Homophobia and transphobia always rear their ugly heads amid celeb scandals. The personal investment of Americans in the romantic lives of celebs continues to show us how far we still must go for equality.
Every time someone with celebrity status is caught in a sex scandal it makes waves. However, none shake the table like a man questioning his sexuality. In this country, we are so heavily invested in policing who sleeps with whom to save an outdated hypermasculine standard. Stories like Dwight Howard’s make front page news with such unnecessary shock and awe. The thought of a man preferring another man or a trans woman should make no difference to any of us, yet it does.
The social cost of being a black gay male in America is high. Much is wagered in the game of living as a closeted gay male at any status level, but celebrity stacks the deck against you. Families could be broken, divorces bargained, and employment could become scarce. For those in the public eye, they face the ridicule of an entire nation where even those in the queer community delight in their exposure. The act of finding pleasure in someone’s unwarranted outing is homophobic point-blank period.
Time has shown repeatedly that in the face of exposure, a closeted man will sacrifice your gay ass before he’ll live in his truth. Stop protecting trade! We’ve seen this with Tyga, Bobby Valentino, Young Buck, and countless others. These exposés always come with rhetoric like “This is why no one takes the trans community seriously. The gays and the girls come up missing over this. No one wants to claim y’all.” We find ourselves vowing to stop interacting with people who won’t live out loud. When the dust settles, we’re back in the mess, sacrificing our dignity for some subpar dick or a couple coins.
Through all of this, the queer community becomes the butt of every joke. People reignite the stigma surrounding AIDS and gay men, they trivialize the trans experience, all because someone got burned.
What is the benefit? Why should any queer person make the decision to put themselves second because someone is too weak to come forward?
Dwight Howard, and any number of your faves, had the opportunity to stand proudly on their accomplishments and chisel away at the stigma surrounding unconventional love. They film these inspiring commercials for athletic companies with language that encourages digging deep and pushing through resistance but can’t even do that for the people they love. They openly chide an entire community that they are secretly a part of and people give them all the benefits of living in the open while their closet is built like a panic room.
Down low men profit from homophobic and transphobic environments. We cannot continue to excuse the behavior of men who exploit a community that is divided. Remarks that capitalize on transphobia, like Milan Christopher’s, are the type that enable men like Dwight Howard to exploit feminine gay men or trans women. Stop protecting these men who sit guarded while queer people are killed with no justice, denied access to healthcare, marriage, and housing.
Until they want to be a part of our community, they should have no part of you.
In The Middle: Of A ‘Black Parade’
12 Year-Old Keedron Bryant Signed to Warner Records
“OOHHH THANK YA” is all Keedron Bryant had to say on social media when news finally came out that he had signed a record deal with Warner Records.
Amidst all the difficult news we’ve been facing these past few weeks, we wanted to give you something to smile about. You might remember Keedron Bryant, the 12-year-old boy who went viral after posting a video of himself singing “I Just Wanna Live,” a song written by his mother that tells of being Black in America and just wanting to live.
Keedron’s performance was noticed by everyone from former president Barack Obama, who referred to him and posted the performance in a statement on the murder of George Floyd, to comedian Ellen Degeneres, who closed her show with his full video.
Just when we thought this story couldn’t give us any more feels, it was announced that Keedron was officially signed to Warner Records and his viral hit would be released on all platforms Friday, June 19, otherwise known as Juneteenth, a day marking the end of slavery in America.
Congratulations are definitely in order for Keedron Bryant.
Netflix CEO Donates $120 Million to HBCU’s
Netflix CEO, Reed Hastings, along with his wife, Patty Quillin, are donating $120 million dollars in total to Morehouse College, Spelman College, and the United Negro College Fund. The $120 million will go towards scholarships for the students. Each college will get $40 million.
According to the United Negro College Fund, this is the largest single donation by individuals.
In a statement Hastings and Quillin said, “We’ve supported these three extraordinary institutions for the last few years because we believe that investing in the education of black youth is one of the best ways to invest in America’s future.”
This isn’t Hastings’ and Quillin’s first time donating to HBCU’s and minority education. In 1997, the two began supporting the KIPP charter school network which helps black and latino students. In 2016, Hastings created a $100 million dollar education fund for black and latino scholarships.
“HBCUs have a tremendous record, yet are disadvantaged when it comes to giving. Generally, white capital flows to predominantly white institutions, perpetuating capital isolation. We hope this additional $120 million donation will help more black students follow their dreams and also encourage more people to support these institutions — helping to reverse generations of inequity in our country,” says Hastings and Quillin.
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