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Opinion | My Journey to Pride


Indeed, it can be worse, as people who themselves have been marginalized and mistreated become blind to the notion that they have their own biases. So I am quick to remind them: Yes, the hated can also hate. And for Black queer people this means a double demerit.

It is far too easy for people to slip into racist tropes when discussing and considering queer Black men, to fetishize the fear of them, to project onto them a sort of brutish, animalistic, dangerous allure. But, of course, this is all rooted in racism, a fact that I can see clearly, and one against which I constantly rage.

This is one reason I have been perfectly content with living outside the inner circles of gay power and thought, preferring rather to honor Blackness and Black gay people, to lift their stories and write about their struggles.

For the most part, you won’t find me on the gay magazine lists. I won’t be invited to the functions. I am not part of that version of Pride. And I am at peace with that.

My version is that I like to be with the forgotten and listen to the unheard. I like to talk with the older Black queer people, who impart incredible wisdom and give invaluable perspective about how our particular path in the queer space is distinct and our stories are our own.

I have found my own Pride in my own tribe, rooted in racial pride, rooted in a legacy of resilience, rooted in the power of truth and the power of community, my own community, and that community has embraced me, lifted me and loved me.

The Black community’s response to me may seem odd to those who exist outside it, but it was to me spiritually and culturally congruent. What I hear most is, we don’t care, do you, be careful, we love you, we are proud of you, we are praying for you.

I was on a journey to be whole, but it was the Black community, its embrace of my true self, my whole self, that finally made me whole.

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