No, Being Black and Gay Does Not Suck

Apparently it sucks to be a black gay guy. At least that is what “Stevie” over at claims in his post “20 Reasons It Sucks To Be A Gay Black Man.” I hate this article. I am over articles like this one, which measures our worth as gay men by white men’s standards. Life as a gay black man sucks for Stevie (and all the Stevies of the world) because he is chasing after whiteness.

Stevie’s article mainly consists of reasons such as:

  • “Every day I’m consumed with the fear of rejection in a community where muscular white men are looked at in the highest regard.”
  • “At least 80% of the guys I meet are ‘not into black guys’. Seriously? You don’t even know me jackass.”
  • “Constantly being heart broken because that hot guy I met at Mickey’s doesn’t date black guys…”
  • “While LGBT acceptance is making great progress, gay black men still have to hide our sexual orientation from our parents and family.”

Why, Stevie, do so many of your reasons have to do with non-black men validating your desirability? Why, in general, is so much of your worth tied to your body? These are choices you are making. You are choosing to surround yourself, intimately, with people who don’t value blackness. I have always been told, “Birds of a feather flock together.” Perhaps if you truly valued and desired blackness more, it wouldn’t suck so much to be gay and black for you. You would seek out black-affirming spaces and people. Don’t get me wrong: I am not saying you only have to date black guys or have only black friends. What I am saying is that the moment you stop treating whiteness and white boys as the prize, your life changes.

While I know, as a friend of mine says, “love is where you find it,” the unasked questions is: Where the hell have you been looking? Which bodies do you value? I value black bodies that delight in and appreciate blackness. That is, I value folk E. Patrick Johnson would call “quare.” I believe that black men loving black men is a revolutionary act, and I include romantic love and sexual desire in this revolution.

The moment we black folk start valuing ourselves in every way, the moment we stop judging our beauty and our worth by how close we can approximate some white ideal, the moment we see each other as the prize, the moment we chase after blackness as hard as so many of us chase after whiteness, the moment we define for ourselves what it means to be black and gay is the moment life won’t “suck.”

And this is not to be naïve and suggest that there isn’t critical work that needs to be done in the gay community at large, nor am I suggesting that our black heterosexual brothers and sisters don’t have work they need to do, but I am saying that if you continue to live your life based upon the definitions handed to you by whiteness, the rules put into place by whiteness, and the logic that white is right and the only good, then, yeah, life for you will suck. And I’ll have little sympathy for you. Pity, yes, but sympathy? No.