I remember being a little faggot; at least that’s what they called me. I was a faggot; color didn’t matter, dashing down the street, hurdling over 6-inch curbs. Though we all looked alike to outsiders, to me, they looked like dark demons: red eyed, with needles for teeth. To them, I looked like, well I’m not sure. You’d have to ask them. With feet that have always been too big for my frame, I began to trip over myself. I was near the front door of 744 Gravel Cork Rd., and just as I made it onto my front lawn, *WHACK*. I fell to the grass and covered myself up so at least if they stomped me, maybe they wouldn’t get my face. They didn’t stomp me. As all the other kids in the neighborhood arrived, the Jamaican boy and his sister, both seven years my senior, grabbed me (one by the feet, one by the wrist). They swung me like a jump rope counting down from ten. When they said one, I went hurtling into the air and landed in a puddle of water on my mother’s cement driveway. I remember the eldest brother watching and not having much to say.
I’ve always felt uncomfortable around heterosexual Black men. I’ve always hated heterosexual Black men.
There’s a lot of killing right now. A lot at the hands of systemic racism and the police force in America is just the vessel. Though my skin and genitals say Black Male, my spirit does not. I’ve long separated myself identity from being a Black Male. I call myself a Black Queermale, which for me holds a very separate distinction. I am not like them, therefore I have not shed a tear, much less blinked when Trayvon Martin was killed by a vigilante, or Michael Brown was left in the street like an opossum hit by a 18-wheeler. Most recently, I thought it was sad when I heard about Freddie Gray. I was also disgusted by the way the police (allegedly) broke his neck — killing him in their custody; I was disgusted as an outsider for those people. Not those people of Baltimore, but for Blacks, because I am not one of them. Though, at times, I think I should be.
Now I know hypothetically, if the Ku Klux Klan were to run through my neighborhood lynching niggas, they wouldn’t say, well he’s a Black Queermale, not a Black. However, I’ve never been habitually abused physically or emotionally by the KKK, so I don’t see them as much a threat. However, to me, Black men in my overwhelming experience have been like a pack of wild hyenas. I had a thought when all this epidemic of Black slayings was happening, and the thought is not kosher: If they want act like a pack of wild dogs, then perhaps they should be put down like them. Then I looked at the Black man in my life, specifically last night (April 28, 2015), and I thought, “I’m falling in love with a Black man.”
I look at him as a Black man, and not the queer adjective I’ve designated as a noun for myself, not because he’s masculine in mannerism and physical in appearance, but because of the fellowship he has with heterosexual Black men (one that has eluded me). The friendships he has forged, the comradery, the philanthropy towards Black men; these things have eluded me moving me continents away from my kin. When I look at him, I see a Black man and I see love. I’ve expressed my ideology to him and my hate; his eyes say he’s sad for the demons I keep as company. To think that I would be disgusted by him or wouldn’t be moved by his untimely death if I didn’t know he was a same gender loving man actually does hurt me to my core. I am hoping for change.
We once had a conversation on his antique couch; he asked if I believe people were put into our lives for a reason. I lied. I said no. Though, I do believe it’s true. I believe he is my gateway into loving Black men again.