Sissy. Punk. Faggot. Queer. Gay. All of these are names used to describe black same gender loving men. They are names by which we are defined. Now come on, tell the truth – if you REALLY want to hurt someone’s feelings, or insult them, degrade them, or call their manhood into question, the ONLY thing that has to come out of your mouth is SISSY! The negative stigma attached to these names and those like it is so heavy that in the black community it’s almost better to be called a crack-head. And gone are the days when being called a “thug” was an insult – today, it’s the definition of what constitutes black masculinity.
Whether we know it or not, to use negative words like this to describe each other really does something to one’s self-esteem. I know some people disagree with that. But to most black SGL men, it’s a reality. How do we expect people to feel good about themselves when their identities are being defined with negativity? How is one to have healthy self-esteem when to be like them is the worst insult? It shouldn’t come as a surprise that when Black Gay Pride is moving across the country, we do nothing but personify all the negative stereotypes that are “said” to be who we are. It’s proof positive that if you call someone something long enough, it’s only a matter of time before they start believing it and living accordingly.
I think it’s high time that we begin to embrace the beautiful uniqueness that IS the Black Same Gender Loving Man. It’s time for us to start refusing to be the bane of the black community’s existence. I mean, come on! WE are the cream of the crop here. Think about it …
Who organized the most powerful rally for civil rights the world has ever seen? A BLACK SGL MAN!
Who was at the helm of the Renaissance and changed the face of music and literature? BLACK SGL MEN!
Who are the most profound thinkers, educators, orators, religious leaders? BLACK SGL MEN!
Who defines what is and what is not fashionable, chic, or just FABULOUS? BLACK SGL MEN!
Who is always willing to unselfishly take care of the needs of sick relatives AND still maintain a lucrative career? BLACK SGL MEN!
Who is the first on the “call” list when ANYTHING needs to be made impressive? BLACK SGL MEN!
Who will mentor and father the children that trifling thugs neglect? BLACK SGL MEN!
And people have the unmitigated GALL to use what is just a mere part of who we are and use it to define anyone they want to insult in a negative light? In the words of Mz. Maya Wilkes “AWWW HELL NAW!” I simply refuse to allow someone to call ME an insult. And then turn around and call a nappy headed , irresponsible, selfish, trifling, woman-beating, drug-dealing, baby makin’, no child support payin’ Negro a “real man”! That is TOTALLY UNACCEPTABLE! And though there are a lot of SGL men out there who are being irresponsible, who are running game, who are personifying the negative stereotypes, I submit to you that they just don’t know who they are. Our brothaz have succumb to what “they” said they are. And I don’t know about you, but I refuse to allow my brothaz to remain ignorant to the fact of how powerful they are.
Listen here, You are God’s most powerful and precious instrument. The purpose You were birthed and built to serve, you must fulfill it before you leave this universe and enter into eternal rest. You need to understand that for you, nothing is impossible. Inside you lies the truth that your possibilities that are infinite. Your eyes reflect the joy and pain of seeing our people rise above adversity, yet destroy themselves by using their freedom and independence unwisely. Your mouth can speak words so profound that non-existent things become real and tangible just because you verbalized it.
Your shoulders are strong enough to bear the burden of being denied what’s yours because the powers that be ascribe to the ignorance of prejudice. Your arms pull the plow in the field that keeps the family fed and wanting nothing. Your hands are strong enough to build unmovable foundations, yet are so gentle, that your caress evokes the most intense, hair messin’, toe curlin’ orgasms. Your chest provides comfort to those you love, and should be stuck out in pride because of who you are, and who are to become.
Your heart is capable of loving unconditionally, in spite of being hardened by those you once trusted to not abuse or abandon you. From your belly flows rivers of life-giving water that nourishes and sustains the health of everything you call beautiful. From your loins can come diverse offspring that are the most beautiful expression of love and sometimes unbridled passion. Your legs and feet have carried many through fires that burn, and across raging waters that destroy those who aren’t as powerful as you are. Your blood is so potent that medical professionals have said one sixteenth of one ounce can make an individual a person of color.
Brotha, YOU ARE PHENOMENAL. Don’t sell yourself short by letting anyone else define you. Don’t let anyone or anything cause you to believe that you are less than who you REALLY are. You personify what it is to be a black man. You ARE NOT an insult!
Activist and author Tuan N’Gai made waves with his 2001 book Will I Go To Heaven? The Black Gay Spiritual Dilemma and followed it up with Little Brown Boy’s Blues in 2008.