black gay men

Learning Lesson from Black Gay Couples

Theory: In order to win in this game of love you must study it.

Practice: Befriending and hanging out with more couples.

A good friend of mine invited me on a Sunday morning to visit the National Museum of African-American History & Culture with a group of friends and himself. After the cultural partaking we, a group of five Black queer male professionals,went to Boqueria on M Street in the District. Over an assortment of bacon, pan fried potatoes, with Black hands quickly scooping up mini pancakes, and lush lips sipping unlimited mimosas the usual chatter persisted; we spoke of traveling, those of us not familiar with each other gave the usual banter informing the others about our careers, how we ended up in the District of Columbia and where we grew up. Boys and men came up; anyone that’s in his late 20s and early 30s living in a metropolitan area of a big city with a heavy concentration of Black and other colored Gay/Bisexual men knows the difference must be noted. Two of the men at the table were in committed relationships. One in a commuters relationship (I’ve trademarked it).

Being one that travels for a living, I’ve rephrased the term Long Distant relationship, because it seems to have a negative connotation to it already planting the seeds of difficulty in the couples or the couple-to-be heads.

They laughed when they talked about their significant other, the smiled, they mad awkward faces; they cursed and lauded heir love all in one humorous quip.

After brunch, we road to MGM Casino in Maryland. We were there to celebrate a friend of theirs who had just made partner at his law firm. Friends and family were in a private room with champagne and finger foods.

There was a child, a Black boy who was happy to see recognizable faces and giving them hugs with the kind of happiness only a child can. I’m an introvert unless I’m intoxicated and I didn’t have enough mimosas at our previous location so I sat back, watched and admired. Ear hustling I started to recognize peoples relationships with one another. It quickly came to my attention that the honoree was there with his long term partner and the gleeful child was theirs.

My eyes stayed on them as a collective. I wanted to watch how they interacted; I needed questions answered: where they truly happy? Were the smiles and physical touches of affection authentic? Did they seem to pay attention to one other in a room full of loved ones? Could that be me one day?

Many of my friends have had relationships– some successful some a match made in hell. But I’ve never been consistently exposed to Black gay couples.

You want to be a writer you find a circle of peers who are talented writers. You want to own a Fortune 500 company you network with successful business owners.

I just think to become successful at queer relationships one may want to study first hand and enjoy being around Black gay couples.

Dating Men with only G.E.D.s

Wednesday

 

We sat in the car and a friend — an educator said, “its called ‘standardized test'”. He emphasized standardized the way passionate people do. He punctuated  it with his hands the way homosexuals do.


Thursday
Unexpectedly, we were in the presence of modern Vikings. The Dutch military on a plane trounced us in their 6’3″ and above-ness, their statues physiques and politeness. They produced conversation just among us Americans (huddled in a corner, gawking) about what we like; I was called picky. To get a rise out of the tall girl, skin the color of a perfect moccasin, I jokingly said “he must have a high school diploma or a G.E.D.”.
vikings_season2_episode1_history_1-E
Months Ago
I once had a crush on a boy who smoked. He smoked. He smoked. He smoked. He smoked. Perhaps I shouldn’t call him boy. There was a young man I had a crush on and he smoked and he smoked.
——–
Black children on average since 1970 have had lower standardized test scores than their White counterparts. Studies have shown this happens before kindergarten with the gap widening well into adulthood.
This man with his Black&Milds has a diploma, but dropped out of community college. I have a mother and father with no more formal education that a high school diploma. My generation is the first on both sides of my family to go to university. I was encouraged not to take the SAT, because that standardized test does not adequately measure the aptitude and intellect of African Americans; rather, I was encouraged to take the ACT. I did perform better on the latter rather than the former. I am the first person and only person in my immediate family to graduate with a secondary education degree, but I don’t believe I am the smartest of four boys.  I have given brain to plenty of men without secondary degrees. Men that still read more than I ever had. Men that still researched more than I ever had. Men that hypothesized and critically thought better than I ever had.
 
So when some White man on a plane full of Dutch Gods tells me people with G.E.D.s are lazy or that a diploma is not good enough for his attraction to a partner I reeks of privilege and standardization. Then the moment comes when you try to explain “I know plenty of men that have read more than me, researched more than me, think critically better than me with their G.E.D.s” and he refutes it with all his might and tries to segregate those people as anomalies. You sigh only to see a person of color to confirm with them and then you bring the conversation back to where is began (more lighthearted) about desires you would want in someone climbing your back and all I can think of is:
Black&Mild
I don’t date men who are Black and mild–
settling in between thin pink lips
white hands handling them.
He must be of something else–
Black and of earth
and of earth and Black.
It’s becoming like a little black dress
on any plus size woman.
I don’t date men who are Black and mild
he must be rooted and lit
as fuck.

Before The HIV: Part 4 of 4 (Origin Story)

I wonder if he’s shouting Black Lives Matter now. I wonder if he’s protesting the senseless murders of Black men (and Black women). I know I rarely say it. I haven’t bought into it. I haven’t surmised how much I truly believe the statement when I’ve placed my own mortality on the line several times. Still, I wonder if Black lives matter to him now. I wonder if the statement only pertains to Black men slain by enforcement officers — if it does that’s fine by me, no animosity at all. Causes should be specific, plights are. I wonder how politically and socially conscious he is.

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It’s not that Black lives didn’t matter back in 2010 when we helped one another contract the disease, but obviously we cared a little less for our lives than we’d like to admit.

Things change rapidly. Though we weren’t in the midst of the 1980s rapid discovery and explosion of HIV/AIDS, 2005s mentality of the virus was nothing like it is in 2016. I remember back then if you met someone online there was very little exchange about HIV/AIDS status. Of course websites like A4A had a drop down menu that let you include your HIV status: positive, negative, unknown or it could be left blank. But rarely beyond that tidbit of information did men flat out ask one another. Fast-forward to 2016 (and in a testament to mattering more) plenty of men (if I haven’t gotten to it first) will ask me my status (and I love  it).

 The act of mattering to one self is a very internal feeling that is shaped by external forces whether they be government, media, faith, or family. On the surface my act of unprotected sex was the naivety of adolescents — I’m a young Black invincible gay motherfucker (imagine it in a Samuel L. Jackson cadence and tone).Under the surface I was condition to not matter to myself. I can’t speak for him.

I met him online the summer before my Hampton freshmen year. I fell quick and hard, hormones raging for this 6’3″ brown skin older boy with the legs of a soccer player and dick like the trunk of Snuffleupagus. We dated all freshmen year. We broke up all freshmen year. We reconciled all freshmen year. We fucked all freshmen year in my lone freshmen room (my roommate found out I sucked big black dicks and in some misguided notion thought I’d regress back to baby dicks requested to move out). We fucked raw all freshmen year. I fucked others all freshmen year. I fucked others raw, at times, and I fucked others protected, at times, all freshmen year.

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The most annoying question I repeatedly get since having HIV is “how did you get it?” I can’t recall anyone ever asking me “are you okay?”, or “are you mentally and emotionally healthy regarding it?”. Do I matter? Do Black lives still matter? I’m not sure how I contracted it. Well, the real question that they want to know and some do ask “do you know who gave it to you?” It never mattered to me, so why does it matter to so many other people. Nosey no empathy having motherfuckers — I say. It seems once you’ve contracted the disease you become an alien and according to what people have said to me once they know, I now know extraterrestrial lives matter but not my black one.

I understood the Emmy nominated production that is Beyonce’s Lemonade right away. I don’t matter to the world, but why am I also being betrayed and disregarded by the man (or men) I love? After freshmen year, I didn’t think I was coming back to Hampton so we ended it. I don’t recall the reason why I didn’t want to go back or didn’t think I’d be able to. We knew long distance was not logistical for us. However, we kept in touch through penis pictures and videos. About 6 months before the semester was to start I found out I was indeed returning to HU (the real one) and I proceeded to tell him. He said we would pick up where we left off.

He didn’t mean the monogamy or the relationship, but instead the back and forth. I wish I could say I remember it like yesterday, but I don’t. Somehow he told me; it could have been by phone call, email, plane or train. A week before I was to trek back to HU (the real one) he had confessed he was in a new relationship.

I still carried on with him my whole sophomore year off and on. Sex. Unprotected fornication. He was mine first. The first boy I swore I ever loved. Sex. Unprotected fornication in their home. He was mine first and he said I’d be his last. Swore he’d break it off. Some first year psych major may say I didn’t hold myself to a high standard, because I didn’t value my own self worth. I didn’t value myself enough to demand to be the only one in his life or have protected sex; if he was fucking me raw they must have been fucking raw and seven years later I think to myself who wasn’t he fucking raw. I guess Black lives didn’t matter.

I can admit: I haven’t cared for living for some time now. I didn’t care before the HIV and haven’t shifted my self-worth post diagnosis. I admit I’m a 27 year old insecure and suicidal Black gay male. I go off and on meds, even though I know that could create complications and lead to death. Hell, recently I almost overdosed on prescription drugs and alcohol, full disclosure: it was not my intent, but when I woke up in my car on the side of the road at 5am vomiting I couldn’t help, but think why I couldn’t have just died instead. I hypothesized (and I’m probably not the only one) that until Black gay men really internalize the feeling of worth, value, of mattering HIV/AIDS will never be a thing of the past for the Black community.

It was (guesstimating) maybe 5-7 months after we stopped having sex that I was diagnosed. It was (guesstimating) 3 years later that we both confided in our statuses to one another with no anomosity. No questions of how it was contracted just two Black men now making sure we were both okay, making sure we knew we mattered with honesty.

Gays are Choosing Lust over Love

My fetishes for certain attributes and things have definitely ruined some romantic relationships. I’m not sure when I became one of those Jack’d boys, but I did. Now I am hardly ever negative, For instance, I’d rather list my wants rather than my dislikes. However, I’ve had several instances when I have passed up some really great guys because they let their body slip while we were dating. I would stay to entertain them with my company, but as their bellies started to bulge and their biceps started to diminish, my disdain for sex with them grew. There are times when my sex drive was high and because someone (again a serious someone) did not have on exactly what I wanted I refused to have sex. The worst instance has to be the height requirement. While 6’2’’ is an excessive demand, I really do prefer 5’11’’ at least. There was a time in a relationship admittedly and embarrassingly stopped respecting my significant other because he was 5’9.” Of course there were other factors involved as well.

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