Is anyone familiar with the story of the gay black male? It is a double damnation; in every sense what makes me alive, that which defines me as a living breathing organism, is denied. Everything that I live for is a fight. I know better than to have thoughts that leave me feeling inferior, nor do I seek to prove myself to those who oppose me, hate me, or misunderstand me. I comprehend that what I am, is what I am – and I will not stop living my life because you say it isn’t right. For whatever reason, I am the way that I am, and I will always be.
I have become friends with a black man in his fifties; we both attend the New School University. I consider him very wise, articulate, and insightful; a bona fide individual who has traveled the weary road searching for his own personal beliefs and reality and has delivered himself to a strong sense of being; a person who makes choices based on his own conclusions. And although our intellectual and academia interests unite us on many levels, I feel that it is our blackness that cements a bond of unity, however, as our blackness in a historical sense binds us with or without our consent, the individual experience of our lives are distinctly autonomous.
When we meet each other in passing, whether we walk to our subway stations after class, or meet for lunch, I speak within myself to be alert and focused on our topic of the day, in case I fail to comprehend a missed opportunity of inspiration; a passage way to the interconnectedness of things. I approach these matters attentively. The words of a black man who has been blessed with the inheritance of an open mind once belonging to his ancestors and spiritual guides; a life form who has besieged his being with the experiential; a perspective that is at once enlightened, provocative, and at times angered – should be a savored feast of truth as they are words without conceit.
In fact these words are filled with reflective speech that represents today as it really were, tomorrow as it will be, and these words breach the agreement of the revolving sun and moon and time – which will never change course until all is done and we are gone. These are words challenging the foundation of lived reality; deconstructing the history that has made us believers and delivers the conscious of him whose breath gave birth to each word back to the day when crack first defecated upon the urban street. Contending each dawn and dusk when politics and its practitioners finally succeeded at selling us out to finish what manifest destiny began (or could not foresee), when bomb annihilated existence, when renaissance masked wounds and hurried division, when slave and master set sail.
This man who intrigues me with his unfaltering passion to answer what is answerable, lest you be fooled to think otherwise, had confided in me that there is no one I admirer more or whose wrath I would fear, if I were the enemy, than the man who is black and gay – he has nothing to lose. America has spoken and they have yet to open wide the doors to blacks (and other minorities), and it denies the truth of my sexuality. On a daily basis, I must face the reality that because of either my ethnicity or my sexuality I will encounter outright or institutionalized discrimination. They dare take with their small hands my existence, as I am, the absolute freedoms that belong to the enigmatic, named Humanity? I will fight with my last breath!