Homosexuality and bisexuality amongst black men is a taboo topic most likely shunned than accepted, especially in the music industry. Artists like Raz B who speak about alleged sexual encounters with other men, forced or otherwise, attract negativity and extreme hatred rather than care and concern. One would believe that in 2011, with the LGBT community’s increase in number and political voice, more people would be less prejudice of the lifestyle. Unfortunately, many gay black men are suffering by their own hand out of fear of persecution for their romantic choices.
America has a bizarre stomach virus. When we vomit, fluid piles of ignorance and fear scatter across our land, reinvigorating our social prejudices. When we shit, bigotry splatters on the walls of our homes, schools, and social institutions, reaffirming our hypocrisy as a nation in failing to treat people as equals. There is nothing like the smell and consequences of ideological duplicity.
It’s time that we acknowledge the stench of homophobia and how many people have suffocated as a result of our intolerance. Suicide is a preventable death and it partially continues to thrive due to repeated acts of discrimination against individuals’ sexual orientations.
In 2010, the suicides of Joseph Jefferson and Raymond Chase held a mirror up to the continued struggle of gay and bisexual men of color and this country’s shortcomings in providing a safe haven for people of non-heterosexual orientations.
Before taking his life, Jefferson wrote to his friends:
“I could not bear the burden of living as a gay man of color in a world grown cold and hateful towards those of us who live and love differently than the so-called ‘social mainstream.’ Belonging is one of the basic human needs, when people feel isolated and excluded from a sense of communion with others, they suffer….”
For those who ask how we prevent additional acts of suicide from gay and bisexual men of color, it starts with redefining prejudice, reshaping tolerance, and confronting heterosexual chauvinism. Last week, Marsha Ambrosius released a powerful video entitled “Far Away,” which illustrated the emotional conflict within a man who happened to love another man. While this man was openly comfortable in his sexuality, numerous public encounters with bullying and bigotry caused him to struggle internally.
Read the full story at Clutch Magazine!