It’s 2019 and the places that should be a refuge for black gay and bisexual men, aren’t. But, whenever there’s an obstacle, we always rise to the occasion. Prepare to immerse yourself in an experience for us, by us, with us at the helm. Black Gay Blog is an international health, entertainment, and lifestyle portal for black gay and bisexual men. While the rest of the world works to iron out the LGBT+ experience; Black Gay Blog is a great starting point for our own community of black gay and bisexual men.
When there is no community… create one!
Let’s face it, our culture is up for the taking. People love us, but don’t understand what it’s like to be us. There are issues black gay and bisexual men face that require a specific voice. While water and borders separate us, the black gay and bisexual experience unite us. Black Gay Blog is about celebrating the beauty in the black gay and bisexual experience. There’s imagery that showcases our beauty. Posts that capture the ease at which our complex existence manifests in a world that seeks to minimize us. All the while, successfully blending our existence eloquently.
Black Gay Blog is interactive and easy to follow. Posts are regular and shared across multiple social platforms. With the click of a button, there’s content that intersects at some point of your black gay or bisexual experience. Which makes Black Gay Blog unique. You don’t have to be HIV positive to understand why we must continue to conversate. You can live in the US and understand the importance of human rights in Botswana. No region or person is off-limits, because well, our black gay and bisexual experience knows no boundaries.
The creator and editor of blackgayblog.com, Paul Boakye, shares his vision for the website and what we can expect.
Is there an article, or moment, where you thought, wow, “we” really aren’t being seen?
Black people were not reflected on British television, so I started to write many years ago. I started blackgayblog.com a few weeks ago because there’s no international lifestyle magazine provision for black gay/bi men online. The WOW moment was much less about being seen than being heard, to be honest. It was about a need for us to communicate with each other, and to document our world.
Same-gender-loving black men are often seen but never heard. Our bodies are all over the internet, but it’s all about our physicality. It’s about bareback porn and the “BBC,” but where can you go to find anything else? After six years of working in Africa, I got back to London in 2017. I found myself starved of communication with other black gay and bisexual men. Not because gay/bi men did not exist where I was in West Africa, far from it, but because they are mainly in hiding there. I went online to find somewhere I could hang out that wasn’t just a hook-up site, but there is no provision like that for our demographic.
In a day where content is supreme, what subject matter are you tired of seeing?
Reports that black gay and bisexual men are several times more likely to be HIV-positive compared to their white gay male counterparts in whatever part of the world you care to name, is tiring. I’ve been reading those statistics for far too long, and nothing seems to change. The figures may even be getting worse, and our silence on the subject remains deafening. The stigma and shame are tiring and we should not have to live with it.
With that in mind, what type of content can we expect from Black Gay Blog?
Our users should see us as a cultural reference point, offering a uniquely international perspective on the world of black gay and bisexual men. We want to delve beyond what happens in the United States, and to reflect the duality of our experience around the world. Above all, we want to offer helpful content delivered through an exceptional and engaging user experience that takes us outside the Facebook bubble.
You have multiple types of content you want to tackle that we don’t hear much about like, travel, society, and finance. Who are your contributors, and do they identify as black gay and/or bisexual?
Of course, we welcome articles by and about black gay and bisexual men. But we also accept material from anyone who cares about the emotional/mental health and general well-being of this group of men as much as we do. As managing editor at blackgayblog.com, I will consider anything that I believe might be of interest or a benefit to our core audience regardless of whether the author identifies as black gay/bisexual.
We’d welcome personal experience stories written by parents or siblings of same-gender-loving men, for example. Guest posts are a brilliant way for us to educate our audience on a range of topics outside of our team’s expertise, and to bring greater social exposure to relevant experts and their high-quality content. I’m also calling on some former contributors to DRUM magazine, who are excellent writers in their field, but who identify as heterosexual.
What’s been the most exciting part of the launch of Black Gay Blog?
I launched the UK’s only Black Male lifestyle magazine at the start of the century. DRUM took its inspiration and ethos from the well-known 1950s South African publication of the same name. It offered Black British males an authentic lifestyle publication specifically designed for them. Stunning photography, quality writers, an upbeat and positive editorial slant and wide-ranging, relevant and in-depth features were our raison d’être. I want similar high-quality content for blackgayblog.com.
The most exciting part of launching any project is always bringing the various collaborative elements together and finding and working with good talented people who share a similar outlook and ethos about helping others to be their best selves.
Having a community is an important tool we often fail to invest in. There is a magic in our existence and we must highlight it at every turn. This safe and open forum allows us to understand who we are and how we show up for one another. Sure there are many conversations that say the internet promotes depression, sadness, and a false sense of reality. But, when we enhance our social space with places like blackgayblog.com, we press forward.
What’s more exciting is that Black Gay Blog allows for engagement from every part of the world. Feel you aren’t being seen? No problem, write in and pitch an idea. No one blog can truly capture every corner of the black gay and bisexual experience. But, this blog is stepping up and saying our stories matter and our journey should be captured. Black gay and bisexual men, we have a haven to exist in. Black Gay Blog has arrived and it’s time for us to shine.