Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2023-12-13
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor

  IDENTITY

BROTHER TO BROTHER: Say it loud—I'm Black, gay and proud
2006-08-01

This article shared 5199 times since Tue Aug 1, 2006
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email


By Marcus Davis

My first real exposure to the gay lifestyle was when I went to college in Washington, D.C., at the age of 17. Up until then, the most I knew about being gay came from an issue of Advocate Men I was able to buy at Printer's Row and my The Joy of Gay Sex book, with its vivid illustrations of frottage and bondage. Coming out in a place like D.C. was birth by fire, and the perpetual amount of gayness I witnessed was both surreal and empowering. For much of my life, I had deluded myself into believing I could covertly engage the desire I had towards men until I had risen to a position of power so substantial, my sexual inclination would be a tacit inconvenience. But being faced with the urgency of my desires and persistence of my demeanor was unavoidable in Chocolate City, and I quickly shed that illusion. I became a regular at the clubs, knew all the sissies on campus and could tell you the first name of most of the local strippers. I was gay as one possibly could be at such an age, and it was certainly a colorful time in my life.

However, the novelty of this decadence quickly wore off, and I lost interest in attending most gay establishments. One can only immerse himself in the orgy of the gay club scene for so long before the faces start to blend, the taut pectorals become mundane valleys and the shadows become hollow outlines of longing. I'm far from being a playboy, so some may argue I simply became embittered by my inability to navigate the terrain. Perhaps, but it seems inescapable to observe there is an undercurrent of irrelevance embedded in much of popular Black gay culture. So when I pose the question, 'What is the virtue of Black Pride?' I'm always torn. I vacillate between feeling it is a worthless spectacle of a shallow gay psychology and conceding the necessity of such cultural assertions.

Being Black and gay is a very esoteric experience. Our Caucasian counterparts face many of the same discriminatory circumstances but they benefit from the inherent normalcy being white in America implies. Our color characterizes our lives, even within the sphere of LGBT culture, and it is important to remember the struggles and triumphs the Black gay lifestyle represents. Yet even that statement is an equivocation because it is virtually impossible to define what that lifestyle is. Much of the Black gay community exist in the shadows, and the reconciliation of the 'DL' ( down low ) culture with the need for increased visibility is a difficult task that remains escaping. But here is where the Black Pride begins to establish its significance.

It is past time for the Black gay community to begin to define clear and tangible economic and political agendas. Events such as Black Pride represent the massive power potentially welded in both arenas, but it is important that the opportunity is not squandered in the wake of frivolity.

Sure, much of Pride is about the never-ending eye-candy and the prospects this saturation presents. But it also galvanizes a group existing in the vestiges of unity and forces them to confront their common ambitions. We all want the caress of another in those moments of weakness. We all want to be respected and appreciated in our totality. We all want our communities, both Black and gay, to grow and flourish. We all deserve to feel proud. But being proud isn't about just celebrating; it's also about accepting those things that compose the imperfection that is you and moving forward.

Actors Call for Mobilization to

End AIDS

Actors Danny Glover and Harry Belafonte, speaking during the 2006 BET ( Black Entertainment Television ) Awards Ceremony, called for Blacks—specifically celebrities—to join the national Black mobilization effort to end the AIDS epidemic in Black America.

Glover, a longtime AIDS activist and humanitarian, made his comments while helping to present Belafonte with the BET Humanitarian Award during the show, which was held June 27 at the Los Angeles Shrine Auditorium, according to an item on the Black AIDS Institute Web site.

In his acceptance speech, Belafonte said, 'The struggle is long. It hasn't ended. ... HIV/AIDS isn't fixed yet. Two million men in prison isn't fixed yet. Justice isn't fixed yet. And the only ones who can fix it are those of us who are victims of it...'

Glover's comments follow his participation in a national call to action on June 5 at a news conference hosted by the New York-based Open Society Institute, in which everyone from politicians to media personalities called for a declaration of commitment to end the AIDS epidemic.


This article shared 5199 times since Tue Aug 1, 2006
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email

Out and Aging
Presented By

  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

RUSH, others receive grant related to HIV prevention for Black women 2024-04-11
--From a press release - CHICAGO — RUSH, in collaboration with Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital, University of Chicago Medicine, University of Illinois Chicago and Planned Parenthood of Illinois (PPIL), has been awarded ...


Gay News

Blackhawks celebrate Pride Night 2024-04-03
- On March 26, the Chicago Blackhawks held its annual Pride Night at the United Center. The home team defeated the Calgary Flames 3-1 as Jason Dickinson scored twice and Petr Mrazek made 38 saves for the ...


Gay News

Lighthouse Foundation releases first Black Queer Equity Index report card 2024-04-02
- After three years of working with a small group of Chicago LGBTQ+ organizations, Lighthouse Foundation released its inaugural Black Queer Equity Index (BQEI) report this past week, ranking how each organization supports five areas of support ...


Gay News

Chicago alder proposes renaming street after Obama 2024-03-22
- Openly gay Black Chicago Ald. Lamont Robinson has proposed renaming Columbus Drive after former U.S. President and city resident Barack Obama, media outlets noted. The street stretches through the Loop from East Grand Avenue to DuSable ...


Gay News

LGBTQ+ people attacked by mobs in Greece 2024-03-14
- Just weeks after a landmark law granted same-sex couples in Greece the right to marry, nearly 200 people dressed in black chased a transgender couple through the town square in Thessaloniki, the country's "second city" and ...


Gay News

Women's History Month doesn't do enough to lift up Black lesbians 2024-03-12
- Fifty years ago, in 1974, the Combahee River Collective (CRC) was founded in Boston by several lesbian and feminist women of African descent. As a sisterhood, they understood that their acts of protest were shouldered by ...


Gay News

No 'explanations' needed: Affinity remains a haven for Chicago's Black queer community 2024-03-12
- Back in 2007, Anna DeShawn came out while she was studying for her undergraduate degree. At around the same time, she searched online for "Black lesbians in Chicago." Her search led her to Affinity Community Services, ...


Gay News

SAVOR Eldridge Williams talks new concepts, Beyonce, making history 2024-03-08
- One restaurant would be enough for most people to handle. However, this year Eldridge Williams is opening two new concepts—including one that will be the first Black-owned country-and-western bar in the Midwest. Williams, an ally of ...


Gay News

Samuel Savoir-Faire Williams's violin stylings help COH mark Black History Month 2024-02-23
- As part of its celebration of Black History Month, Center on Halsted, 3656 N. Halsted St., presented a solo jazz performance by violinist Samuel Savoir-Faire Williams on Feb. 21. The two-hour long performance presented a showcase ...


Gay News

HIV criminal laws disproportionately impact Black men in Mississippi 2024-02-21
--From a press release - A new report by the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law finds that at least 43 people in Mississippi were arrested for HIV-related crimes between 2004 and 2021. Half of all arrests in the state ...


Gay News

Human Rights Campaign report releases new data on experiences of Black queer youth 2024-02-14
--From a press release - WASHINGTON — Today, the Human Rights Campaign Foundation (HRC), the educational arm of the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization, released a report in ...


Gay News

SAVOR 'The Bear,' new pizza lounge, Chicago Black Restaurant Week 2024-02-11
- "Bear" necessities: The third season of the Chicago-set series The Bear will debut in June, per Variety. FX chairman John Landgraf made the announcement during the network's presentation at the Television Critics Association's winter 2024 press ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ Raven-Symone, women's sports, Wayne Brady, Jinkx Monsoon, British Vogue 2024-02-09
- In celebration of Black History Month, the LA LGBT Center announced that lesbian entertainer Raven-Symone will be presented with the Center's Bayard Rustin Award at its new event, Highly Favored, per a press release. She joins ...


Gay News

National Black Justice Coalition commemorates National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day 2024-02-07
--From a press release - WASHINGTON — Today, Feb. 7, marks National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NBHAAD). In commemoration, Dr. David J. Johns, CEO of the National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC), a leading Black LGBTQ+/same-gender ...


Gay News

Comcast NBCUniversal partners with News is Out, Word In Black on fellowship program highlighting Black, LGBTQ+ issues 2024-02-06
--From a press release - Digital Equity Local Voices Lab Fellows to be placed at 16 local publications to receive training and create content Philadelphia (Feb. 6, 2024) — News is Out [ https://newsisout.com ] , a queer media collaborative of ...


 


Copyright © 2024 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.

All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 
 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS







Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam     
Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.