|Michael Sam Breaking The Sexual Stereotypes Of Pro-Football|
THE AWAKENING OF A NEW BREED OF GAY MEN…
If I had a date for every time another man told me he was afraid to hit on me because he didn’t think I was gay I’d probably have a date for a change… Whenever I hear this, and I hear it quite frequently, it begs the following questions:
1. Really? You mean to tell me that you have waited how many years to finally approach me?
2. What in the world did you miss when it became quite clear that we were flirting with one another? Did you think I was a straight man who just liked to flirt with gay men?
So I wondered if the answer could be that these men suffered from low self-esteem and just needed more convincing on my part, was it that they totally missed the fact that I was flirting with them or could it have been they were just flirting themselves and were not truly serious about connecting at all. I wondered if they were afraid of rejection or that I would be insulted and call them out in public as a homosexual. But the underlying reality, I feared, was that it was a combination of all of these and more… these men could have been ashamed of their own sexuality, and I said, “Could have been”, whether because of religion or some notion of cultural inappropriateness. What I had stumbled upon may have been the naked truth that they had allowed their fear of how others might perceive them to blind them and prevent them from finding happiness… as the concept overtook me its gravity pulled me down to a bleak, lonely place where men allowed their fears to strip them of their manhood leaving them to lurk cautiously in the shadows. This was not a place I knew or desired to stay and I understood straightway that any person who populated that hopeless dungeon of human existence could never be a man in the sense that I respected and therefore could never command the attention of my heart… I pitied such men but my inner humanitarian wanted to reach out and pull each and every one of them out of their self-excavated pit. I checked my vanity at the door of this revelation hoping to gain a level perspective that did not put me in a better place than these men who were no less men than I. After all, every man struggles with his own demons and fears and none of them is really any greater or lesser than any other one… like us they are all the same… all challenges equal in mangnitude…
Like a man who finds he is a rarefied breed living and passing as just anyone else I eagerly sought out those of my kind but found that even more difficult than following my pitiable would-be suitors into the abyss. I asked myself if there was some code or password by which men of my kind recognised one another, a gilded emblem upon the pocket square, the color and species of buttoner in my lapel? Certainly there was a secret order of such men but I having been too undetectable was not inducted into its ranks?
|Marlon Riggs, The Father Of Black Gay Male Consciousness|
And then I slowly discovered how many other men there were like me. Masculine, intelligent, loving, and frustrated men like me who did not identify with the campy gay lifestyle of Christopher Street and the Castro. Nothing is wrong with these sacred gay traditions and make no mistake that they are our cherished history and legacy but over the past decades since Stonewall the image of what is gay has transformed itself to include a much broader range of visages, we are extraordinarily diverse! Finally I had found my niche in "Gaydom", and there were so many men like me, we were just ordinary men, not having to wave any flag but happy to do so if need be because we held our truths in our heart accepting full ownership of our truths. We loved being men in the traditional sense but were being persecuted and ignored because of our unwillingness to assimilate into the gay milieu by assimilating the candy-striped hallmarks of heterosexual bias! We recognised the importance of establishing the applicable hallmarks of our own shade of gay. We did not contest or challenge the status quo as a negative, rather we expanded its credentials to include a demographic of gay man that always existed but had not been acknowledged. We wanted to see our ordinary faces smiling in the gay parade. Yes, we are red-blooded, bonafide gay men by right! We too stood up for gay rights whenever we were called to do so and ungrudgingly so as stewards of the civil rights of all men. Our inclusion in the struggle only got misconstrued and ignored because we were not as colorful or exotic as the gay man haunting the fears of everyone who closes their mind to sexual and behavioral diversity.
|Essex Hemphill Contemplated Gay Marriage Decades Before It Was Legalized. |
He Is The Father Of Gay Marriage
When I finally met another gay man with a similar experience it was astounding. How did we find one another? Why did we not simply pass one another off as “Just another smiling straight man”? What compelled two men who had altogether given up the search to open up their eyes and “See” one another? We were instantly bonded by virtue of our shared dilemma, misunderstood, invisible, inaccessible, and incomprehensible; we were the wild card of the gay lifestyle and the image of where it is ultimately destined. We represent the seamless assimilation of gay men into mainstream culture absent of the apt historic lingo and facade and stripped of the subcutaneous hallmarks as well… Within the decade we have seen gay athletes breaking sexual barriers much in the same way that Black Americans broke racial barriers. We are all brothers here and there is certainly no love lost for our happy family of beloved gay men from all walks of life whatever they call themseleves in our fabulously diverse gay community. But they have long enjoyed their day in the sun and now it is our time to quietly share its brilliance. We have always been here at the front line and now we can be seen standing beside each other to validate one another. There is no conceivable end to this slowly brewing revolution of a new breed of gay men; its dawn is so exciting that I am committed to see it rise to full daylight! Won’t you join me?
By Bigdaddy Blues