My understanding of relationships is developing, as is my knowledge of race, but I’m still unpacking how my sexuality really relates to my Blackness.As I continue on this road to self-discovery and acceptance, I often think about my gay uncles who died, and I wish they could have been a part of this journey.
I replied, "Look around — I'm one of three Black guys here." There’s a clear lack of queer spaces in POC communities, and that definitely affects the ability of men of color to meet one another.
But while the absence of queer POC-centric establishments is definitely an issue, many of the other Black men I see at gay bars around Manhattan and Brooklyn are booed up with white men, too.
When I read a recent essay by Michael Arceneaux, his words hit me hard.
He questioned why Black men in particular want so desperately to be acknowledged as desirable by white men who have no interest in dating outside their race.
Statements like "no fats or fems" or "no Blacks or Asians" litter profiles in hookup communities on Grindr, Jack'd, and similar platforms.
Thankfully, marginalized queer communities have started to call out those hurtful comments as acts of discrimination rather than statements of preference.
They were estranged from our family, partly because of their health and their sexual orientation.
I never had the chance to speak to either one while they were alive, but I often wonder what advice or mentorship they could have provided me as a young Black gay male coming of age in such a sheltered environment.
He wrote, "As Black men, we need to value ourselves so much that no outside force, no prejudice — even one guised as preference — can make us feel second place." Clearly, this dialogue wasn’t only happening in my head.