The views and opinions expressed in this post solely belong, to Cytus
When I was looking at colleges, HBCU recruiters shared their vision with me. A vision of unity, where I would be accepted in all of my blackness and celebrated for doing just that. I needn’t worry about micro-aggressions from white students or being the only black student in a classroom. I would not be the token minority, I would be the majority.
I’d be lying if I said I was immediately swayed by this. It is definitely appealing, but as a gay black man, I knew that hand that was being extended to me concealed a deadly venom, physically and mentally. Growing up as a black boy I know best the pressures black men put upon other black men to be masculine. Who’s the “hardest?” Who’s the “rawest?” Who’s the most “savage?” I chose not to be a slave to the hypermasculine demands of cishet black men.
HBCUs are painted as safe spaces for black youth. Sometimes with a religious aspect, sometimes without. Both of these, however, are just as dangerous to me as a gay black man. It’s disingenuous to try to recruit me to your HBCU when you value cishet black men over everyone else. An HBCU to me is 4 years of homophobia and misogynoir masked in “Brotherhood.”
I don’t seek a brotherhood. I seek a place where I can study and excel in peace, black AND gay. I seek a place where I don’t need to worry about black men shaming me for not being “hard” enough. I can’t say an HBCU is a safe space for me because I’m a gay androgynous man. My words will always be overshadowed by cishet black men because my sexuality and presentation makes me less credible.
I have spent my entire life around cishet black men and they have without a doubt, been some of the most unapologetically abusive people I have ever come into contact with. Black men grow up having to be tough as nails, and my very being threatens that blockade they’ve spent so long crafting. I am automatically drilling into their masculinity by walking near them.
Now this isn’t to say that white men aren’t offended by my black ass, but there is a certain way that cishet black men interact with me that is inherently vile and can not be mimicked. I’m not safe at an HBCU or a PWI, but to pretend like I would be safer at an HBCU is just false advertisement. Nothing bonds straight black men more than homophobia and misogynoir.
By vetting my fears I am constantly reduced to the “sensitive” stereotype. That gay men are too sensitive or complaining over nothing. When I’ve talked to people from HBCUs about these very issues the response was a crystal clear. “Fuck your safety.” By reprimanding HBCUs for not being in 1st place when it comes to LGBT I was causing “unnecessary grievances.” I was told my issues were personal issues and that HBCU campuses should not be held accountable for the safety of LGBT students who might attend.
This solidified my choice in not attending, because cishet black people would rather accuse me of making a mountain out of a molehill than listening to my concerns as a gay black man and why I did not feel comfortable attending their university. It’s easy to say “Fuck you.” It’s much harder to sit down and listen to what you don’t want to hear. I understand being defensive over a place you feel is ingrained within you, but silencing me shows where your unity stops. It’s a one-way street, and my gay/androgynous intersection is not included.
Many black HBCU students and alumni I talked to tried to tell me they had gay friends who attended their school so their schools couldn’t possibly be homophobic. This is as bad as the “I can’t be racist I have a black friend!” defense. Yes, you can. I don’t know your gay friends. I don’t know if they meet the gender binary, I don’t know how much of a target they are.
How you look has a great deal of influence in how people will treat you. I am 5’5 with a small voice and long hair. People do not view me in the same light as a gay man who’s 6’2 with a deep voice and a fade. When I walk into a room people can automatically tell I’m not the same as other black men solely based on my appearance. This is not something I can “turn off” so to speak. It is who I am and I should not have to conform to what straight black men look like to feel safe at an HBCU.
I am all for celebrating blackness and cultivating the minds of young black people. I can not, however, in good faith go to an HBCU with a more optimistic outlook than a PWI because I know I am still a second-class citizen, even in my own community. My identity does not stop at black, my existence is far more detailed than that. Being outside of the “norm” is intrinsic to my being, and I refuse to accept the cup of poison being offered just because it’s hidden behind a fake promise of black unity and brotherhood.
Until you can accept me, my blackness, AND my queerness, you can keep your pseudo-unity. I will ascend to greater heights without it.
‘Ru Paul’s Drag Race’ Star Chi Chi DeVayne Passes Away at 34-Years-Old
Zavion Davenport, better known as RuPaul’s Drag Race’s Chi Chi DeVayne has died at the young age of 34, fellow alum Trinity K. Bonet confirmed on Instagram today.
Having been in the hospital for weeks due to pneumonia, DeVayne asked fans for prayers. Prior to that, she had been hospitalized for possible kidney failure.
The Drag Race contestant had been diagnosed with scleroderma, also called crest syndrome, back in 2018.
Fans and other contestants of the show had been sharing the DeVayne’s payment information to assist with the overwhelming cost of hospital bills. Shea Coulee and Priyanka had been especially involved in raising funds for their fellow alum.
‘Real Housewives of Potomac’ star Candiace Dillard Makes Fatphobic Comment Towards Blogger and Suggest That He “Drop Dead”
*deep negro spiritual sigh* There are very few things that truly anger me. Somehow, Candiace, a woman whose mouth seems to get her beat up often, has found one of those few buttons with her latest statement.
So, here I am, minding my fat ass business when I see this:
Rumor has it that she was talking about Kyle from The Black Socialites. It really doesn’t matter who she was talking about, but I guess we’ll never know because she didn’t have the courage to say a name. She did have the courage, however, to talk about her involvement with “plots” against other cast members. She was able to talk for two hours, under the glow of her pale husband’s flickering TV screen, about absolutely nothing of substance.
There are uprisings happening, a pandemic happening, but she’s worried about “plotting” in the DMV. We just passed the 6th anniversary of Michael Brown’s death. That’s in her backyard. That’s a pain that she should be deconstructing. Instead she chooses to attack a fat Black man who is working hard to bring her show press.
I’ll end with the victim’s words, and we can all go back to not knowing Candiace exists:
Trump Administration Cuts Protections for Transgender Americans
On Friday, the Trump administration announced it would be rolling back an Obama-era rule protecting transgender Americans from discrimination in health care.
Under the Obama administration, Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act expanded the definition of sex discrimination to include discrimination based on one’s gender identity. Under a revised version of the rule, the Department of Health and Human Services will enforce Section 1557 “by returning to the government’s interpretation of sex discrimination according to the plain meaning of the word ‘sex’ as male or female and as determined by biology” beginning in mid-August. In other words, doctors and insurance companies receiving funding from the Fed can legally refuse any patient needing transition-related medical care.
Of course, as quickly as the rule was finalized, many LGBTQ+ organizations including the ACLU,announced intentions to sue the Trump administration over this new language. “The Trump admin has issued a rule that will embolden health care discrimination against transgender people.. All while a global pandemic is occurring.” said the ACLU in a tweet.
Forget a global pandemic, ACLU. Friday’s announcement came on the fourth anniversary of the Pulse nightclub tragedy, a mass shooting at a popular Florida gay nightclub that left 49 people and the shooter dead.
President Trump has made it clear how he feels about the nearly 1.4 million transgender people in this country, his fellow Americans – he doesn’t feel anything.
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