I recently posted a series of memes/questions about how black gay and same-gender-loving men (specifically those involved in interracial relationships) are viewed, judged, and received among people in general and other LGBTQ people in particular.
The response was predictable, angry, full of deflection, evasion, and often outright denial that any of these things ever come up that biased reactions happen to black gay or same-gender-loving men.
In fact, to hear the overwhelming majority of black & white men who partner with each other tell it, their world is 100% perfectly free of dealing with any of these things and that any such mention of them is a plot to be divisive, cast shame on white-partnered black men, and an expression of hatred for white men.
In addition to the usual witless attempts to psychoanalyze me and the kinds of whataboutism like “Why don’t we talk about black homophobia” and so on, the most fascinating responses to avoid actually diving in and peeling back the layers of any of the things I ask about is that I’m “making it all up.”
In truth, though, my most recent 3-4 questions have been based on this short film from P&G, which I previewed a little while ago while I was visiting family in Cincinnati. So here are a couple of observations:
If I had posted “The Look” all by itself, the reaction very likely would have been 100% different. One would not have to make a big leap to imagine that most of the reaction would have been more positive (not universally so) and sparked more constructive discussion. Instead, most of the responses were knee-jerk reactions of anger or indignation instead of considering the issues raised in the questions I posed.
My decision and curiosity about reframing the issue around gay and same-gender-loving black men and interracial relationships, like all of my posts, has nothing to do with advocating for interracial relationships or against them.
Rather, they are inquiries about where we are in our ability to talk about racial dynamics, race, and racism within the LGTBQ community when uncomfortable topics come up far beyond the typical questions we often consider and well-past simple cheerleading. But, unfortunately, from what I’ve seen time and time and time again, the vast majority of us are simply not willing to talk honestly about these issues.
Race — specifically in LGBTQ communities — is still a massive taboo. Somehow, any mention, criticism, or interrogation that involves the issue is so raw for so many that often the only way to respond is through an emotional outburst.
These questions I pursue seem to touch a lot of nerves, and it’s the reactions that reveal a lot more than people realise. I’ve always heard the old saying, “a hit dog will holler”, and there is a whole lot of barking going on…