Friday, October 01, 2010


A couple of days ago I found out about the “It Gets Better” project, inspired by Dan Savage to inspire gay youth/young adults and let them know that life… really does get better. Recently we’ve seen several accounts of the “downside of gay” from the Bishop Eddie Long fiasco, to the college suicides which happened earlier this week.

Growing up gay, bisexual, lesbian, or any other way that seems to deviate from what society views as normal is difficult. We all have a story and sadly those stories have more disturbing similarities than not. It’s rare to hear a “coming out” story where the person is embraced 100% with open arms, life instantly becomes peachy and happily ever after begins—life usually doesn’t work this way. I know my story and it was no fairytale.

A large part of why I wrote my first book was to help teens/young adults by showing them another way. I wanted to show them that there are many facets to life and it really is ok to simply be you.

When I was coming up it was a very odd time to be LGBT. There were NO positive images of black gay males that I could remember seeing. There was this secret society that went by the code of “don’t ask don’t tell” waaaaaaaaaaaaaay before t military adopted it. Because I had no one to look up to or “show me the ropes” I made plenty of mistakes finding my way. I wanted to help young people keep from making the same mistakes I did.

Getting back to “It Gets Better”…As I went through to watch the videos, what I noticed was there were only a few black faces scattered in between the many submissions. Is this because we are still not asking and not telling? Cleary not! If you look at our youth you can see they are practically begging for answers. So should we change the old tried and true “don’t ask, don’t tell” philosophy to “ask away, we just won’t say shit”? We’ve gotta help this next generation. Hell we have to do more to help ourselves. In helping them, we help us.

I’m getting ready to make my video. I’d like to see some more shades of black among the submissions. Trust me, it will go a long way.

To find out more you can google the Dan Savage It Gets Better Project

Or search “It Gets Better” on YouTube

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At 8:36 AM, Blogger fuzzy said...

Watching that video made me think of a few things, one of which I'm going to write about soon. I noticed few black faces as I watched the videos on ma phone. I formulated the idea that sexuality in the black community is still taboo in many respects concerning the possible pending homosexual conversation. Its been 5 years since I've told my dad and brother and I will not tell another family member. They are not accepting and chose to be exclusive. If I could take it back I would.

I began to think on cultural acceptance. Many island and carribeans are violent and murderous concerning the possible hint of a thought of a dream that someone might think about being homosexual. Male or female.

In my opinion, the videos are luring people into false senses of security. It does not always get better. I don't believe it gets better at the rate of 50%. I believe it stays the same the majority of the time and gets worse for more than it gets better. Furthermore, I also believe sex, and sexuality has been made way to public for it to be a private event. Why do I need to know where u like to put your dick? Why do I need to know what you like up your ass? I really don't need to know. Nobody really needs to know. Its not being closeted its simply being publically decent. I've been in public many times and turned heads and have exchanged numbers in the process, WITH MEN. I've seen men and women do the same. But nobody knows what's going on but them.

I work in a high school where kids were displaced from their homes because they came out. I've seen these kids graduate with low self worth and esteem and go down a steep hill thinking and hoping things would get better. Idk I see this stirred something up in me...

At 10:43 AM, Blogger Cocoa Rican said...

I think coming out stories by men of color for our young men of color questioning how to come out (if they should come out) and what impact they should expect to their lives are extremely important. I also believe that with the millions of gay men of color that exist in the U.S. we should have a greater support network and one that doesn’t revolve around a purely sexual theme. How we have sex (and the ways are as varied as for the heterosexual community) is less important than helping youngsters live their authentic lives. I agree that it isn’t easy for all gay folks coming out of the closet and living in their truth, but it doesn’t make it any better by reverting to a ‘keep it under the radar and no one will hurt you’ mentality. The reality is that folks (at the very least) will become desensitized to coming out stories and to the reality that there are millions of gay folks, it different configurations (physical, sexual, emotional) that require our compassion and open-minded support. This isn’t about making the heterosexual community comfortable with their boundaries, it is about insisting that we all – gay and straight – see each other as human beings with the same dreams, fears and concerns. It’s important to live our truth and our happiness is NOT predicated on who is comfortable with that truth.


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