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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.

imageI’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 imagemen 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 imageHBCUs 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.

List-of-HBCUsHow 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.








  1. The Real HU

    April 29, 2016 at 8:29 pm

    Um, I understand you’re concerned but HBCUs are very diverse. There are gay, straight, corny, cool, rich, poor, and every kind of black person there. The environment is what you make of it. My undergraduate degree is from an HBCU and my graduate degrees are from “PWIs”. I wouldn’t trade my undergraduate experience for anything. It opened my eyes to the talent, style and diversity of people who look like me. Fitting in at HBCUs is just as hard as it is anywhere else. You just have to find your group and enjoy the experience (step-shows, bomb bands, school rivalries, cabarets, clothing, homecoming). Above all though, enjoy the education.

  2. Demario

    May 1, 2016 at 11:24 am

    I so agree with this article !!! I graduated from a HBCU and I was the most flamboyant thing walking !!! Majority of students did not like it nor the staff . I got discriminated against so bad I mean in my classes I would not sit next to any black guys because if I did I knew they would get up and move to a different chair. I had to get transferred doors because the straight guys did not feel comfortable . I did not get jobs on campus because of my sexuality. But I started to see how the gays at that HBCU got eaten alive and knew it was because everyone thought they were week including me. Well I ended that !!! I began to stand up for myself yes I had a few fights and talked a bunch of shit to people . And that earned my respect people started coming up to me saying what’s up I mean the black gays were more nice to me now they knew I was not week. I can go on and on about my stories because I went to 2 HBCU

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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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Dwyane Wade Reveals 12-Year-Old Child Now Goes By Zaya




With all of the obstacles that exist within our society, it’s incredible to see 13-time NBA All-Star and former player, Dwyane Wade and his wife Gabrielle Union empowering their pre-teen, Zaya, to live her truth.

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Everyone say hey to Zaya ❤️❤️

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Wade recently appeared on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” to promote the upcoming ESPN documentary D Wade: Life Unexpected. Following a clip from the documentary, he shared that his middle child, formerly known as Zion, now identifies as “her” and goes by the name Zaya. 

As DeGeneres praised him for his support of Zaya, Wade replied, “Me and my wife Gabrielle Union are proud parents of a child in the LGBTQ+ community. And we are proud allies as well. We take our roles and our responsibility as parents very seriously.”

He went on to share that Zaya expressed her desire to live her truth at 9-years-old. “I don’t know if everyone knows, originally named Zion, born as a boy — came home and said, ‘Hey, I want to talk to you guys. I think going forward I’m ready to live my truth. I want to be referenced as she and her, I would love for you guys to call me Zaya,” he explained.

Immediately the parents began to educate themselves and seek advice from members of the LGBTQ+ community, Union reaching out to the cast of the popular FX series, Pose. For Wade, it’s all about giving her “the best opportunity to be her best self” while preparing her to live life openly.

According to Wade, “Once Zaya came home and said, ‘I want you to call me Zaya and I’m ready to take on this,’ I looked at her and said, ‘You are a leader. And this is our opportunity to allow you to be a voice.’ Right now it’s through us, because she’s 12 years old, but eventually, it will be through her.”

For more on his journey post-career and as the father of an openly gay pre-teen, tune in to D Wade: Life Unexpected. The ESPN documentary airs Sunday, February 23rd. 



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For The Culture

Welcome to Uncle Tom’s Haus of Koonery




So in light of the great news of President Trump getting impeached. I was sent an article from a few twitter mutuals of an interview done by Mikelle Street interviewing everyone’s favorite problematic porn star Max Konner. I knew at that moment I would not receive any peace this week. The article at hand denoted that Konner was beginning his own talent agency for people of color. I did a double-take, but I been on this earth long enough to know a stunt when I see one. In the article, Konnor mentioned the need for porn actors of color needing proper tutelage and education before entering the pornography industry. Which I do agree with, but we also know that seeing the phrasing “people of color” does not mean black people and why would Konner exclusively help his own people? He wouldn’t, but that’s been made very clear that he has no intention of helping the Black LGBTQIA+ community after his behavior during the PR nightmare which and is still

Noir Male

I have to be honest that I found the interview to be amazing and at minimal a cross-examination of Konner’s work history, work ethics, and very sorted and messy racially insensitive history. Konner acknowledges that there will be criteria for all those that apply to join the slaveshi-, sorry the Haus of Konner. 

He says in the article:

“Right now we have three exclusives: Derek ClineJabari Clutch, and Asher Lee. I have a bunch of other submissions but I’m taking my time to go through everything because it is a boutique talent management company. I am not just accepting everybody that applies. I’m trying to pick models who I feel like have what it takes to make it.”

Now, what this statement could subversively say so many things. Firstly, Jabari is the only black presenting model. Derek is racially ambiguous and Asher is Asian. Even in the first stride of selection, there is only one Black person in the mix (pun intended). Secondly, “boutique talent management company” is reading as “no fats, no fem” because knowing the shortness of sight that Konner has he may only present body boys and cis actors that are racially palatable.

Mr. Street follows up with the question:

“The release says that you all are prioritizing “models of color.” Are you referencing all models of color, specifically Black models, or will it be all models with an emphasis on models of color?”

Konner responds with:

“As of right now we are looking at all models of color. I’m trying to decide if I want to have one or two models that don’t necessarily fit that because in doing this I don’t want to become the problem that I’m trying to fight. There are so many avenues and so many arenas where we as models of color are shut down or shut out because of the color of our skin, and I don’t want this to be a thing where we say: OK it’s all models of color and anyone who is not that, get out. So I’m still toying around that, but right now we are exclusively models of color.”

My thoughts are that this is basically saying that “I’m gonna have some good ole boys in the club because I don’t want massa upset with me none.” I’m just saying. Rather than doing the right and altruistic thing and doing an all-black agency. Konner is going to appease the comfort of his white fan base in spite of the fact his black fan base was there for him when he was the porn actor Isaiah Foxx. Which if anything he owes that little boy the world because Konner is fully aware and present on the issues that BLACK porn actors face and what Isaiah a black bottom porn actor felt.

The thing that is further disturbing in the article is when Konnor says this:

“I do plan to send models from Haus of Konnor over to Noir Male but one of my big things is: if I send a model to a studio there’s agreement between me and that studio that nothing that has to do with that model’s race or nothing pertaining to the “BBC experience” is what that model is participating in. I’ve been on jobs where I’ve had no clue what I’ve been working on and then the movies come out and it’s like ‘Oh god!’”

This sounds very historically familiar. So during the slave trade, the Caribbean Islands was used as a large space for sex farms for slaves and “buck breaking”. 

Noted on

“These male slaves were purchase based entirely on the prerequisite of them possessing a large penis. Black men were routinely raped by their gay slave owners. The process was known as “breaking the buck.”

It involves a strapping Negro slave, who was defiant, was beaten with a whip till bloody in front of his entire slave congregation. The slave owner would cut down a tree and, with the help of the overseer, would then pummel the deviant “buck” into submission. Once the slave was worn down, the master had the other Negro slaves force him over the tree stump where his britches would be removed and he laid fully exposed buttocks, he would remove his own clothing and proceeded to savagely sodomize the buck in front his wife, family, friends, and children.”

Konnor is basically handing these gentlemen over to a problematic porn company ran by the also very racially problematic DJ Chi Chi LaRue. After the debacle with PrEP/U=U advocate, #TakedownTina activist, and now amateur porn actor Jacen Zhu. He stepped away from the company for their purposeful mishandling of race in the studio. We can not trust that Konner will have good intentions.

So let’s be clear. Is there a race issue in gay porn? Absolutely.

Should there be a space cultivated for porn actors of color to get jobs and to be treated fairly? Yes ma’am.

Should there be a space cultivated for black porn actors of color to get jobs and to be treated fairly? Yes sir!

Should Konner be the one doing it? No, not at this juncture and especially around his limited education on race.

Konnor has clearly acknowledged that there is a problem, which is good for him I guess. I just understand that there needs to be more work done to supplant footing for black LGBTQIA+ porn actors of all genders and body types and this attempt is half-cocked, lazy, and wildly remedial. He participating in the same foolish stunting that Noir Male did as well at their inception.



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