Lee Daniels, Gay 'Butler' Director, Says 'Black Men Can't Come Out'
Openly gay filmmaker Lee Daniels recently discussed his belief that gay men in the black community just "can't come out."
The "Butler" director sat down with Larry King for an interview on "Larry King Now" and discussed when he first knew he was gay. He was just 5 years old when he knew "something wasn't right" after walking downstairs during his dad's poker game wearing his moms red pumps. His father, he said, beat him severely for the act.
Daniels went on to discuss homophobia in the black community overall.
"I think that [gays] are prejudiced upon even by the African-Americans, too," Daniels explained. He provided an anecdote about when he went to the Gay Men's Health Crisis center in New York City while doing research for his 2009 movie "Precious." He said he was shocked to see all black woman at the center:
They [the center] service black women with AIDS. Why? Because black men can't come out. Why? Because simply you can't do it. Your family says it, your church says it, your teachers say it, your parents say it, your friends say it, your work says it. So you're living on this 'DL' thing and you're infecting black women. So it's killing us. I think that because the black culture and the Hispanic culture have a thing about this.
Daniels, a Philadelphia native, has discussed being a gay black man before. In an interview with The Huffington Post last year, he said that gay people are "third-class citizens."
"We are nothing to many people, especially in the African-American community," he said. "We are told, especially as black men, that we have to live up to certain expectations. The churches say it's not good. Our neighbors say it's not good. Our friends and family say it's not good. I am living in my truth, and I demand that in cinema, too."
Daniels' honesty has led to people like BET's Keith Boykin commending him for breaking down barriers and challenging "the persistent meme of our community's homophobia."
r1 You summed it up. And judging by his movies he has major issues with black people in general.
True. Steadman has struggled greatly with coming out. Gayle and I have encouraged him.
Is that because of the predominance of Pentecostal and fundie churches in the Black community? Or because of trying to imitate the norms of the majority White culture? Or the influence of the dominating Mother vs the rights/needs of the individual? Or the false association between gay men and weakness?
Church is homophobic? Don't go. Yada, yada, cultural institution, if you put up with it, then you're a part of the problem. If you give them the power, they will crush you. Grow some balls.
I watched the video interview,and I think it is so ridiculous when Lee Daniels claims he knew he was gay starting at the age of 5 years old ,and then he gives an example that he put on his mother's high heel shoes. Also, he said he carried his mother's purse. That is thee most antiqued BS. Many,many little boys around 4-5 years old and a bit older, do silly little things by walking in their mother's shoes or putting on her jewelry. The kids that age don't know what they are doing ,but just acting silly and goofing around. Kids that age have no comprehension on gender and sexuality.
My famliy had a friend who was a therapist and we talking about little boys putting their mothers shoes on etc. and he said many of his male clients who did that when they were little guys, who turn out straight. He said there were many male clients of his who played with sports stuff etc. since they were 4 years old ,and they turned out gay. This is so stupid and highly annoying.
R10, Perhaps the little boy was really a straight but a transvestite or a straight with a strong fetish. Still it may not have been acceptable in his father's home.
R11, fathers who have sexual insecurities have an issue with a little 4-5 year old playing his mother's things. That is what my famliy friend who was a therapist said. He also said it is very damaging to little boys when their fathers blow up over trivial non issues like that. He said, when a father blows up at a little boy for just playing with his mother's shoes, the little boy right away feels there is something wrong with them and they are different in some way when they were only playing with something that doesn't determines a boy's sexuality one way or another. As a result,the father traumatized the kid.
r8, a lot of it has to do with blacks being a minority. Minority communities have to stick together, but then that subset of the larger population becomes like a small town, gossipy, everyone knows your business. Many blacks feel dependent on that support structure so they don't threaten it by coming out.
Many gay men have gone through the trauma of having their parents chastise them or even beat them for being caught wearing women's shoes or clothing at an early age. I remember my first and only "incident" as clear as day. My father, who was usually a sweet, gentle man, flew into a rage I'd never seen when he saw me in my mother's heels and stockings. He didn't physically strike me but he pinned me against the wall and screamed point blank in my face, enough for his spittle to hit me. I remember it so vividly. I knew then that I was "wrong" and it took years to correct this thinking. I still think in some ways I am affected by it.
Better education in black communities would help too. Daniels is right, being gay and black is probably way more difficult than being white and gay. Black attitude is homophobic, macho, misogynistic ... thanks to Chris Brown and co.
Daniels is indeed a snow queen, and it's a shame he doesn't address the rampant racism in the gay community (which makes many minority gays feel unwelcome).
I saw his movie today and wasn't impressed.
The black community would rather their kids be in jail than be gay. You do not want to be gay in that culture. It's the greatest taboo there is, and I know Lee's family. He did not have it easy.
[quote]That is thee most antiqued BS.
No it's not. Stop creating a world you wish existed.
[quote]think it is so ridiculous when Lee Daniels claims he knew he was gay starting at the age of 5 years old
You're joking, right? I knew I was gay at 3. I had no idea what gay was though. This is a new concept for you, kids knowing they were gay at a very young age?
Just because you wish things were a certain way, that doesn't mean that they'll suddenly change as you see fit. Homosexuality is still not readily accepted by society. Parents still try to have their kids accept social norms because they don't want them to be picked on.
What are black men supposed to be coming out to? The mainstream gay community ignores black men unless you are biracial. We can't even have black gay pride without the white gays getting angry.
"We can't even have black gay pride without the white gays getting angry".
Can you elaborate on this some more R19?
The gay black men I know are so uber queeny they can't stay in.
The black community is incredibly homophobic.
I remember taking my son to see a developmental specialist, while in the waiting room my son played with another adorable little black boy on the spectrum, the mother was a young middle class black woman who told me that she was glad to see her son interacting with others and was thankful that his autism was mild, and that she expected him to have a somewhat normal future, then she blew me away by saying that at least he wasn't going to grow up to be gay!
I honestly didn't even know what to say it how to respond to that comment, it still bothers me to this day for obvious reasons.
Sure you can come out - if you aren't a wimp.
Again, Come out to what? Most black people don't care if you suck dick, they just don't want to hear about it. That is their preference.
R10 is part of the problem.
I also knew that I was gay when I was four years old, of course that is on reflection, because a four year old doesn't know what's going on exactly. As time progressed, my differences from my straight classmates grew more and more recognizable. I knew that I was different at age four. I knew, my mother knew, my teachers knew, my uncles knew, my grandparents knew. My classmates knew. Many kids know very early that they are different. This is why this homophobia, bad messages, and nasty stereotyping must cease. Positive gay role models, equality, and respect to all human beings is the only way to move forward in The United States of America. Enough with the naysaying, petty bickering, and crummy biblical interpretations. Gay isn't going away, and to shame healthy young folks into the closet only breeds more internalized and externalized homophobia. Period.
"I think that [gays] are prejudiced upon even by the African-Americans, too,"
Hell,blacks are some of the biggest homophobes out there and always HAVE been!
It must be difficult to be gay.
Is there any aspect of life American black people don't have victim complexes with?
Why's is EVERYTHING impossible or cruel or unfair or insensitive to black people?
Sorry but I'm worn out by how victimized black folks claim to be..
The people who diss Daniels for what he says are in a permanent state of PC denial, as if only white homophobia mattered. Of course, many Black people are not homophobic, but three of the major, predominant aspects of Black culture (the Church, men having to live up to a hypermasculine image, and Hip-Hop/Rap) are extremely homophobic.
You can bitch all you want, but there's no denying it. Daniels isn't the first Black celebrity to make these kind of statements. I remember some years ago when Spike Lee made a similar comments about homophobia in the Black community and people here got all bent out of shape.
Black homophobia (or bigotry from any other group) isn't going away if you continue to assume it doesn't exist.
I do wonder, though, if things may be changing, particularly after Obama came out in favor of gay marriage. Hope so.
As an African American, I can tell you that the biggest concern in the community is that males be masculine and manly. It is one thing for a Black dude to have sex with a man or even find him attractive, which is increasingly tolerable, but it is considered totally unacceptable for any Black male to be less than 100 percent masculine. Generally and broadly speaking, the Black community expects its men to present as very macho and masculine whatever their sexual orientation. Because gay culture and identity are still associated with non-sexual attributes that are not masculine, most same-sex orientated bisexual and gay African American men eschew the gay label and identity. The focus on masculinity is paramount.
r30, maybe that's why even many of the black queens I've known are really angry and bitchy, their own version of manly. There's one terrorizing people on Project Runway right now.
[quote]"I think that [gays] are prejudiced upon even by the African-Americans, too,"
This sentence makes my brain hurt. Is "prejudiced upon" a new phrase?
They need to worry less about men being gay and more about them sticking around to raise kids and staying out of jail.
Of course, its easier to blame it on gays.
[quote]but it is considered totally unacceptable for any Black male to be less than 100 percent masculine
Unfortunately for the rest of humanity "masculine" in the black community involves being a thug.
He sounds ignorant.
[quote] Why? Because simply you can't do it. Your family says it, your church says it, your teachers say it, your parents say it, your friends say it, your work says it.
Yes, white gay men have no idea how difficult it can be to come out.
Throw Muslims and their permanently offended political ideology *oops* I mean, "religion" in there while you're at it.
Why hasn't anyone brought class into this discussion? Anyone black in America knows damn well that there are blatant differences in attitudes and opinions between rich blacks and poor blacks. I find rich blacks to be more tolerant of homosexuality and poor blacks to be more intolerant. I think this is true across most races, except whites because poor rednecks are just as homophobic as rich, WASPy, republicans.
When my African-American partner came out 40 years ago he appeared on a local talk show. One of the callers - a woman - got angry with him: "You can be black or you can be gay. You cannot be both." He told her she was full of it, that she was the one with the problem and not him and that he certainly could be both.
You can come out but it takes a whole different strength for a black man to come out to his family and to the world. It helped that my partner's family - at that point - wasn't overly religious so he didn't have put up with the church crap, which he wouldn't have put up with anyway.
When his parents said that they would prefer he come alone to a family anniversary event, he told them that he could either come with me or he could not come at all. Wisely, they said he could bring me. And things were just fine.
We didn't do the bar thing so we didn't have to deal with the whole "you need three forms of ID to get in while the white guys need no IDs at all" crap.
Some black churches are less homophobic than they used to be but at some point people need to stand up against the homophobic rantings instead of just sitting silently taking it all. If you can't do that, you can sit there and take it or you can leave. How can you receive anything good from that church if they're basically telling you that you are crap and your relationships are crap and especially the whole "I'd rather you be in jail than be gay" crap.
[quote]We didn't do the bar thing so we didn't have to deal with the whole "you need three forms of ID to get in while the white guys need no IDs at all" crap
I would like to address the 'snow queen' issue. As a black gay man,I would love to be in a relationship with another black man,but the butch ones are mostly on the DL and the out ones are really femme-sorry if that sounds like a stereotype but in my case I find in to be true. I also have a rule about not dating biracial men-I know, lots of issues here but the pickings are really slim in the black gay dating pool so I can't hold it against Daniels and other black gay celebrities if they date other ethnicities.
R40, back in the 70's it wasn't unusual for gay bars to ask for several forms of ID from black men trying to enter the bar. Since few people travel with that many IDs - and if they did, then would say "they have to be photo IDs" - it was a convenient way to keep people out.
Weird. This study says that African Americans followed by Asian Americans have the highest percentage of out LGBT persons.
STUDY: African Americans Make Up Largest Share of LGBT Community
And whites are so far behind, with all their privilege (in general), that's pitiful.
When you come out as gay many of those privileges cease to exist ( of course not all). Therefore, you'd have a lot more to lose than those who never had those privileges to begin with.
And tough shit to that r45, whites are comparatively cowardly.
A gay out black man says black men can't come out.
One thing that's weird to me about homophobia in the black church is the blind eye that's turned to the flaming-queen choir directors, organists, etc.
R48, That's comparable to the wealthy and very gay black architect that designed the beautiful church vs the poor black gay man that cleans the floor. Hypocrisy? Or that admirable talent or fame or wealth, to say nothing of large donors or community status, excuses behavior.
[quote]African Americans Make Up Largest Share of LGBT Community
I didn't read the article, but that headline is ridiculous. There's no way that a minority group that comprises less than 12% of the population can represent the largest share of the LGBT community.
[quote]A gay out black man says black men can't come out.
Don Lemmon said it too.
[quote]African Americans Make Up Largest Share of LGBT Community
If the majority of them aren't out, what the fuck are they basing this on?
You don't think it is hard?!?! I even married big old fat assed Star Jones (and that was pre lap band!!!! PRE LAP BAND!!!! I tell ya!!!)
Black women in government jobs are the most homophobic and racist people on the planet, and they get away with it because they scream racism. I actually had one say to me, "I wasn't talking about that dyke, I was talking about that one." I had another who harassed a Latino woman, saying she stunk, and had all the other black women in the office mocking her only a few feet away. This woman didn't smell. They just hated her because one black guy in the office thought she was attractive. She ended up quitting the job over it. This was after she was called out on it. Needless to say, nothing came of it because the entire job is staffed with black women.
They bring their religious shit into the building, even hold prayer circles, which is against the law. No one will dare say anything. They also make up management. They tell the gay workers to their faces that they're praying for their souls because of their deviant lifestyles. This is one of the biggest government agencies in the country. It happens in almost every state. It's frightening. The gay workers are just starting to speak up. This has been going on for decades. Even the most liberal employees, while are for equality of all employees, especially with the unions, know what they can and can't file grievances over, are disgusted by it. It's only ever the black women. The black men in these agencies couldn't give a shit. They're even afraid of the black women making up the workforce in there.
I've seen so many gay workers shoved out of the agency due to the taunting by black women. BTW, many of these women are even saying gay slurs to the black gay employees.
A thread like this will be deleted, but threads about horrible Russians in NYC will stay open. That's exactly why black women get away with this bullshit. People are afraid to say anything about them that's remotely negative. Black men are on the DL for a reason, and god forbid they see one dancing with a white woman at a party. That is a HUGE no-no.
[quote]I didn't read the article, but that headline is ridiculous.
Yay for being proud of your ignorance. What that article is saying is the same thing people have noticed in most in depth studies of this issue. A greater percentage of black people identify as gay/bi than any other race even while "popular opinion" is that they are most likely to be closeted. Some would even argue that maybe a higher percentage of black people do happen to be gay/bi for some reason, who knows, there isn't enough information.
Yeah, well, life is tough all over, Lee fucking Daniels. You are black and gay and out and RICH so what the hell do YOU care?
I'm so confused.
Another reason gay black men were screened so closely back in the 70s: When they were allowed in, they would smuggle in flasks, and not buy cocktails. Occasionally they would buy a coke or club soda, but that was it. I'm sure it's not like that anymore.
[quote]"We are nothing to many people, especially in the African-American community," he said.
I guess this African American man doesn't read the DataLounge, or he would know from all the shrieking that there IS NO noticeable homophobia in the black community! Where has he been!
He's really cute
It comes down to white suppression and fear of black men. Black men in general feel the need to be 'strong' in order to combat their oppressors. A weak link in their chain exposes them to ridicule. It's also an uppity abandonment of their roots because let's face it, gay culture is primarily a white middle and upper class male thing, although I'm not ignoring things like disco and drag pageants were black gay things before whites ran with it.
Preach it, R54.
People aren't understanding what Daniels is saying. When he says "Black men can't come out," he is just saying it's difficult for black men to come out.
The black communities problem with homosexuality has it's root in one thing - Slavery. When for centuries black men were emasculated by society as a whole, it is seen as a mortal sin in the community now for a black man to chose to be less than anything masculine. We must be seen as uber masculine now.
Many/most black people will always FIND a way to be a victim of...something. Something. Always.
r64, you know the same thing is said about gay men.
R55 Do you have a reading comprehension problem? Please explain to me what that headline says to you.
If it makes me ignorant refuse to read an article with an obviously erroneous headline, then so be it.
r64, it is people like you that are the reason black men do not come out. Black men cannot find the support they are lacking in the black community in the gay community because a lot of gay men are racist, petty, fickle, and bitter human beings. Even if a gay man does come out, regardless of race, gay men will find a new reason to not like said gay man; they aren't masculine and/or attractive enough etc (see r21). These toxic, self loathing homosexuals, many of whom post on this site, are the reason why there isn't more unity among gay men of different races. And I personally consider you motherfuckers in the same category as the bitches r54 describes.
I love you, R67.
R54, it's ok, you can say it's the post office. And I bet some of the same women you speak of are self-loathing dl hypocrites.
But, they do come out. Yes, there's intense homophobia in the black community, the black church, yet black men still come out. Enough black men? Certainly not. But, it happens.
I don't think it's simply homophobic communities and churches, as that can be just as intense in segments of other racial communities (where plenty of men also don't come out).
I've had it explained to me from black gay friends that the hesitation, beyond all of the normal reasons and normal fears, is that if they come out without success, there's nowhere to turn. The black community shelters them from the negatives of being black, and they lose that if they are rejected by that community for coming out.
I unfortunately have to agree with R28's sentiment.
As many struggles as the black community in America has had to overcome, I no longer believe they are a greatly marginalized community. At some point we have to give credit to society as a whole that many problems of the past have been overcome, that there are other minority groups still falling through the gaps; the African American community is no longer one of them.
Now, somehow, at least some black gay people are saying they still have it harder than most, and want to blame it on anyone but the black community? It's become nearly comical.
Surveys have revealed that not only do African American men engage in same-sex activity at a much higher rate than all other races, they also identify as bisexual or gay more than any other group, so Daniels' perspective is dated and erroneous. Moreover, bisexual and gay African-American men have been amongst the most talked about gay/bi public figures in our society in the last year. Whether its Frank Ocean (hip hop), Jason Collins (basketball player), Wade Davis (football player), blatino Orlando Cruz (boxer), Josh Dixon (gymnastics), Kwame Harris (football, Shaun T (fitness guru), and Wentworth Miller (actor). Openly bi and gay Black men are changing old stereotypes about male homosexuality/bisexuality in a way that White gay men largely have not by showing that many gay/bi men are masculine, athletic, devout Christians, and just as tough and rough as heterosexual men.
While on the subject of Lee Daniels, I watched him, Forrest Whitaker, the screenwriter what's-his-name, and Oprah on Charlie Rhodes the other night.
The woman was insufferable. She hijacked and hogged the conversation, corrected Daniels at one point -- and I loved that Rhodes made a joke of that at her expense -- had to describe everything in her airy-fairy faux metaphysical jargon...she was a pill.
Oprah's biggest problem is that she's not as smart as she thinks she is. And she's looking old.
Few things here....I would tell Lee Daniels that, black people, just like whites, latins and asians, have their fair share of homophobes. His father was one one of them. Most Black Americans practice Christianity. Like their White counterparts, this would preclude tolerance for homosexuality. He makes it seem like this is a black issue and makes it seem that they have a more negative perception of being gay than other groups. It's just about the same. Has he heard of Westboro Baptist Church?
Lee also makes it seem that closeted men involved with women that sleep with men is some phenomenon within the black community. Trust me, I've met several non-black men who do the same thing. Again, nothing new!
R28 R71 Just as I'm sure many straight people would be happy to tell gays to "get over it," there are many nuanced, idiosyncratic factors which still have a lingering impact on the Black community to this day. Like I heard a gay guy tell a straight person who couldn't understand his point of view, "walk a mile in my shoes."
R41 Interracial dating is no issue for me, been there, done that, but there's something in R1's estimation that rings true to me. Also, just like with white gay men, latin gay men, good luck finding any man of your dreams. It's not easy for anyone. But I don't think it's fair to write that there's something the matter with the black dating pool. If someone prefers to date outside their race, just don't make false excuses for it.
Shh R72, everyone wants to deal in stereotypes, not facts.
Also I am a gay black guy and literally have never heard of the word snow queen until this thread. I assumed it was about cocaine. Makes me glad about the people I hang out with.
Did you mean Charlie Rose R73?
Homophobia in the black community never ceases to amaze and enanger me. .. Talk about self-loathing!! Sheeeesshhh!!!
And if you need any further evidence of my point, check out the Wentworth Miller thread right now.
The guy is not even fully black and there is a hateful bitch ass queen saying that "he is only making a contribution at his convenience", and that he is a "hypocrite".
[R71] That is simply not true. The rates of social problems such as teen pregnancy, HIV/AIDS transmission, incarceration and poorer education among others, are higher in the black community than the national average. As we all know, Black men are routinely profiled and incarcerated at higher rates than their white and latino counterparts.
Yes, there have been significant gains in society as far as civil rights are concerned, but to imply that the African-American community is no longer faced with acute challenges that are not experienced by other more advantaged populations is really ignorant of what's actually going on out there.
Great discussion but Wentworth Miller is not black, I wish white gays would stop saying that. It is offense to real black men who have to walk around in America with black skin.
Ok, Lee Daniels, what's Oprah's excuse?
And Darren Young is yet another strong, masculine bi/gay black dude changing society by living his life openly.
Ugh. Didn't a study come out saying that there is a higher percentage of black people out of the closet than white people?? Why are people still peddling this you can't be gay and black because straight black people are so homophobic?? Why did Maryland pass gay marriage via ballot if it has a such a high black population??
It is because of racism.
Oprah is the biggest self loather of them all
I weep for Gayle's friendship!!!
(Steadman who? oh right, did he get this month's check?)
LOL R69 - I don't know if R54 is referring to the Postal Service, but that is what I thought of when I read his post. I've had family members who worked for the Postal Service and I've heard the same thing from them.
Why the hell do you bother watching a movie with that racist bitchra!
This is actually an interesting thread and I hope it doesn't devolve into yet another Oprah hatefest. God knows there will be enough of those this Oscar season.
Anyways, I do believe it's harder for gay black men to come out. Not only do we have to deal with the homophobia in black communities, but we have to deal with overt racism in gay communities. To be an openly gay black man takes a TON of balls, more than people realize I think.
I salute not only the gay black celebrities that come out, but also regular gay black dudes who come out, regardless of what kind of guys they date. And I'm not talking about the guys who live gay lives but are "discreet" at work and around family, I'm talking about the ones who are OUT in all areas.
Quite frankly, I think it is more difficult for white men to come out, because once they do all the white privilege goes up in smoke. I think that is incredibly difficult, which is why you see so many white guys who are gay in the sheets but straight in the streets. Or 'straight acting', so they can retain some white privilege.
It isn't a cakewalk for black guys either, but black guys are used to discrimination and have already built up a defense mechanism against it which makes that portion of coming out a little easier. And black people get painted with the homophobia brush, but the truth is some of the queeniest, most fabulous and out gay men are black men. Black gay men are littered all throughout the black church. And everyone knows who is gay and who isn't, it's just not an open discussion. And while some black people get pissed off when you compare gay civil rights to black civil rights, you never really see black people advocating for anti gay legislation.
Waaa, I'm too rich to come out! My first world problems are far more tragic that some trashy poor person who doesn't have anything to lose anyway.
Black dudes tend not to care much about whether a male has sex with males today, but they still generally have huge problems with males that display any tinge of femininity. That is why it so important to have black male athletes and hip hop artists coming out.
The response to Jason Collins, Frank Ocean, and Darren Young has been very positive largely because these are masculine guys known for masculine things. That makes all the difference in the response and acceptance.
What Frank Ocean does is not exactly a "masculine thing."
Being a musician is a very masculine and cool job.
r94, Frank OCean is a singer who has hip hop credibility and rubs elbows professionally with rappers and urban artists. He makes music with rappers, and won a Grammy for a collab with Jay-Z, Kanye, and the Dream. He recently collaborated with Jay-Z on Jay-Z's new album, further bolstering his street cred. Additionally, he has collaborated with Alpha Male Nas and Outkast. Although Ocean sometimes displays a sensitive and vulnerable side, he also displays his share of bravado and swagger. While his music defies traditional genres, he definitely is securely within the bounds of modern urban music.
Oh, great, more reasons for the "masculine" fags to downgrade anyone who shows any hint of the feminine.
Insecure "masculine" men of all races are just annoying. They are whiny bitches with the most easily threatened masculinity.
r97, I don't dispute your opinion. I am just stating the matter as it is.
[quote]Black dudes tend not to care much about whether a male has sex with males today
What are you basing this on? Go talk to a large cross section of every day black men from all walks of life and posit that question. I think you'll find many, many "tend to care".
[quote]...it is seen as a mortal sin in the community now for a black man to chose to be less than anything masculine.
Slavery? So why is most of Africa more homophobic than most of the world. Growing up in any culture that values "machismo" makes it hard to come out. I grew up in an Italian-American home and community. I came out but pretty late in life.
[quote]It comes down to white suppression and fear of black men.
Really? It's white people's fault that black people can't come out. Such bullshit.
r99, uh, mostly based on the fact that I am young black dude who has lived my entire life as a Black male.
I am a Black dude, and it is true that a lot of young black males don't care if you acknowledge same-sex interest or activity. Some of the most thuggish dudes will admit they have had male-male experienxes without apology, but they will portray themselves as the active, Alpha Male role. However, you have to be macho and masculine about it, and usually be what us perceived "straight acting." IN urban communities, the focus is on men getting respect, handling themselves in a masculine and manly manner. Non-masculine guys are viewed as disgraceful, weak, suspicious, and subversive to black identity. People can be vicious about trivial departures from expected public masculinity in manner of dress, music tastes, manner of walk, Interest in sports. You have to have very thick skin to be a non-masculine dude in an urban environment.
R100: no one knows he's gay. Right.
What struggles? What "urban" black communities? The ghetto? What's this "thuggish" down-low culture that you speak of?
R103, I agree. I'm white, but have found black guys to be the nicest to me simply because they know I'm gay. Of course, I've dealt with homophobic black men and white men, as well as Arab/Middle-Eastern men, but these guys seemed to be crazy and closeted. But, crazy mostly.
R103 have you been with a black man you describe as "thuggish" before? if so, how did he rationalize his sexuality?
"Thuggish" = the gay white man's version of "straight-acting"?
White perspective here--take it for what it's worth.
My sister, who teaches graduate courses in education and is currently working on her PhD, got into it with one of her instructors over the issue of "reverse racism." The instructor insisted that anyone can be racist. My sister told her (and pissed her off to no end) that according to some of her own African American students, they can't possibly be considered racist--other people can be racist towards them, but not the other way around, because they are an oppressed group.
The instructor is right. The same employees to homophobic gay men.
I have seen so many responses from non-poc people saying that this guy is full of shit. However, as a person who has an african american father & has been raised in an urban area, being gay is just not acceptable to urban poc. It's different when you are from a higher class poc family but if you are raised/live in urban areas, being gay is seen as "weak" and you will often be ostriciszed for it. That is why most african american men stay on the DL. African American people are WAY more intolerant to difference and are especially intolerant towards LGBT & things like gender identity. It has a lot to do with african americans having a strong beleif in the church/God. I am so sick of non poc trying to be oh so PC and saying there is no difference between african americans & white people in terms of acceptance. That's complete bullshit! A white gay man would have a much easier time coming out than an african american gay man.
I'd call it an addiction to God instead of a strong belief in God. You're addicted to God when belief in God overrides anything else and your "God" becomes so inflexible that you'd rather see your family suffer rather than change your views of God.
r113, well, Christianity does teach that you must love God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength and that loving God and obeying Him should be by far the highest priority of every believer. In fact, Jesus said that in order to follow Him and believe Him as He demands, you have to "lose your life" for Him, meaning that Jesus rules the life of the believer.
As a Social Worker at a ASO in the South I have found that that there are very few generalizations. I have seen AA mothers and fathers who accept their transgender MTF offspring, I have spoken to AA mothers who at least claimed that that they are ok with their son being gay but feared that he would become infected with HIV to a upper middle class AA family whose son died because they and he were in denial about his sexuality and later his disease (he was 23 when he died last year). Most of my clients are AA from a lower socio-economic background. Coming out does not seem to be a problem in the sense that it is for middle class AA and white people. Many of these people are already disenfranchised from society and a lot of its institutions (i.e. church) so there is no reason to be straight. What is important is to not be a victim so many adopt the persona of being rough.
Yes, being white made it so easy for me to come out. Get a grip black gay guys.
If your faith, R114, makes other people suffer, it isn't worth a piece of used toilet paper. And it sounds like you're addicted.
[quote]Yes, being white made it so easy for me to come out. Get a grip black gay guys.
I don't think anyone said it was easy for white gay men to come out. I think it is more challenging for gay black men to thrive in life, generally. I wish you could experience looking for a job as a openly gay black man.
Ditto what R54. I'm a gay black male who's been electronically-harassed, using the microwave hearing effect via wireless networks, by some religious black Masonic group for the past 35 years. I speculate that it's black women from the Eastern Star organization. They've made it clear that they are disgusted that I am gay. They also hate that I have a preference for White men. After I dropped out of college years ago, they quietly used their "Masonic powers" to sabotage every job opportunity I have ever had. I eventually went back to school and got a BS in Information Technology. That's when they made their presence known through our cellular networks. They constantly harass me saying that I need to find a "good black woman." They tell me that I "need to sit down" and "stay in my place" because I'm gay. They hate the fact that I've overcome the psychotronic programming that compels Blacks to settle for a life of low-level jobs, poor education, and drug/alcohol addiction. They've even sent individuals to befriend me in an attempt to turn me into a drug addict, without any success. Now I don't hate Black women. But I do avoid Black women because they are one of the most bigoted, mean-spirited, hypocritical societal groups that exist on the face of this planet. I wish "my people" would focus more on their individual contribution to society so we can all benefit, instead of all this community/village BS you hear all the time.
Wentworth Miller is not 1/2 black. Maybe 1/4 or 1/8, but certainly not half.
Black men should do whatever is needed to get ahead in this society.
All of the people complaining are not going to pay your bills or your student loans if you can't find a job. Stop worrying about people that do not care about you.
What R77 and R97 said!
Trolldar R123...he is bumping all of these self-loathing threads.
He did the Hollywood reporter round table a few weeks ago and he came across like a real dick. The Butler looks like a cheesy soap opera.