6 Secrets Queer Black Men Wish Gay Society Realized
It’s time we cleared the air and told you some honest truths. Dear gay society, from queer Black men, there are a few secrets that need to come out. From old and, frankly, tired conversations to topics rarely confessed out loud.
Here are 6 not-so-hidden secrets about queer Black men that gay society should finally realize.
1. We’re Not All The Same
Guess what? Not all queer Black men think alike. And yes, we realize the irony/contradiction with the very concept of this post. But still, it must be said.
All Black men are inherently different, because, guess what, we’re all human beings. Keiynan Lonsdale is different than Bayard Rustin, Devin Trez is different than Jason Collins, and so on. So, gay society painting us all as the same is wrong and hurtful.
Now, what we do share are some similar life experiences, cultural touchstones, and inherent societal obstacles. Many of which then affect the 8 notes on this list. But don’t create more obstacles for queer Black men by thinking of us all as the same.
2. Your Preference Is Racist
If you do think that all queer Black men are the same, you might be the type to write “No Blacks” on dating apps. Yes, guys, it’s that age-old “preference” conversation. Don’t get confused, I’m just as tired of it as many of you. But that doesn’t mean I can just pretend the issue isn’t still an issue.
There’s a difference between a “preference,” in which you prefer something over another thing, and a bias. To say “no” to any and all Black men is not a preference but a bias against Black men. And yes, it is inherently racist. If anything has been confirmed these past few weeks, it’s the idea that racism isn’t just angry American Southerners ready to kill Black and Brown folk. It’s also little jokes, missed opportunities due to skin tone, or saying you’d never consider dating a Black man.
3. Black Men Bottom, Too
When you do end up dating us, I hope you won’t think you’re in for some “BBC action.” ‘Cause here’s the next secret: Black men bottom, too.
Yes, gay porn has led you astray. Queer Black men like riding just as much as others. And on that note, we’ve seen the world of adult films start to address this issue with a few Black bottom scenes here and there. But there’s still far too many videos of Black men playing the aggressive BBC top. This is hurtful for many reasons.
3. An Imbalance in Dating
Love is love is love is beautiful, and that’s true for all under the rainbow. But we have to recognize there’s a strange phenomenon in the world of dating. Namely, more and more Black men are choosing not to date other Black people. This is most prominently seen in Black celebrities. Just look at the Queer Black celebs I listed above as evidence.
Don’t get me wrong, interracial relationships are beautiful and an important factor in the fight against racism. But, there also seems to be a subsection of our racist societies where Black people tend to end up dating outside of their race once they’ve advanced in social/financial levels.
A 2017 study by the Pew Research Center even found “Black men are twice as likely as black women to have a spouse of a different race or ethnicity (24% vs. 12%).” Plus, “among newly married black men, higher education is clearly associated with higher intermarriage rates. While 17% of those with a high school diploma or less had a spouse of a different race or ethnicity in 2015, this share rose to 24% for those with some college and to 30% for those with a bachelor’s degree or higher.”
What gay society needs to realize is that this issue, which has largely been ignored by mainstream society, also affects the gay community. Again, look up Queer Black celebs and see for yourselves. Once we acknowledge it, we can start discussing why it’s happening. (Hint: it’s probably a lack of inclusivity/diversity in educated/affluent social circles).
4. It’s OK to Have a QPOC-Inclusive Pride Flag
It’s time we celebrated the Pride flags spotlighting Black and Brown folk. When the Philadelphia Pride flag first trended online, after several Philadelphia gay clubs and club owners were caught being racist, the gay side of the internet balked in protest. “Why does everything have to be about race?” “The Pride flag already celebrates everything.” But does it really?
Adding Black and Brown stripes isn’t about changing Pride into something else, it’s about honoring Black and Brown people within it. It’s about celebrating the people who stand at the crossroads of being a person of color and being queer. Because, frankly, gay society doesn’t celebrate or appreciate them the same way they do others. So, yes, the Black and Brown stripes are here to stay. And that’s OK.
5. Some of Your Culture Was Taken From Us
And if you’re reading this and thinking it’s just an attack on white men or white society, no. It’s not. It’s just time that white society and gay society finally wake up to the oppression it inherently places on Black people. From making us feel unwelcome on dating apps to silencing us for expressing our existence, and copying our culture too.
If you’ve ever said the term “shade,” read someone for filth, or worked on getting a bigger butt or bigger lips, you have appropriated Black culture/bodies. To shift that appropriation to appreciation, actively uplift Black people in queer spaces. Actively help Black people take room within gay society. Be the ally you claim to be.
6. We Just Want a Lot of The Same Things As You
Now I know these five other secrets sound scary. Realizing the differences in how some in gay society thrive while others struggle is uncomfortable. But in the end, we all want the same thing: to fall in love and to be happy. We are comrades in arms against the oppression of conservative society. So, be our comrades, support us, and learn our truths.
Hey queer Black men, are there any other “secrets” you wish gay society realized?
Featured image by Siviwe Kapteyn
This article was originally published on January 19, 2021. It has since been updated.