    Posts: 14360

    Aug 06, 2014 11:34 PM GMT
    kevex said
    roadbikeRob said
    Because black, gay men face the negative double whammy of being black and being gay thanks to the still rampant racism and homophobia that poisons a large portion of American societyicon_sad.gif


    Not to mention that black communities are usually very homophobic and machista.
    That is largely thanks to all the NARROW MINDED BIBLE THUMPING SCREWBALLS who operate all those non denominational store front churches in poor, predominately black, urban neighborhoods. It is also due to a lower educational level in many impoverished black communities.
  • roadbikeRob

    Posts: 14360

    Aug 07, 2014 12:07 AM GMT
    pazzy said
    roadbikeRob said
    Because black, gay men face the negative double whammy of being black and being gay thanks to the still rampant racism and homophobia that poisons a large portion of American societyicon_sad.gif



    yep.... speaking from first hand experience, it hurts. folks wonder are quick to ask stupid questions too as if it's so hard to understand. when you have many black people looking down at you because you're gay and then you turn around expecting the gay community to have your back but they're doing the same shit because you're black... how could someone not be pissed, paranoid or upset?

    i mean.. to be honest with you, i've accepted that society is that fucked up where there's people that look at things such as sexual orientation and skin color to judge and treat people based off of whatever bullshit and ignorance. however, i'd be lying to you if i said that i've gotten used to it. i literally keep my guard up where i expect people to be that way. it would surprise me if somebody isn't. they say that not everyone is out to get you over whatever which is true BUT you don't know who is who.
    well let me inform you that I consider all black gay men to be my fellow human beings and brothers. I think racism, homophobia, and all other forms of prejudice are just plain stupid. Life is just too damn short and too valuable to waste it on hating other groups of people. The gay community is just like the straight majority, it is so hyper segregated. How horribly sadicon_sad.gif
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    Aug 07, 2014 2:00 AM GMT
    roadbikeRob said
    kevex said
    roadbikeRob said
    icon_sad.gif


    Not to mention that black communities are usually very homophobic and machista.
    That is largely thanks to all the NARROW MINDED BIBLE THUMPING SCREWBALLS who operate all those non denominational store front churches in poor, predominately black, urban neighborhoods. It is also due to a lower educational level in many impoverished black communities.

    For the reasons for high HIV incidence, I would guess that roadbike is right. I am sure that there is a much lower incidence of HIV among middle class black men. HIV comes from unprotected sex and needle sharing. So there must be a lot more of one or the other among the population. Don't do IV drugs, and use condoms, and you can't get it. But you already know that - 'cause you are among the educated. As for those who don't yet know about HIV, our government(s) should do much more to educated them. I doubt they will.
  • SuntoryTime

    Posts: 656

    Aug 07, 2014 10:17 AM GMT
    HikerSkier said
    roadbikeRob said
    kevex said
    roadbikeRob said
    icon_sad.gif


    Not to mention that black communities are usually very homophobic and machista.
    That is largely thanks to all the NARROW MINDED BIBLE THUMPING SCREWBALLS who operate all those non denominational store front churches in poor, predominately black, urban neighborhoods. It is also due to a lower educational level in many impoverished black communities.

    For the reasons for high HIV incidence, I would guess that roadbike is right. I am sure that there is a much lower incidence of HIV among middle class black men. HIV comes from unprotected sex and needle sharing. So there must be a lot more of one or the other among the population. Don't do IV drugs, and use condoms, and you can't get it. But you already know that - 'cause you are among the educated. As for those who don't yet know about HIV, our government(s) should do much more to educated them. I doubt they will.


    Is anyone reading the studies and articles? Over and over again they prove that black gay men take fewer risks and are more likely to use condoms and test for HIV than whites.

    The usual "just use a condom" isn't working in this situation.

    WHY WON'T ANYONE ACKNOWLEDGE THIS?
  • Kalifornicati...

    Posts: 242

    Aug 07, 2014 2:39 PM GMT
    roadbikeRob said
    pazzy said
    roadbikeRob said
    Because black, gay men face the negative double whammy of being black and being gay thanks to the still rampant racism and homophobia that poisons a large portion of American societyicon_sad.gif



    yep.... speaking from first hand experience, it hurts. folks wonder are quick to ask stupid questions too as if it's so hard to understand. when you have many black people looking down at you because you're gay and then you turn around expecting the gay community to have your back but they're doing the same shit because you're black... how could someone not be pissed, paranoid or upset?

    i mean.. to be honest with you, i've accepted that society is that fucked up where there's people that look at things such as sexual orientation and skin color to judge and treat people based off of whatever bullshit and ignorance. however, i'd be lying to you if i said that i've gotten used to it. i literally keep my guard up where i expect people to be that way. it would surprise me if somebody isn't. they say that not everyone is out to get you over whatever which is true BUT you don't know who is who.
    well let me inform you that I consider all black gay men to be my fellow human beings and brothers. I think racism, homophobia, and all other forms of prejudice are just plain stupid. Life is just too damn short and too valuable to waste it on hating other groups of people. The gay community is just like the straight majority, it is so hyper segregated. How horribly sadicon_sad.gif


    I'm with you on this exactly!!! We are all human, not aliens from different worlds! We'll maybe republicans are!
  • TDSmoove

    Posts: 131

    Aug 07, 2014 4:00 PM GMT
    One point in the article that's overlooked is the statement about the smaller, closer community and the numerical difference that makes. It's like playing roulette but taking out half of the numbers. Chances are better that you're gonna land on someone (no pun intended)who is infected. If not you, then one of your peers that you might end up with.

    There is no single right answer. It's like a hydra with so many heads that's just when you think you got it licked (no pun intended) another head pops up and gets your ass from behind (...you already know)
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    Aug 07, 2014 4:10 PM GMT
    I think a lot of our issues are rooted in acceptance of ourselves. Being black, gay and for me, a father is a huge undertaking. I could have stayed in the closet and lived two lives. That would have made my family and community very happy. It would have also caused me to not good choices. When you are in the closet and not out to your self, you tend not to take care of the yourself. You have unprotected sex, multiple partners, etc. Therefore on the outside you look like an upstanding guy in the community, but on the down-low you are making a mess of your own lives. I made the decision to accept myself, be open and honest with everyone and raise my children. Just by that change, it allow me to care for myself. Regular check ups and HIV screenings. I could date and have relationships opposed to being in the shadows, fearing that if I build something with someone they would out me. That's been almost 18 years ago.... and I am thankful I made that decision. My family came around. I have an incredible relationship with my children and my exwife.... it was not always easy, but its worth it.
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    Aug 07, 2014 4:52 PM GMT
    SuntoryTime said
    HikerSkier said
    roadbikeRob said
    kevex said
    roadbikeRob said
    icon_sad.gif


    Not to mention that black communities are usually very homophobic and machista.
    That is largely thanks to all the NARROW MINDED BIBLE THUMPING SCREWBALLS who operate all those non denominational store front churches in poor, predominately black, urban neighborhoods. It is also due to a lower educational level in many impoverished black communities.

    For the reasons for high HIV incidence, I would guess that roadbike is right. I am sure that there is a much lower incidence of HIV among middle class black men. HIV comes from unprotected sex and needle sharing. So there must be a lot more of one or the other among the population. Don't do IV drugs, and use condoms, and you can't get it. But you already know that - 'cause you are among the educated. As for those who don't yet know about HIV, our government(s) should do much more to educated them. I doubt they will.


    Is anyone reading the studies and articles? Over and over again they prove that black gay men take fewer risks and are more likely to use condoms and test for HIV than whites.

    The usual "just use a condom" isn't working in this situation.

    WHY WON'T ANYONE ACKNOWLEDGE THIS?


    Is the article saying that condom use doesn't work? Then we are all fucked if that's the case, but evidently that isn't the case. People lie in studies and tell researchers and pollsters what they think the pollsters want to hear. Who wants to admit that they don't practice safe sex within the context of a gay sex survey and look like a complete moron?! Unless you have been living under a rock in the USA you know condom use is the mantra of safe gay sex, so if a pollster is asking you about your gay sex practices you will say that you use condoms 100% of the time which very often isn't the truth (black, white or Latino). Also, the article also stated that black men only talk about HIV status with prospective partners only about half the time compared to whites at 70% of the time. Combine that with the higher HIV infection rates in the black community to begin with, the fact that black on black gay sex is more the norm than not, and it isn't hard to see why the HIV infection rate is problematic and not really a mystery.


    Edit: Even the author admits to lying:

    Editor’s note: Several passages have been removed from this story because the source of those passages, Mickyel Bradford, has admitted to fabricating them. The passages include descriptions of a lunch in Bradford’s town and a ball that Bradford claimed he attended with a man identified as Seth. Bradford now confirms that neither of those events occurred as described. Additionally, Bradford admits the two men never discussed getting tested for HIV. All passages concerning the two men have been removed.

    This calls into question everything he's written.
  • BlackCoach

    Posts: 37

    Aug 07, 2014 5:36 PM GMT
    Many attitudes in the black culture are the same when it comes to sex regardless of sexuality. Too many Black men whether straight or gay are not into wearing condoms. Would interesting to do a study of how many straight single black men have unprotected sex too. Bet it is higher than average for the general population
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    Aug 07, 2014 6:24 PM GMT
    Niceguy1964 saidI think a lot of our issues are rooted in acceptance of ourselves. Being black, gay and for me, a father is a huge undertaking. I could have stayed in the closet and lived two lives. That would have made my family and community very happy. It would have also caused me to not good choices. When you are in the closet and not out to your self, you tend not to take care of the yourself. You have unprotected sex, multiple partners, etc. Therefore on the outside you look like an upstanding guy in the community, but on the down-low you are making a mess of your own lives. I made the decision to accept myself, be open and honest with everyone and raise my children. Just by that change, it allow me to care for myself. Regular check ups and HIV screenings. I could date and have relationships opposed to being in the shadows, fearing that if I build something with someone they would out me. That's been almost 18 years ago.... and I am thankful I made that decision. My family came around. I have an incredible relationship with my children and my exwife.... it was not always easy, but its worth it.


    I think community role models like yourself would make a big difference. Young minds absorb so much from those around them; so much of what we "know" about gay people is based on stereotypes and extreme examples portrayed on TV and elsewhere. If there were more visible men of color who had your courage it would give hope and incentive to the next generation.
  • FRE0

    Posts: 4865

    Aug 07, 2014 7:46 PM GMT
    HikerSkier said
    roadbikeRob said
    kevex said
    roadbikeRob said
    icon_sad.gif


    Not to mention that black communities are usually very homophobic and machista.
    That is largely thanks to all the NARROW MINDED BIBLE THUMPING SCREWBALLS who operate all those non denominational store front churches in poor, predominately black, urban neighborhoods. It is also due to a lower educational level in many impoverished black communities.

    For the reasons for high HIV incidence, I would guess that roadbike is right. I am sure that there is a much lower incidence of HIV among middle class black men. HIV comes from unprotected sex and needle sharing. So there must be a lot more of one or the other among the population. Don't do IV drugs, and use condoms, and you can't get it. But you already know that - 'cause you are among the educated. As for those who don't yet know about HIV, our government(s) should do much more to educated them. I doubt they will.


    The admonition to use condoms seems to assume that no one does oral sex, that condoms are satisfactory for oral sex, or that oral sex is safe. All three assumptions are questionable.
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    Aug 07, 2014 8:02 PM GMT
    Four key points to me:


    1) They are less likely to know if they are positive, and more likely not to be in treatment.


    Treatment (ART Therapy, PrEP) is PREVENTION. Not only is it good for the HIV person's health, it's good for society as a group.

    2) Dating within the black community means a higher chance of encountering someone who is HIV positive — or worse, someone who is positive but doesn’t know it.


    The vast majority of new infections are from "unknown" HIV.

    http://www.lgbthealtheducation.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/Fenway_MSM_presentation.Cranston.051211.pdf
    (see last 2 charts)

    3) For instance, black gay men report experiencing more homophobia in their lives, which then affects how often they visit the clinic, or even how willing they are to discuss a partner’s HIV status.
    If you don't even visit a clinic to test HIV, let alone take antivirals for health and prevention....discussion is moot.

    4) Condom failure rate, inconsistent use.
    Contrary to what many say "Limited data suggest that condoms have similar efficacy in gay men as in heterosexuals." And "Regular condoms are as effective as extra-strong condoms for anal sex."
    http://www.aidsmap.com/Condom-efficacy-in-gay-men/page/1324955/


    condom failure was reported by 16.6%
    http://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/10225233/Correlates_of_condom_failure_in_a_sexually_active_cohort_of_men_who_have_sex_with_men_


    If you have a group of 250 vs 2000, who are more likely unaware of their status, less likely to be on Therapy (and not know it's benefits), and their primary prevention is condoms with a 16% failure rate with a pool 44% positive...it won't be going away.
  • BloodFlame

    Posts: 1768

    Aug 07, 2014 9:49 PM GMT
    I just hate that racism is still present in todays world, especially in the black community (both inside and outside).

    This is why I'm thankful I came out at such a young age. Sure, I got crap from both sides and it was hard at times but I stood my ground and continued to be myself. But some people are right, the black community is kind of disgusting thing to be a part of. Not because we're black, but the attitudes that some of the people have in it. I swear, there's a criticism for every single thing in the community (hair, "white washed", "sellout", homophobic, etc) This is the reason why I don't participate or follow the black community.

    As for the gay community if you want to call it that, I haven't really gotten much direct racism towards myself but I have heard stories and it's very disheartening. The thing I don't like is how some gay men won't want to be around a black guy because they automatically assume he has HIV. Yeah, I have actually seen this kind judgement by someone I know.

    So yeah, as much as I have personally adjusted to the hatred/racism/etc that I (and some others) are bound to get, I'm not going to lie and pretend that it doesn't exist.
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    Aug 07, 2014 9:57 PM GMT
    Niceguy1964 saidI think a lot of our issues are rooted in acceptance of ourselves...


    A wise observation that applies to gay men of all races, classes, creeds and colors.

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    Aug 08, 2014 1:06 PM GMT
    pazzy said
    roadbikeRob said
    Because black, gay men face the negative double whammy of being black and being gay thanks to the still rampant racism and homophobia that poisons a large portion of American societyicon_sad.gif



    yep.... speaking from first hand experience, it hurts. it really has a negative effect on us gay black dudes. people that don't know are quick to ask stupid questions too as if it's so hard to understand. when you have many black people looking down at you because you're gay and then you turn around expecting the gay community to have your back but they're doing the same shit because you're black and when i say gay community, i'm saying white, black, asian, whatever in general.. how could someone not be pissed, paranoid or upset? many gay black guys are upset because they're not accepted by their peers based off of such characteristic like black skin or sexual orientation where they're viewed as the enemy by the same people that share the same common characteristic as them.

    i mean.. to be honest with you, i've accepted that society is that fucked up where there's people that look at things such as sexual orientation and skin color to judge and treat people based off of whatever bullshit and ignorance. however, i'd be lying to you if i said that i've gotten used to it. i literally keep my guard up where i expect people to be that way. it would surprise me if somebody isn't. they say that not everyone is out to get you over whatever which is true BUT you don't know who is who.


    Well said.
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    Aug 08, 2014 5:32 PM GMT
    Ronaldo619 said
    pazzy said
    roadbikeRob said
    Because black, gay men face the negative double whammy of being black and being gay thanks to the still rampant racism and homophobia that poisons a large portion of American societyicon_sad.gif



    yep.... speaking from first hand experience, it hurts. it really has a negative effect on us gay black dudes. people that don't know are quick to ask stupid questions too as if it's so hard to understand. when you have many black people looking down at you because you're gay and then you turn around expecting the gay community to have your back but they're doing the same shit because you're black and when i say gay community, i'm saying white, black, asian, whatever in general.. how could someone not be pissed, paranoid or upset? many gay black guys are upset because they're not accepted by their peers based off of such characteristic like black skin or sexual orientation where they're viewed as the enemy by the same people that share the same common characteristic as them.

    i mean.. to be honest with you, i've accepted that society is that fucked up where there's people that look at things such as sexual orientation and skin color to judge and treat people based off of whatever bullshit and ignorance. however, i'd be lying to you if i said that i've gotten used to it. i literally keep my guard up where i expect people to be that way. it would surprise me if somebody isn't. they say that not everyone is out to get you over whatever which is true BUT you don't know who is who.


    Well said.


    What is the experience of mixed race blacks? Black/Latino, Black/Asian. Black/White, etc. Are things any better than, worse than, or the same as for those who self identify as Black? Are they lumped into the same category as Black as far as the rest of the gay community is concerned?
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    Aug 08, 2014 6:39 PM GMT
    ^^That wasn't my intent. But your response is telling.
  • TDSmoove

    Posts: 131

    Aug 08, 2014 9:56 PM GMT
    I don't think UndercoverMan was trying to undermine anything there and it is a valid question. It becomes a little more complicated since they themselves may or may not identify with one or either race they're mixed with. Some will identify as Black... Other's mix'd, other's white. And unfortunately more than a few will not want anything to do with one half or the other which I think is a shame.
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    Aug 08, 2014 10:48 PM GMT
    The US seems to continue to hold on to quite a bit of racism. With that said, I NEVER consider being black a negative or being gay. Some people consider it a double curse, but we must embrace ourselves and live our life. I am black and there are people that may have a problem with it, but its their problem. That is also the point with me being gay. Its their issue, not mine. I will not adopt their opinion of me as mine.... just my 2 cents!
  • FRE0

    Posts: 4865

    Aug 08, 2014 11:39 PM GMT
    Niceguy1964 saidThe US seems to continue to hold on to quite a bit of racism. With that said, I NEVER consider being black a negative or being gay. Some people consider it a double curse, but we must embrace ourselves and live our life. I am black and there are people that may have a problem with it, but its their problem. That is also the point with me being gay. Its their issue, not mine. I will not adopt their opinion of me as mine.... just my 2 cents!


    True, at least to an extent, but they can make their prejudices a problem for you.