I have previously spoke out on issues impacting the black community. But now I am speaking out on issues impacting gay black people. Out of everything that I have spoke out about these issues are the more important to me because they are who I am unmasked. I am unapologetically gay. I do not have to be quiet about it, I do not have to keep being gay to myself, I am gay and I am black. I do not have to pretend that am I attracted to women, when I attracted to men. I do not have to hide being in love with a man. I am free from the cultural homophobia in the Black Church, in my family, and in my community that imprisoned me and caused me much pain throughout my life. So many of our people have lived and died in pain because of this same homophobia that many of you are still imprisoned to.
The time has come were black gay folks can no longer allow ourselves to be regulated to closets and silenced to shame. You have to love yourself. You have to let people know words like homo, dike, faggy, faggot, and fag are hate language.
Until we reach the point as black gay folk were we rid ourselves of our self-hatred and division we will never reach a point were homophobia in the black community can even start to diminish.
The saddest thing I have heard and seen among some black gay people with voice is that many of them are so concerned with making a name for themselves that they assume everyone else who cares enough to give voice to our pain thought process is as self-centered, self-serving, and screwed up as theirs.
Someone said to me that some gay black with voice thought I was trying make a name for myself. I laughed, because everything I say and do has always been from my heart. The majority of what I do is for young people, and my hand-full-of-critics will never know because those things are personal.
In December 2011, when I came out, I did not get anything from that disclosure that gave me a name. I did loose the opportunity to ever pastor a traditional Baptist Church, an institution that love, because of the stronghold of homophobia that resides there. In December 2012, when I came out and said I was not only openly gay but I was also HIV positive, I did not not get a name for myself. I farther alienated myself from many Baptist preachers, pastors and churches. So if anything, I sacrificed a part my tradition, and my dream to pastor in a Baptist Church, a dream that existed in me long before I moved to Baltimore, because I had the courage to fully embrace and love me. Do you really think I became HIV positive just to get a name for myself?
I spoke out recently because it was the right thing to do, not to get a name for myself. Regardless of the consequence or what I may loose, I stand up because I believe it is the right thing to do. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said:
“If a man has not found something he is willing to die for he is not fit to live.”
I have found the cause of righteousness worth standing and dying for.
In the black community gay people are victims of unpunished hate crimes. Gay black men are still dying from HIV/AIDS, and HIV/AIDS is the second leading cause of death in the black community among black folk in their 20‘s-40‘s. So to all of you gay black voices and leaders who think black people who have died from HIV/AIDS, who are HIV/AIDS infected, dying or will die from HIV in 2013 is an attention getter, or suffering from the psychosis and the brutality of homophobia that gay black people suffer everyday is an attention getter or name maker for people like me. Then shame on you.
What is certain, I will not be quiet, and I will use my voice to work toward chipping away at these issues by any means necessary because it is who I am. I am a Black gay man who is HIV positive who is not afraid stand up as a man for the cause of righteousness. If me speaking out helps people then I am doing with or without your approval. I am not seeking new friends but I am standing to live free of persecution as gay man, and it is my heart that every gay person regardless or race, gender, or ethnicity lives free as well.
There is to much at stake to play who gets the name “gay activist” or lead the next vigil. If your voice or my voice is not effecting real change and helping somebody other than a news a clipping or blurb on the evening news or picture opt then you really do not have much to talk about.