Connect with us

LGBTQ

A Message to Bitter Black Gays Dragging Pride

mm

Published

on

Bitter Black Gay Men who are upset and pressed about Pride–listen up! I’m calling you OUT!

Every year, the conversation of Black Gay Pride comes up on my timeline and I literally get myself prepared for the comments, videos, memes, and jokes. My favorite of all time is the “Make sure y’all pay y’all rent before y’all head to Pride.”

This weekend was Sizzle Miami & D.C Pride and both of these events are catered towards black gay men. These are spaces for black men to feel comfortable with no judgment away from individuals who take to social media every year, depressed, oppressed and stressed out that people are spending money on what they consider fun.

It’s a never-ending cycle tired jokes about everything from Walgreen’s running out of fleet to everyone attending is going to come back with an incurable STD. If you heard one joke, you’ve heard them all. You would think that half of the ones who made these jokes coins were at stake. No, the only thing at stake is their ego. The “I’m better than you because I don’t go to Pride” attitude. Gurl, let it go. Let it go. There is no minimum or maximum of gay activities that make you more or less gay. Only same-sex sexual activities make you homosexual.

Let’s not forget the fights… It doesn’t really matter if it was just 1 or 100–it’s all treated the same. Thousands of people gather for the events and all it takes is one fight video to surface, and then the girls have an excuse to say why they don’t participate. As if their credit jumps up 20 points. One fight broke out that is currently being shared all over social media and some of the kids are using it as a catalyst for not going to Pride events.

The girls were throwing everything except gas money! Ish like this happens. With so many people, personalities and alcohol, some things are bound to happen. It doesn’t mean one group is lower than other. The level of internalized racism and self-hatred that some of us suffer from unfortunately has us thinking like this. As if only black events are ratchet and ghetto. If you’ve ever been to predominately white spaces, you will see fist fights and drugs that have not made their way into the black community yet.

Before you post that bitter, wannabe elitist status or meme up, think to yourself: Is the problem Pride or is it my self-loathing personality? Pick a side, pick a side.

Let these people live. If they don’t pay their rent and head to Pride, what does it cost you? There are people who are leasing $1,000 iPhones and asking for payment arrangements. If I do go and get my back blown out, how does it harm you? What’s the difference between me having sex at home or out of town? I might just be giving you time to have the boys that you can’t have while I’m out of town.

The STD, STI, HIV jokes have got to go. The CDC puts you in the same group as any other man who sleeps with men. They don’t highlight those who do and don’t go to Pride.

If current HIV diagnoses rates persist, about 1 in 2 black men who have sex with men (MSM) and 1 in 4 Latino MSM in the United States will be diagnosed with HIV during their lifetime. (CDC)

Let me know if you see where they say that about those who attend Sizzle, D.C. Pride or Atlanta Pride. Instead of shading the girls for doing something you’re doing, focus on ways to uplift each other. Instead of sharing the ONE fight video, share a video answering common questions about sexual health. Pride is a time where the majority of old friends who have moved and haven’t seen each other in a while catch up.

A free space from judgmental looks from heterosexuals who don’t understand our culture but use it and abuse it. A time of celebrating some of the milestones we have made with being black gay men. Some are ones who were not comfortable with their sexuality until now. Artists, authors, poets, and content creators are in these spaces promoting things they love to do. Classes of all sorts are offered, from how to fight LGTB youth homelessness to better financial stability.

I love my community; I just want us to understand that we’re all in this together. I know that’s a lot to ask for, but I hope we can all understand and appreciate one another.

 

Do you see anyone like this on your TL or newsfeed? Share this message with them.

Comments

comments

Advertisement
10 Comments

10 Comments

  1. James

    May 29, 2017 at 10:54 pm

    This article fails to address the judgement received by those who are not considered commercially attractive. Black Gay pride is not free from judgement, but I guess that wouldn’t be easy to for some to see from their ivory towers.

    • mm

      JustinJ1232

      May 29, 2017 at 11:03 pm

      There is the problem with those who don’t feel attractive enough to attend. I’m one of those persons so I understand. But I’m addressing another issue. I’m addressing the slut shaming. We will get to that discussion. Thank you for your comment tho ??

      • ADG

        June 7, 2017 at 8:34 pm

        If you don’t feel attractive, isn’t that an internal self issue.? How can you go to Gay Pride, when you don’t feel proud of yourself? People treat you by the way you treat yourself.

  2. Maurice Connor

    May 30, 2017 at 1:23 am

    Justin, you really need to explore getting an editor.

  3. Percival

    May 30, 2017 at 6:18 am

    Why is it that you believe only bitter queens don’t support pride? Is that not judgmental on the part of you as the writer, people are exhausted of the black man “that ain’t never been nowhere” at pride. These people fly hundreds of miles to fight, fuck and make a fool of themselves and enforce community stereotypes. This is the reason why, my friends and I have begun to decline or the ” crafty ass promoters who just steal from their hard working community members. I would rather just go on a group trip with my Judys and be unbothered.

    • mm

      JustinJ1232

      May 30, 2017 at 10:46 am

      A hit dog will holler the loudest…

  4. SoulSinna

    May 30, 2017 at 9:43 am

    Thank you for addressing these issues. I see the complainers, yet I don’t hear of any of the work they do in solving what they consider to be issues with these events. Nothing about breaking up fights they witness. Nothing about talking to folks about safer sex practices and engaging in consensual, mutually fulfilling sexual activity. I don’t see these complainers offering to pay the rent of those who may be evicted for attending nor offering any financial planning trips for the future. When I’ve mentioned these things to complainers, all of a sudden it’s silence or pushback about how none of the above is their concern. And that they have a right to their opinion. Sigh.

    I love black gay men, but they make my ass hurt on days that end in y sometimes, and not in the way I like it either lol. That being said, I hope that we do better to and for one another. I’ve attended several Prides over the years, and have gotten my entire life. Sometimes doing stupid shit, such as not saving appropriately or throwing up from being dehydrated and drunk. But I have beautiful memories with beautiful men and some hard learned lessons that I try to pass on to those coming behind me.

    Thank you once again for this. We need to have these discussions so that we have the spaces we need for our community to be connected.

    • mm

      JustinJ1232

      May 30, 2017 at 11:16 am

      yasssssss thank you boo!!

  5. Antwan

    June 1, 2017 at 1:13 pm

    I’ve never understood the “shaming” of people who go to Pride or any other gay events. Like the author said, those who chose not to participate aren’t better because they don’t. It boils down to one simple fact….it’s none of your business if you’re not there! It doesn’t affect you in the least!

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

Advice

Black Gay Men and Their Need to Lie

mm

Published

on

This morning I saw a post that said “What are y’all lying about today?” and it made me angry. I sat for a minute and then it dawned on as me as to why a simple post was so activating to my spirit. I am guilty of telling a quick one, to either get out of a situation or to fit into one. Now, come on sis, let’s talk about it, Black gay men and their need to lie

Have you ever told a lie and felt guilty or shameful about it after. Well, I have and the feeling is disturbing to my spirit. Ugh, this topic is so sensitive and its truly getting out of hand. Again, let me be the first to say “yes, I have told a lie or two in my day,” but some of the stories that fall out of the mouths of you girls is beyond the beyond.

Now, that it’s out there no one can use it against me. This is about being vulnerable. I don’t want to be the girl throwing stones at glass houses and hiding my hands. Let’s take a minute to examine and understand how gays become habitual liars. Thus, I blame the backward ass-ness Black Culture, the religion forced on us to accept White Jesus and heterosexual mainstream societal norms have influenced us to create a façade to impress the impressionable, people will like us more than we actually like ourselves.

Reflect back on your life and consider a time where you felt or knew that it was not safe to be your most authentic self. For me, here is where I learned that lying was purposeful, it was before I was comfortable with my sexuality. Hence, when people would ask I if I was gay, I would say no. I even went to the extent of getting a whole girlfriend and a fake relationship. More so, family systems and cultural conditioned me to believe that my sexuality was wrong. That there is no greater taboo than being a Black gay man in Black American. I lied about it because it was the complete opposite of how I wanted people to see me. When I tell you culture and the idea of “what is Black enough,” really fucked me over. Big mistake! People around me already knew I was gay. I wasn’t lying to them, I was lying to myself. Now take this same concept and apply it other areas of your life. See what I am talking about?

So, again, lying keep me safe and bullies off my back, or so I thought. As I grew older, I repeated this behavior. Not telling my own truths somehow seemed to get me the results that I was hoping for. This pattern of behavior was showing up in all my relationships and interactions. I would call into work, lying about being sick. I would turn assignments in late lying about dealing with personal or family issues. Lying about why I can’t make it out for a night with friends or why I have to get off the phone.

Now, I know some of y’all are saying, “I don’t lie about big shit, only when it is a lil white lie.” Girl, you lie when it’s convenient, it’s still a lie, now have a seat. Whether it was lying by omission, not sharing the entire truth or just flat out flipping the script so that you still presented to others in the way you wish to be perceived, it’s still a lie. Just like me, in the past, lying served a real purpose. I was vying for the acceptance and validation from my peers and family members. But today, I’m like fuck it. This is who I am and its either you grow closer to me or we respect each other from a distance. This isn’t about me living my life to keep other people happy, this is about me resting peacefully at night. I will not have disturbed sleep, worrying about if such and such is going to figure out if I lied or not. Newsflash girl, they already know!!!!

And to bring this back full circle,  for the gays, let me put it to you this way. I don’t care how many pairs of Balenciaga’s you don’t really own, if your Goyard luggage is really a Faux-yard, or that you were seen purchasing knock-off Giuseppe Zanotti sneakers from downtown Brooklyn. No one cares. This is all an illusion. An illusion that you have constructed to impress folks with a false image, rather than an unmasked version of who you really are. As we exclaim how we are rooting for everybody Black, I am rooting for everybody Black and Gay to live their best life as their most authentic self. We owe nothing to one. We have to allow our selves to walk in our truth by not allowing the foolishness of others to hold us back.

As always, bring your ideas and thoughts, let’s have a civil conversation. I would love to hear your thoughts. Emphasis on “civil,” because the block game is S T R O N G. Now, I’m not telling y’all to call out folks when you see things aren’t adding up. Allow them to struggle in their own journey, give them the support they need without shaming them. With that note, I’m off. Find me on Instagram @TheCarterReport and Tumblr and Twitter @TheCarterReport, I am always interested in hearing about what you all what to hear about.

Comments

comments

Continue Reading

Entertainment

Drag Is Not Exempt From The Isms, In Fact, It Is Entrenched in Them

mm

Published

on

Online bullying and harassment is real. Many of the drag race queens have had to endure heinous comments and vicious attacks by folks who call themselves fans. I’ve heard several horror stories, as some queens have shared accounts of their own online experiences.

I think it was Morgan McMichaels who was told to kill herself by an angry (and irrational) fan of BenDeLaCreme in response to a disagreement the two talented queens had on drag race. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and all the other social media platforms are often unkind and disturbing spaces.

DeLa holding up her own lipstick- eliminating herself from the competition.

The further you are on the margins, the more harassment and violence you are susceptible to. I struggle to imagine the experiences of Black trans disabled poor undocumented women on any of the aforementioned platforms, let alone in their lives outside the computer screen and the latest iPhone.

Again, online harassment is real- it takes the form of disgusting words and images, erasure, racism, misogyny, misogynoir, queer and trans antagonism, ableism, and all the other isms. It is sickening (not in the drag way), and a reflection of the times we live in.

As we continue to have critical conversations, it is important that we don’t conflate online harassment with the calling out of white supremacist cisheteropatriarchy which drag race is entrenched in. I feel confident that many queens are intentionally confusing the two to evade accountability, and labeling liberation seekers as attackers.

Drag queens Milk and Trixie posing for the camera.

When a socially conscious fan says, “I think Trixie’s proximity to whiteness was a significant reason she won All Stars 3,” that’s not an act of bullying to Trixie- that is a critique of the violent system we live in.

When a fan says, “Milk’s disrespect of Kennedy Davenport and her drag felt much like anti-Blackness,” again, that’s not an attack on Milk- this is an attempt to hold Milk accountable for their actions, and hopefully spur a conversation that prepares us all to interrogate the ways in which anti-Blackness shows up in our lives.

We live in a system that privileges some folks, and deeply marginalizes others. Drag is not exempt from this system or this conversation; actually, RuPaul has placed drag smack dab in the heart of pop culture. Although we are all queer, that doesn’t mean violence doesn’t exist intracommunity- in particular to Black and brown trans and gender non-conforming folks.

Moreover, when a queen labels social critique as an attack, they themselves are committing violence. They are gaslighting the folks who have a legitimate concern with how the people on the margins of the margins are experiencing a system meant to extinguish their fire. Additionally, we throw away an opportunity to have a meaningful conversation on liberation and accountability.

Although difficult, it’s time for us to be honest. If we’re going to engage these critical conversations, let’s center truth(s). I am observing a lot of conversation on online harassment, and rightfully so. However, I’ve not heard any queen talk about how this toxic system infiltrates drag culture.

There is a reason why. Let’s talk.


Cody Charles is the author of Mudbound: Uncovering The Parts Of Ourselves We Sacrifice In Order To SurviveA Dream Undeterred: 10 Dreams I Want To Live Out In My Black Fat Queer Body In 2018Our Favorite Blackity Black Quotes In Black CinemaEngaging My Black Fat Body, Re-Imagining Black LoveYou Can’t Outdo Black PeopleBlack Joy, We Deserve ItThe Night The Moonlight Caught My Eye: Not a Review but a Testimony on the Film Moonlight5 Tips For White Folks, As They Engage Jordan Peele’s Get Out. (No Spoilers), and What Growing Up Black And Poor Taught Me About Resiliency. Join him for more conversation on Twitter (@_codykeith_) and Facebook (Follow Cody Charles). Please visit his blog, Reclaiming Anger, to learn more about him.

Comments

comments

Continue Reading

Entertainment

The Library Is Open: A Few Final Reads On RPDR All Stars 3

mm

Published

on

Already in shock that Shangela was barricaded from the top two, I was preparing myself for a Kennedy Davenport win. Kennedy utterly slayed the final lip-sync to an unimpressive song that mostly favored the other queen. Kennedy performed better than her competitor throughout the season, which was not hard seeing that the other half of the top two did not win a single challenge. Because I like to be naive at times, as it can be cute and endearing, I hoped Kennedy would be the choice. However, my ancestors and the spirits who hold my past traumas spoke to me and said, “Sis, you know better than that- we’ve already prepared you for this moment.” So, as RuPaul announced the country queen as the winner, this complicated feeling swept over me. It was a mixture between surprise and this intense calm.

via GIPHY

Because I at times commit to poor decisions, I decided to watch the finale at a local bar- one that is queer friendly. Well, white queer friendly. The crowning was accompanied by the whitest and loudest applause I’ve heard in a bar setting- applause and noise that rivaled any sporting event I’ve ever watched in a public space. This reminds me that I am never safe in this Black fat body, no matter if the setting is queer and well-intentioned.

Yes, I know RPDR is riddled with every ism and phobia, but still I thought better of these people. Click To Tweet

I feel guilty for being angry, because I know this show remains problematic in many ways. However, I am legit sadden by this expected surprise. Yes, I know this show is riddled with every ism and phobia, but still I thought better of these people. And of course someone will soon hop on my timeline telling me that I shouldn’t care so much- and honestly I will probably cuss them the phuck out. I would hope I’d respond differently, but I know my brand. Smh.

This season, this episode, triggered some bad memories and emotions for me. Once again, it told me that I will never be enough in this fat, Black, queer body. Whiteness and white mediocrity will often be the victor, will often be praised, and will do their best to gaslight you when it’s all said and done.

Cast of Paris is Burning

Here are a few insights I must get off my heart. In the tradition of Paris is Burning, I honor the Black and brown queens who made drag what it is today…

The library is open, hunty.

Kennedy Davenport doesn’t deserve your pity. She deserves no one’s pity because she is a boss. She is a champion with or without the crown. She deserved to be in the Top four, and deserved to beat that other gurl in the final two. Not a read, just true.

Shangela was the clear winner. CLEARLY. And her face showed me that she knew she was morally better than most queens in that room, in that moment. Halleloo.

RuPaul once said that drag pokes fun at the rules (a loose interpretation of something he actually said), but in practice has successfully helped white cis-heteropatriarchy thrive in drag. RuPaul is committed to uplifting whiteness, as it is attached to capitalism. Sis wants another Emmy and a much larger check- the internalized anti-Blackness has runneth over, all over those pretty suits and pretty gowns. RuPaul must have sincerely been flattered by the winner’s impersonation of him in the Snatch Game.
…And he is a legend and a trailblazer.

Beware of white people who think this chick with the ethnic puff on the top of her head deserved to win. They are the same people who whisper #AllLivesMatter to one another in Black and brown spaces. They are the same people who love having Black friends, but are absent when violent shyt goes down. They are the same people who are hypercritical of Black queens, but then show up to their shows and events to steal dance moves and drag techniques. They are the Toros of life, a la the white cheerleaders in Bring it On.

The white queen whose name rhymes with silk, and makes me proud to be lactose intolerant is…spolied.

Bebe Zahara Benet is me if I ever do drag. Muva is unshakable. It was clear that she didn’t define her worth by what these other queens thought. She doesn’t have to be crowned the queen because she already knows she is one.

The white queen who dons dreadlocks showed her anti-Black and classist ass in her original season by how she treated both Bob The Drag Queen and Chi Chi DeVayne. <sigh> Some things never change. However, she was the only queen who voted for Shangela to be in the top two.

I was waiting for Aja to conjure Crystal LaBeija once Ru announced the top two. However, Aja chose the Milwaukee queen over Shangela to be in the top two, so perhaps LaBeija was out to lunch with Monique.

I’m noticing on social media that a lot of the Black and brown queens are on this condragulations tour- celebrating a queen that had no business winning, and avoiding any of the racialized critiques. To them, I say be careful. Click To Tweet

I’m noticing on social media that a lot of the Black and brown queens are on this condragulations tour- celebrating a queen that had no business winning, and avoiding any of the racialized critiques. To them, I say be careful. There are young Black and brown queens who are looking up to you, and learning how to address racism and anti-Blackness in this industry by carefully observing your every move. However, I understand that your speaking up puts your booking fee at risk, your livelihood at risk. This is how white supremacy traps Black and brown bodies.

White queens who talk about white supremacy, misogyny, and queer and transantagonism on their platforms, I await your voice in this conversation. It is your responsibility to challenge your fellow white queens, and your problematic followers. Get to it.

I also want to be clear. I believe the winner of the third cycle of All Stars identifies as biracial/multiracial with roots to the Ojibwe people, and that matters in their journey to the crown. And, in this industry, this human still benefits from white privilege in some truly complex ways. Trixie, you have a responsibility in this conversation as well.

The Library is closed, officially.

via GIPHY

In closing.

All (Monique) heart, we love you, Shangela. We love you, Bebe. And we love you, Kennedy. Please continue to shine for usHere is my love letter to you all.

 


Cody Charles is the author of Mudbound: Uncovering The Parts Of Ourselves We Sacrifice In Order To SurviveA Dream Undeterred: 10 Dreams I Want To Live Out In My Black Fat Queer Body In 2018Our Favorite Blackity Black Quotes In Black CinemaEngaging My Black Fat Body, Re-Imagining Black LoveYou Can’t Outdo Black PeopleBlack Joy, We Deserve ItThe Night The Moonlight Caught My Eye: Not a Review but a Testimony on the Film Moonlight5 Tips For White Folks, As They Engage Jordan Peele’s Get Out. (No Spoilers), and What Growing Up Black And Poor Taught Me About Resiliency. Join him for more conversation on Twitter (@_codykeith_) and Facebook (Follow Cody Charles). Please visit his blog, Reclaiming Anger, to learn more about him.

Comments

comments

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending