If you can be emasculated by another man boldly living his truth, then your masculinity is about as strong as wet generic brand toilet tissue. Invariably, I somehow manage to be tagged in articles which seek to blame the depiction of Black gay men in entertainment depictions for the “emasculation” of Black men as if gay men are not also what some would deem masculine. Part of this is the irrational fear of homosexuality that is prevalent within the African-American community despite the fact that homosexuality is not a trend, it is not a fad, it is not something that is an arrangement of convenience, but it seems to be a natural occurrence; at least as it occurs in the other species of mammals on the planet.
These articles always place homosexuality as opposite masculinity when in reality there is nothing further from the truth. There seems to be an attempt to establish manhood as it is traditionally defined as the antithesis of sensitivity which is not necessarily a feminine trait, but it is the trait of men who are secure in both their sexuality and their masculinity. If we are to set homosexuality, specifically male homosexuality against masculinity, what we are doing is telling our sons who are less aggressive than other sons that there is something wrong with them because these real men do x y and z, in essence reducing manhood to a set of normative behaviors when manhood is much more nuanced than this. What we are also doing is robbing homosexual men of both agency and humanity when we look at them as imperfect and inherently flawed because of their sexual orientation. We tell them that they are not wanted, despite the contributions they have collectively made to improve the position of Black straight men in America.
Despite the strides we have made as a result of their actions, we would tell them to stay in their closets and not receive any kind of positive and sex positive representation on television programming because our scales of masculinity are inadequately equipped to include them in our spectrum of manhood. What a fragile manhood you must possess to see an expression of manhood that differs from yours and yell that that expression of manhood is wrong because it makes you uncomfortable. Is it because you see in them a freedom which you subconsciously long for and because you feel bound by the roles which society has created for you that you then create prisons for them too?
What is the reasoning behind our continued degradation and humiliation of the Black male gay experience in America if it is not rooted in fear, then what is it rooted in? As Black people we know that oppression is rooted in fear at the very core of it, because while we fought for political freedom in the 1960’s, all that we heard from the White leadership of the time was echoes of the fear around miscegenation and a society that would no longer be majority White. It seems that this same fear is now being projected onto another marginalized population, but within our own people group.
That’s just not how any of this homosexual orientation works. It is not something that will “spread” and lead to the extermination of the Black race, no matter how many Pastors or Noteps say that it will eventually get to that point, the facts are that homosexuality seems to occur as a natural kind of population control to keep the human race (or dogs or rabbits etc) from over population and choking out the overall ability of Earth’s ecosystems to support the weight of life. There is also very little correlation between homosexual parenting and the adopted or artificially inseminated children of these parents becoming homosexual later in their own lives, further lending credence to the idea that homosexuality is not a function of societal pressures.
Now, since male homosexuality is not the great threat to our existence as we thought that it was, then what exactly is our problem with it? If you noticed that I have said nothing about lesbians it is because that men generally have no problem with lesbians as they often feed into the fantasies of men, and the focus of this is to examine the issues that Black men seem to have with other Black men who are homosexual and what this might mean. So, if these gay Black men living their truths is such a threat to your masculinity, then the question becomes how truly secure are you in your masculinity?
Daniel Johnson is an Intern at Day and A Dream, Columnist/Commentator at Houston Trend Magazine and Writer at Those People
This piece was reprinted by EmpathyEducates with permission or license. We thank Daniel Johnson for his kindness and for inviting an open, honest, truly real discussion. We also wish to express our appreciation for Medium for giving people the opportunity to live their truth.