It's sad but true, if the list were 10 things I hate, I could do it without thinking. This is a good exercise for me, to remember the love I have for my brothers. I encourage others to do the same on their blogs.
I decided to take up the challenge. Only, i didn't expect it would be such a challenge. Unlike Charles, i don't know if i could so easily come up with ten things i hate either, but that's a story for another post.
Check out my list; i hope it's affirming. (P.S. I made my list before reading Charles's, so it will be interesting to see if there's any duplication.) So, in no particular order ...
- Queens. Whiteboys can claim queenery, but they're just working with the Black girls castoff expressions. I love it.
- Sex. In case you thought my being gay was strictly an intellectual or political or social exercise, think again. I love sex. With men. Especially black men. Deal with it.
- Community. I've argued (rather cogently, i think) that there really is no Black Gay Community in Atlanta. In the larger sense, i think that's still true. But it doesn't matter; wherever two or three are gathered in the name of Tony Daniels (or Essex Hemphill, or James Baldwin, or even goddamn J.L. King), community is in the midst.
- My Reflection. In the early days of my "coming out" experience, the thing that saved my life was realizing there were other men like me that i could actually touch and talk to. In the MANY years since, i hope i've provided that same lifesaving reflection for some other brothers.
- Wit. Okay, so the catty, queeny, reading black gurl is a stereotype. I gotta believe, though, that the smart gene often goes hand-in-hand with the gay gene. Or maybe it's the culture we've created that lends itself to brilliant jibes. Whatever the cause, i'm grateful for Juan Smith, Charles Stephens, Kevin Bynes, Tony Daniels, Duncan Teague, and a host of other fierce bristas who know how to let folks hold it, honey!
- Creativity. Essex Hemphill. James Baldwin. James Richmond Barthé. Marlon Riggs. Patrik-Ian Polk. Anthony Antoine. Tim'm West. Khalid Kamau. Juan Smith. Langston Hughes. Jerry Boles. Paris Barclay. Marvin K. White. Willi Smith. Duncan E. Teague. Reginald Harris. Kevin Aviance. And that's just off the top of my head. 'Nuff said.
- AIDS. No, not because i'm glad we have it. Certainly not because we're still harder hit than any other group. No. Because we didn't go away. Because we spoke up and still speak up. Because we find reasons and ways to live and love in spite of the odds against us.
- Beauty. So what if Queer Eye doesn't see us. Who cares if Boy Meets Boy doesn't meet our needs. I see it in us every day, in so many ways. If you doubt, check my portfolio of black and (mostly) gay men. We are beautiful in all shapes, sizes, and shades.
- Style. I almost overlooked this one because i'm so completely devoid of it. LOL! Whatever's hot right now in popular culture, chances are some black gay boi somewhere started it, either in our community or behind the scenes styling somebody else. Don't sleep; we help create culture.
- Our Legacy. If you look at some of the names i've named above, you know that there's a lot to live up to. A high standard that we as black gay men, we who are aware of that legacy, have a duty to maintain. But dammit, it's our legacy. We have the privilege and honor and choice to accept that mantle and further the legacy, or to let it die. Do you doubt? Check out The Blackstripe for a more comprehensive list.