How do we reconcile the explicit messages we present to black gay men countering homophobia and HIV stigma with the messages we imply through our HIV closets? Where is the integrity in challenging gay men to relinquish their imbedded shame as we demonstrate and justify our own?
Stigma cannot be dislodged unless more HIV-positive people come out of our viral closets and break down the barricades of fear and silence. It is no secret that black gay men bear the highest HIV burden. Our condition demands that we unleash the radical.
Jolly for you that you have a deep voice, a culturally acceptable walk and all that cisgender privilege, but let's be clear that some of us do not; some of us are feminine, and we switch, and we talk with a lisp, but that does not make us stereotypical.
I had been discriminated all my life for being black, for being a woman, for being economically challenged, and now -- for being gay. And being gay didn't mean I was automatically accepted into the gay community. For some, I wasn't gay enough, with my long hair and high heels.
For one intense and drama-filled month back in April, cameras followed me and eight other gay black men of various ages and career paths as we lived our lives, followed our dreams, and got to know one another. The result is Bricks.
While clearly the cost of operation was prohibitive, causing Gay Black Men News to cease publication, another reason, according to publisher and founder Ralph Emerson, was the lack of support from the LGBTQ communities of African descent.