Editor’s note: Rob Smith is a writer, lecturer and openly gay U.S. Army and Iraq War veteran. His work has appeared in USA Today, The Huffington Post, Metro Weekly and Salon.com among others. He is also a contributing author to "For Colored Boys ...," an anthology featuring the stories of gay men of color to be released on March 13. He can be reached at www.robsmithonline.com and on Twitter @robsmithonline.
By Rob Smith, Special to CNN
I’m a typical gay male with a defining feature that is atypical in my community.
When I log onto my computer in the morning I check my favorite gay blogs. There, I will undoubtedly see images of people who don’t look like me attached to stories written by other people who don’t look like me. Above the page and to the right of the text are ads for various products being sold. They are modeled by people who don’t look like me. Maybe they are the underwear models made to be eye candy for the brand being promoted. Perhaps they’re the people used to represent the typical gay couple that would be welcome on that cruise, or in that hotel.
When I see people who do look like me written about and shown on my favorite gay blogs, they will most likely share my skin color but not my sexual orientation.
They probably have gotten themselves into trouble for saying or doing something homophobic. When I see the story I will roll my eyes at their stupidity and steel myself for the onslaught of hateful comments that will populate the comment section. The comments always sting because they come from members of my community. I will know exactly what is coming but I read anyway. After years of reading such comments I wonder if this is what all the people in my community who don’t look like me are really thinking about those who do.
When I’m on the train, I read my favorite gay magazine. I can’t remember having ever seen someone who looks like me on the cover. When I read it I see more ads - for underwear, cologne, cruises, hotels, and clothes - with people who don’t look like me. None of the writers look like me, nor are there any stories about anyone who looks like me. When I finally see an advertisement with someone who shares my skin color, the advertisement is for HIV medication.
While I’m waiting for my friend in the gayborhood hotspot I notice that none of the bartenders, DJs, or waiters look like me, nor do most of the clientele. Out of boredom, I fiddle around with the Grindr mobile dating app on my iPhone. My screen is filled with different faces, bodies, and torsos of men in the area. One particularly handsome man attracts my attention, until I read the “NO ASIANS” typed in angry capped letters on his profile. I wonder how I would feel if I were Asian.
After having a few drinks with my friend, I walk home through the garment district in midtown Manhattan. I see a gay male couple walking hand in hand down the street. They also do not look like me. In fact, they look like they could be in one of the gay cruise ads I see in my favorite magazine. Their relaxed and happy faces turn frightened when they see me, and they immediately cease holding hands and separate. On this late night in an unfamiliar area of the city, I am not seen as a member of the LGBT community. I am black. I am male. I am a threat.
The wary looks and quickened paces of nervous white women on the streets of New York are those I’ve become used to over the years, but the reaction from this gay male couple is different. My first instinct is to smile at them, but I don’t. I dart into the subway station and think about it during every second of the ride back uptown. I feel hurt, sad, lonely, and invisible. I feel bad for this couple who, for whatever reason, think that they could be in danger around me just for being themselves. I wonder what books they read, what shows they watch, what magazines they read. I wonder what gay “looks” like to them.
When I get home and turn on the television, I flip through all of the channels that seem to have more gay characters and personalities on them than ever before. I see Nate Berkus, Brad Goreski, Rachel Maddow, the characters on reruns of "Queer as Folk," Rosie O'Donnell, Tabatha Coffey, the gay couple on "Modern Family," and perhaps TV’s most recognizable gay teen, Kurt Hummel of "Glee."
After a bit more television watching, I fall asleep for another day knowing that our community has so many colors, and still wondering why I can only seem to find one.
The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Rob Smith.
Rob, I hear you and so do the people at CNN. But, like most news organization they have ADD. it will be forgotten. I'm going to take a leap and say I'm older than you, but I've been a reporter/writer (I've written a novel and a screenplay) all black all gay and have it it rejected ... but what do you see? Ru Paul; Noah's Arc and Tyler Perry coming out the closet.
So complain that you don't see characters like you. Well I don't see characters that look OR act like me. Hey just wanted to get that off my chest, but I havent given up.
Rob...I thought you were straight, my bad!
Remember : Every gay and lesbian came from a STRAIGHT couple! Peace!
Hey Rob –
Sounds like you would do a lot better over here in San Francisco. I am a straight man, but I can tell you that absolutely no one here would think twice about your color versus orientation. To be considered a freak in this town, you gotta be a FREAK. I see interracial gay couples all the time. You deserve to live more comfortable with yourself seeing as you don't seem very out of the ordinary to me.
No so true Sam. I live in San Francisco, in the Castro and as a gay black man I exist in a state somewhere between threat and invisible. After the passage of Prop 8 I felt compelled to were a rainbow flag to stop the awful looks I received from folks visiting MY neighborhood and assuming I was an outsider. Racism in the SF gay community is alive and well.
The gay community as portrayed by the media:
They're white. They're middle class. They're ablebodied.
What problems do these people have?
you're right Joyce, that's exactly how the gay community is portrayed in ALL forms of media in and out of the gay community which is the problem. The gay community is as diverse as the United States... lets start showing that!
"The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Rob Smith."
No sir, they are not. I could have written this piece. And so could many of my brethren. Thank you very much for expressing my frustrations with the so-called "rainbow children".
I agree. Totally.
Thank you for having the courage to write this article!
I sing with my local gay chorus. I've been with them for 14 years. We actively recruit guys of different 'colors' (Lord, I hate that word!!!) But in the chorus romances, we have all sorts of combinations, and all are welcomed. White, black, hispanic, etc…When we party, it doesn't matter what you look like.
Maybe it's a difference between St. Louis and New York.
I agree that there is a disparity in the gay media between white gays and those of any other skin tone. (Ignoring the fact that many white boys tan themselves to be darker-than-dark…)
I don't know if or when the media will ever respond, but it needs to happen.
Being gay and Latino, I can relate to the wave of discrimination that has washed over our community since the letters LGBT have become as popular as the letters COKE. It's disconcerting. I too feel lonely, as an outcast, and poorly represented in the media–whatever happened to THE L WORD and NOAH's ARK? I thought those shows were starting us off on the right foot. Regretfully, it seems like electing a black man to the White House has caused the country to prime with a coat of white the entertainment industry, and most advertising, infusing our collective consciousness with the false idea that America–the tolerant–is smooth creamy and pasty white. Or perhaps it's this horrible economic depression that has buried minorities under a tsunami of white foam–are Blanquitos the only ones with some coin left to spend? Are the rest of us so unemployed and so underwater that marketing folk no longer think of us as viable consumers? I post these questions not with a desire to be facetious–no–I too feel confused, and long for valuable answers. The country I love continues to elude me (and my friends).
The ostracization ya'll must face seems to hurt. Give it time; this too shall pass.
but then again being brown hasn't passed, so idk how true that statement is...lol.
But give it time; our generation, up and coming, is gonna take over, and we're pretty liberal
Rob Smith goes Hard! All truth, depending on where you live and socialize. I live in and socialize in places where I do see myself reflected (here in Washington, DC, which was also true in Chicago, Oakland, Cleveland and Atlanta). But, I work and volunteer with BGM organizations, write for BGM magazines and books, and participate in BGM social groups. Rob may need to get out more, outside of the Chelsea/West Village milieu. He may finally find a mirror once he does.
I enjoyed reading this, it's because GAY BLACK MEN don't have a community, we are alway's apart of something or affiliated with, we are laborers & consumers, when we begin to build, own, and buy property in areas where we live, then we will have our own communities, until then your dolllars are spent in their bars, stores and neighborhoods. Want to see us in a upscale magazine? produce one and get the support you require from brothers who talk about OUR COMMUNITY- what a crook.....we have never had a community supported by us by us.
Are you kidding me Robinson????? You, of all people, have NO say so....
Its always the one with a White lover trying to prove that they are not a sell out... You dont have to own anything on your community..just try toown your own home...
...the real fact of the matter (this in especially in response to people of Levi's ilk) is that the major predilection of the American white male is to ALWAYS remind nonwhite MALES that a "colored" person is not one of them. And they can be and totally loving caring non racist person. In probably 90% of situations that i have been in, in life, if I am around white people, especially white men, they almost always allude to, infer, refer &/or directly indicate/ say whatever that I am Black and not white, at some point of the relationship. They cannot help it, it seems. It is like a built-in neurological habit, like a pathological tick. So as a boringly straight male of African descent, who really can care less about gayness, the real point is here is Black Folk get extremely tired & annoyed of ALWAYS reminded, subtlly or otherwise. We know our extra "coloring" is a very beautiful thing, however, In reality, we are HUMAN BEINGS first and whatever your so called race, second. If you can't deal with that then get the hell off the planet....
It is a shame that most people do not realize that this article isn't necessarily through a "black" perspective. It's through a perspective of People of Color. There is little mention by his rhetoric that he is a black gay male other than the line that says "I am black. I am male. I am a threat." and the picture of him above. If that line and his picture were to be omitted, I would have thought it was written by any non-Caucasian gay male. His argument is broader in the sense that most, if not all, gay people of color experience. The article is also not published to merely give way for this man to "whine" as many people are saying. It serves as a voice, an opinion, a truth that is happening to the socially discriminated.
I am a gay college-aged Asian male – I find myself to be attractive, intelligent, open minded, and most of all empathic. And yet, I've continued to hear "No offense, but I'm not into Asians" from White, Black, and Latino gay men. No matter how nicely anyone has put it, it is a form of ignorance and close-mindedness from all sides. But I stay strong because what matters are those people who can get over this. So this article isn't a dating call saying "Why won't you choose me? I'm nice and perfectly eligible? Is it because I'm a minority?". It is saying that we as a people should understand that the predicament is present and in order to make our world any better, we have to respect that a problem is present like all other issues in this world. I will not waste my time for those who are merely bashing gays – they do not deserve my time. But for those who are on the fence or are misinterpreting the article, I urge you to consider the article – because I am pretty damn sure that if this article was not posted up today, you wouldn't have given one second to ruminate about it.
Right on Charles. Right on.
Im a straight black guy who dates white women, but guess what? It takes a LITTLE bit more work to get them to relax around me than black women. It's like the story of the Emperor with no clothes. They ARE afraid of the responses they will receive from other people (black and white) but then they chill out and have fun. Just saying this because a lot of people who comment here swear that "nobody cares about color" but they DO. And I bet the majority of those people who "don't care" have never dated outside their race. It's easy to not care as long as you keep interactions with other races to friendly exchanges, but the real test is showing affection in front of the world. The writer is pointing out what he sees in the actions of others. It's hard to explain to my white friends that when I walk with them down the street nobody runs away, that when I go out to bars with them that suddenly white women are friendlier... they don't know how real Jim Crow becomes when a black male is in public by HIMSELF.
I think they here you. They just feel awkward about acknowledging it. Also, white people and their wildly excessive fear of the strange black man on the street is annoying as hell (been there), but it ain't Jim Crow. My parents grew up under Jim Crow and what we deal with is nothing like Jim Crow. A lot of it is the irrational belief that AT ANY MINUTE, you could be a crime victim. It's funny because when I'm walking around London at night, it's far less tense. But coming home to DC or NY, the sense of apprehension on the streets at night is palpable. And fear is catching.
I meant, they "hear" you.
There are so many ignorant people in this world...
When you look at ANY gay magazine, website, blog... it screams out WHITE, WHITE, WHITE, What the author is saying oh so eloquently is that there aren't any men of color. If you go to gay bars, they cater to white men. If you go to gay websites, they cater to white men. Gay Magazine covers are usually white men.
To put it in perspective, when I look at Covergirl magazines. I not only see white women, but women of color as well. When I step into Sephora, I see a black woman on the featured ad, and a latino woman on an ad for eyelashes. Going back to a gay store, everything is, well, white. What gives?
I am a straight latina woman, and I know how you feel, as a minority I know and do not listen to these negative idiots on here... Be strong and be you my friend....
Nice post. As a gay white male I will say, in my opinion, it seems very hard for most people to see the world beyond their own rose colored glasses.
I'm gay and white, and I never get noticed by the LGBT "community" that exist in bars, clubs, and other venues. I'm not bothered by it though; most people, gay and straight, that are really into the bar and club scenes are just jerks.
Not necessarily jerks – they are just missing an education and cultural development by lazy parents who also missed these things in their lives. Ignorance breeds ignorance. They have misplaced values. You should be proud of yourself and feel empathy for them.
People into the gay bar and club scene are mainly young, dumb and full of. Well, you know. We all went through that phase if we were lucky enough to come out before we're 50. Black, white, Asian, Latino – almost all young ones love to go to the clubs after growing up in the closet. It's part of finally being free. Most of us also grow up and grow out of that phase and we look back and realize how superficial it was. But, as long as it's kept in perspective, it's a lot of fun too.
Rob, I fully believe that this is a sincere set of problems for you, but criticizing some of the silliest, most superficial aspects of the gay world for being silly and superficial just shows that you have a lot of growing up to do.
You looks over 30, so I recommend that you diversify your social life to include activities other than cruising on Grindr or drinking at Hells Kitchen bars and clubs. Oh and for the love of God, I beg everyone reading this to please stop watching Bravo reality shows.
At least you didn't mention the abominable A-List New York (though it has two black characters and a main Latino character, small comfort in an otherwise embarrassing show). You also conveniently left out Rupaul's Drag Race, which is probably the most popular gay show on TV, stars a black gay man, features a majority POC cast and in my opinion is at least an amusing waste of time.
Just from reading your reply I see Rob's piece went sar far over your head you'll never get it....I guess we POC should be glad we got one show with color in it...Rob's piece just goes to show that no matter what city or area of the country you live in that the gay community is just a reflection of american society....Chris you need to wake up and take off your rainbow lensed glasses, I suggest you re-read the article go out into your community and the reflect on the two, and if you still come to your same conclusion go out into an enviroment of POC and see if then you get a wake up call.....
Out of curiosity , did this guy ever watch the critically acclaimed series Noah's Arc? Im just saying. Also, not to defend anyone or anything, but NY'ers in general have a big problem, Im in that group fyi. We have a tendency to get so wrapped up in our own world and worries and woes that we neglect to really see the opportunities this city actually has and are extremely underutilized by the gay community. In a general blanket statement you can tell people are in their own worlds by the rush and shove to get up the stairs and down the sidewalk to our jobs/destinations. People gay straight or otherwise have their faces in their cell phones, pdas, headphones, texting, or in their own little bubble. I know I have been plowed over before b/c of this. This behavior and defensiveness makes everyone feel like they are the only ones feeling the hurt. not something you can do about it except observe and be aware of your surrounding and please for the love of G-d do not assume anything about anyone! In a city like ours, 9 times out of 9 assuming just makes an ass of you and Me. Explore NYCs vast gay resources and just brush off the things that irritate you b/c in a city with this many people, its not about you, its about them .
Only this issue isn't just in NYC – it's basically anywhere in America. Your point is valid that people are wrapped up in their own priorities in NYC, but what he's talking about isn't work or responsibilities. It's the leisurely conscious things people do that are still discriminatory, at the least ignorant.
If he lived in, say, Utah or Montana, even San Francisco, I could understand his compliant better. But he's in NYC. There is some of every type of person in NYC. He needs to expand his circle. Yes there are white bars that will not be particularly welcoming to a black man because all the guys are there trying to cruise white guys. JR's in DC is like that. Remingtons too. But there are plenty of bars and clubs that attract a diverse clientele. There are also dating sites. Cast a wider net and you'll catch more fish!
Never trust a good writer.
I am a white gay male who is routinely ignored by the gay 'scene'. Doesn't bother me at all, I just keep on doing what I do. I've marched for equality, raised money for gay organizations and when I used to go to gay bars I would always get looks of 'what are you doing here', and while also being ignored by the bartenders.
Really? Do you have any idea why they look over you. You didnt explain much.
There are a number of resources for gays of all colors (and tastes) out there. The fact that you haven't found them either shows you're lazy or not curious. Most gay people don't live in a world that looks like them – it's a reality we accept. It can also be an advantage as we don't take everything for granted. Complaining about it sounds whiny and a little bit immature.
I have to agree on the whinyness of this article. His intended audience appears to be the racist gay white men who don't notice him... yeah, not exactly going to get any results trying to change their minds. As a black gay man myself, I will say that it may have been easier for me growing up to see some kind of role model in the media, but that would just be conjecture. I don't need to validate my existence by the daily images that I see. All I have to do is look in the mirror.
Reblogged this on PLUG.
I guess the term "equal representation" means nothing to you some of you guys. I would be hesitant though on asking the media to give more gay black men a spotlight, but that's only because I feel like they would just make us out to be awful parodies of ourselves (extremely feminine, sassy, etc). while to the untrained mind there may appear to be nothing wrong with presenting us in such a manner, it could possibly lead to even more stereotyping and prejudice that gay black men already endure. For that reason, I think there should be more representation of LGBT on all spectrum (race, gender expression, masculinity, femininity).
I just read "A day in the life of a gay black man" and thought,if that were 50 years ago,I bet it would Involve a lot of running.
Rob, I for one am so sorry for the pain and discrimination you feel just for being who you are. As a white, mainstream Christian, straight woman, I cannot even pretend to understand your life experiences, but I just want to say that your life matters to God and to the people who love you. Every person has a unique and valuable contribution to make to better the world and we are all in this together. May you find a bright spot of love and inclusion today brother!
And above, ladies and gentlemen, is what a real Christian is...thank you for your kind words. It takes a lot of wisdom to realize that this issue is a real one. In the end, there are things that matter, but some matter even more.
A true Christian. Thank you for your kindness!
Your words could give faith to the faithless.
Thank you dear lady. A true champion of the human race.
I think he's shocked at the fact that gays would actually discriminate in any fashion due to all the discrimination and struggles they have gone through. I also believe he forgot just one simple thing. We are all still human beings with hypocritical ways and different held standards. It's a cruel, cruel world.
Black folks underwent centuries of intense discrimination in the US – heck, they still do. Yet this group, as a whole, is one of the most hom.ophobic segment of society. And it is a reflection of their religious beliefs.
NO, that's what the media would have you believe. I would say that white republicans are more anti-gay than black folks. I'm black, female, straight and Christian and I have no issues with Gay people, whether black white or Asian or any other race.
These stories of the "other" sell. We love these stories to death. Everybody is an "other". We are a world filled with "others". Why is that? Because we are intolerant, angry, judgemental, petty, greedy, and everything except accepting.
HUMBLE YOURSELF AROUND INSINSETIVE PEOPLE
I really wonder what my teacher would say if I used this for my current event.. I'm so tempted.
why not? you got a start right here...
Hi, what about Lafayette in True Blood? He happens to be black, but is the most awesome gay character on television. At least they're making some progress...
Rob Smith is somebody who spends most of his waking hours reading gay blogs and gay magazines. For Colored Boys will be about Hispanic gays, because Smith is convinced that not only are media ignoring black gays, he and his friend are the only black gays.
You have my sympathy and my attention. I'm old enough to remember when the only people pictured in the media either were Caucasian and straight or they allowed others to think they were straight in order to work. Thank heavens those times are gone but yes, there is much room for improvement. While I have seen one show dramatizing life for non-Caucasian gay males, it was only one and I'm afraid there was room for improvement there as well.
Thank you for pointing out this inequity. And I apologize if you received any nervous looks from me. As a woman in public, I tend to be wary of all strangers.
Thats your issue???????? That people have a racial preference to who they date???? For a gay black man you sound like a stupid white girl....
And what a lovely person you appear to be! Comments like yours and those of the other haters here just prove his point, but you poisonous ones don't see it.
Hello Mr. Rob Smith,
Thank you for sharing your opinion. Raising consciousness is not an easy task; and perhaps that is why it is needed all the more. Comments on your article, however anecdotal, are probably a reflection of the society we are in now. The question would be: what can be done to bring about a change…for those who would care for it.
Yawn. I'm going to write an article because I'm white, straight, never took money from the government, I've worked all my life, I don't screw around on my wife, I've never been in trouble with the police – get the point? I'm a minority! I don't care if you're a Rastafarian with one leg – if you're nice to me, I'll be nice to you – simple as that. Next!
Exactly. I'm asian, I spent two years in Iraq with a unit based out of Fort Benning, I go to school now for Computer Science, I like ham and cheese sandwiches, etc. What does race have anything to do with this? As if me posting: "Day in the Life of a Straight Asian Man", will make people say, "Oh now THAT'S an article I need to read!"
Wow, as a gay Asian man, your comment was filled with ignorance and I am hurt to see someone of my own race be so closed-minded. Just because it's not specifically about you, it doesn't mean that it's not important. If by chance you feel so comfortable with being a straight Asian man, I am glad you are in that position. But to believe you've found an excuse to feel comfortable doesn't mean the rest of your people are being treated correctly.
Move to ATL....there is a healthy black gay population
this article is gay
Paul......why how mighty straight white male of you, I feel for you man, I had no idea that it was so hard being a straight white male in America......since you have it so hard how about switching places and you become a GAY POC (person of color)...get your skinned tanned, change your name to Pedro or Pherrel or Pho, move you into an urban area, how bout it....
Blck perverts is all they are...doesn't mean anything by the skin tone...a perverts is a pervert and they chose to be perverts.
said the desert of the grain of sand....
If you think that's bad, try a "black gay female atheist".
And grossly overweight, I'll bet...
Aren't you the straight Asian war vet? And what's with the name "Matt"....you're Asain....shouldn't it be Chou-Lee or Wu-Tung?
Strike! good one Matt
or bi female atheist, bi women are even hated by gay groups. im white though, for what it's worth.
Obviously you are not invisible if that couple saw you and stopped holding hands. Haha. This is the most ridiculous article I have ever read. Can't believe I just wasted 5 minutes of my life reading it. And yes, I am gay and a minority also.
And then you wasted even more time posting this comment. Go figure.
really?? why do black people always make an issue about race?? Blacks are the most racist people ever and it's all based on insecurity. "I don't like bing black so everyone must hate me too" give me a break. We like black people get over it.
A white gay chub.
you know you black guys like white gay chubs
AMEN IAM WITH YOU ON THAT DAM IAM A BLACK WOMAN AND MY DAD IS BLUE OK
you just don't get..white people never do..u don't see him for who he really is...u see his color...i guarantee u, if a white guy was walking toward the gay couple holding hands...they never would have separated...they viewed the writer as threat because of the color of his skin...you're not only chubby but you're clueless too!
That is a stupid statement. Of course white people see color, same as asian people, or latino people, or (gasp) black people – but that is not the same thing as racism. I hate to burst your 'every white person is a racist' mentality, but skin color can be also be used as a narrowing identifier of an individual. For example – "Look for a black gentelmen wearing the blue jeans and white shirt sitting by the window in the cafe". It is a shame that most people would hear that differently than you – see skin color is not simply an identifier of an indivudual. Racism is an ACTION – not a label. Stop being a victim.
EWWW THATS SO GAYYY. disgusting
Funny, that's just what your mother said about YOU!
Last time I checked their are A LOT OF gay black men too. I don't understand why CNN publishes such garbage on their site. "The quickened pace of nervous white woman....." Please I live in New York City I think you might see a black person every two moments white woman must be sprinting around the city if there scared of a black guy walking by. This article is just so pointless, like we get it cnn gay people are really discriminated against. We should all feel awful for them got it. Black people too ;)
It"s a shame how many people are spewing venom at this man for simply sharing his experience – he did not say his observations were that of all gay black males, he was simply stating his point of view. Whether you admit it or not, your experiences will have a permanent effect on how you see the world, and you're lying to yourself if you say it doesn't. This is why America has become so IGNORANT – we refuse to respect others opinions if they do not mirror our own. I thought I would read some intelligent and thoughtful responses here, but now I might as well go to Fox.com
Amen! I swear, just. Little bit of empathy would go such a long way towards healing all the ugly in the world. Why is it so hard for people to put themselves in someone else's shoes? Empathy. Learn it and love it people.
I spend time in God's word each morning, No where does it give approval for the gay life style. Sorry, but our culture will hasten Christ's return because of our acceptance of one's ungodly lifestyle. No matter who or how you sugar coat it, it's sin and you are lost. I am praying for you brother...
Jim P says, I'm saved and you're not..Na, na, na na na!
It also does not give approval for hypocrasy. And you're a hypocrite. If you know the Word so well, then you're familiar with the message of "do not judge lest though be judged." Get a clue.
no the bible does not give approval to the gay lifestyle nor does it say anything about it. but it does give approval to murdering wicked children, and death if you eat shell fish and it seems to be ok to have multiple wives. your point is stupid. you need to go back and read your bible.
I you can comprehend the difference between GOD's law (10 commandments) and the laws of Moses (Book of Leviticus), this comment would have not been made.
I know just what you mean, I love fiction too!
if anything is going to hasten christ's return it will be you pompous asse's that think you are better then thou. are you without sin? do you not chase the almighty dollar? (greed) are you overweight? (gluttony) and so on. he will come to throw your self rightous butt's into the burning pits of hell. i say let people live as they want as long as it's themselves they are hurting. as for the article, i agree with the author. there are not that many gay black men in any form of media. i am a white gay man myself, and i have noticed that. ya'll have a good evening.
Jim P....Jesus is coming....look busy!
@Jim P. I believe you may have missed reading a few chapters. They're towards the end of the Bible and are called "The New Testament". Within it are a few key teachings of that Jesus fellow tried to teach but clearly you skipped. The whole "love your neighbor as yourself", but probably even more importantly:
"All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God". There are many actions that even the most pious individual commits every day that are taught against. If you believe that you have never committed a sin and have the right to condemn anyone else on this planet, Ummmm... you clearly didnt actually read the Bible.
this is weird... hand holding man... cancer of our society...
Geez, it's been a whole 2 or 3 days since we've been force-fed more worthless gay nonsense. You're slipping CNN.
No Abraham, YOU are the cancer.
No Abe, ignorance is the cancer. Unlike being gay, which is not contagious, ignorance is easily spread and reaching near epidemic status. This thread is full of it.
Articles like this only help to keep racism and discrimination alive. Here's one little hint for you from a white person...now listen close...MOST people don't care what color you are. We don't give it a second thought. YOU are the one who is making a big deal out of it. As long as you don't get in our way of our pursuit of happines, then you are just another person in the world.
The problem is, you are defining your views based off of the minority...much like extremist Muslims are ruining the view of all other Muslims. YOU are the one who is limiting your views of equality based on what a few people say or do but you are disregarding the majority. It is your fault just as much as it is a member of the KKK that keeps racism alive in the media. Believe that.
Sorry, no such thing as extremist Muslims. There are devout Muslims, Moderate Muslims and Ignorant Muslims. Someone who believes that non-believers and especially Christians and Jews should be murdered on sight is a aware, informed and willing believer in Islam. The other two are basically fence striders and those going along for the ride.
Every religion, doctrine, theology or political bent has people who fall left, right or center. There *are* "extremist" Muslims in the same sense there are "extremist" Christians and so forth. We just choose to call the Christians "fundamentalist." Same thing. (None of this, incidentally, has a damned thing to do with this blog.)
Is being black and gay better than being black, gay and a jeans-lowrider ?
Soon being gay or straight will be a non-issue, like how one likes their coffee, a personal preference most likely linked to genetics and enviroment. Everyone is having kids now anyways.
I don't like attention grabbing gays.
I despise gay bashing straights... .c'mon... I am bi and have played with so called 'conservateevs' that would rather vote for my unknown neighbor than Obama. Respected denizens in society with kids and wives and church friends and everything else that considers them normal in society. They also denounce gay rights but like to have their itch scratched in discretion. Don't trust em 100% straight boys, there's no such thing.
Soon. we won't be debating gay rights or evangelical mishaps.
Obesity will conquer us all and influence how government works and the bills they willl pass. In the interest of human convenience.
Soon, it will be the thin folks fighting for equal rights. A right to space, to enjoy a morning run perhaps.
of course this fool says preference... like everyone has a choice. I tried liking boobies and it just didn't work. i tried liking that stinking gash but it didn't work. My choice is to be straight but i'm gay.
Choice and natural preference are two different things. You are what you are.
I'm sorry about your internal conflict. Been there.
Pssst. Thin people already are...
So maybe stop limiting yourself to gay bars, gay blogs and gay magazines. Stop defining yourself as gay black guy and start defining yourself as young, good looking writer guy and see what happens.
I'm a middle aged white woman with a few extra pounds and guess what, all the people in ads don't look like me, either.
Amen !!! The minority out there likes to feel sorry for them self too much !!!
You're an idiot.
Nice positive response. Well played Robin. I echo the handsome writer comment.
When will people realize that sometimes things / interactions are just awkward, and there is no ill-intent behind it? I guess being a victim is more fun.
Everyone seems to want to have some kind of "lable" these days. So what can we do for gay and black?
Blay, Glack, or what. Give it some thought.
Being gay is a congenital birth defect. The medical causes are now well understood, and potential cure is in the works. We won't have gays to kick around as old Richard Nixon used to say. So, why worry about "rights" that won't be soon needed at all?
Bubo... But being a moron is forever, so don't hold your breath for a cure to your issues.
Best response so far. Like.
Being named bubo is a birth defect. No cure for you.
The further I read through these comments the more ignorant and outrageous they become. I swear, some days I think my head might literally explode.
I have to wonder about those who think being gay is a choice, but then again if it is a choice- how much difficulty did they have when they decided to no be gay?
The gay community has been bombarded not only with images of white gay people by its own–and really, all of the media, but lately also with images of angry black pastors who hate them for relating gay rights to the Civil Rights Movement. It's as if civil rights belonged only to the black community, and as Christians with an ugly history of bondage and marginalization by whites, they resent any (in their view) privileged whites "co-opting" the civil rights brand. So to the religious black community, gay is evil and for them, there are no gay black people. That would disrespect their history of struggle dating to slavery when manhood and family were both denied. The only gay black person I see in the media consistently besides CNN's RZ Granderson is Pam Spaulding of Pam's House Blend. Were there more gay black people speaking up, then perhaps the black churches would be more supportive of gay rights.
I agree. the gay community can be very racist. Not racist like they'll call u names. Racist like they don't wanna associate with you.
It's sad and stupid.
It's a shame we've all become so afraid of each other. I am a young, white woman, and when I make eye contact with someone on the street, I give them that small smile and nod that says "hey". And when someone randomly stops me and asks me a question (often asking me about my kneepads. I play dodgeball and I can't tell you how often I've gotten stopped on the way to a game), you know what I do? I answer. Regardless of the color of who stopped me, and it's usually men asking. If common courtesy could just become more common again...
Well said. I do the same thing when I pass people on the street and it amazes me how many of them seem surprised. Common courtesy is a wonderful and all-to-rare thing!
Can you say, "Best dancer ever!" Yeah, I know, but to quote Charles and Rudy (a Gay hitman duo) from Archer, "Stereotypes exist for a reason", even though they're never 100% accurate.
Why is this news? What is CNN's obession with gays anyway?
It's not "news", it's an opinion piece.
Why read it if you weren't interested in knowing what this author has to say?
So black people look at everything with racial glasses (everything is about race). Gay folk look at everything through "gay glasses". Try taking off your glasses and look at life first as a human being, and you might see a little more clearly
So I guess the gay couple walking passed him didn't have their glasses on, huh?
No. Its not looked upon very lightly in the hood' when you gay. Maybe cause' europeans invented the gayness disease, they tolerate it more but we ain't feelin' it bro........Now don't get me wrong, we ain't feelin' the wanna be man-ladies either. They all disgusting. One more reason why I'm convinced the world is ending. Let's start all over. No gays, lezzoes, white men lovin' little boys, white women lovin' elementary school boys and gettin' pregnant by them.......What????
Because only white people can be pedophiles, right? I hope you outgrow your bigotry someday soon.
Wow. Your ignorance is simply astonishing.
Also, what did you just say? I tried to read your post aloud to a friend of mine, it was painful.
I read this article with complete compassion and in total awe. As a black gay man, I, too have sought out my gay community as my sanctuary only to be quickly reminded, "you're black!" What bothers me most, is the comparison to the civil rights struggle of african americans. I very recently had a heated debate with my partner regarding the subject. I argued my point that until the gay community improves it's practice of inclusion, there can never be a comparison. If you want other minority groups to buy in on the fight for rights, you must first put yourself in that category and embrace all!
Now to the author, the next time you're in a bar and there are only a few of us, be sure to give the bartender at least 25 percent gratuity. Not only will he notice that you tip well but your next drink will be waiting for you without you having to ask for it. Also, it doesn't hurt to have a "you can kiss my ass" look on your face too!
Hell welcome to a day in the life of a single black woman. We get sterotyped all the time, none of the men want us, not even our own and we still push forward. Everyone automatically assumes, we're on welfare, uneducated and a baby momma. I just let them because at the end of the day, I know the truth. So screw what mainstream wants you to see. It's simple really just do you and everybody else can kiss my ass.
when you say things like "Kiss my ass" you are just perpetuating your own stereotype
You must live in an unfortunate place. Most of the black women I know are beautiful, kind, and successful and are treated as such. Of course, every group, no matter how you divide it, has problem people the poison others' perceptions. I'm sure you yourself have some "feelings" towards white women like myself due to the actions of a few that you project to all.
So is "kiss my ..." your opening lines looking for dates? ;-)
That because most times you're just simply judgemental, ugly and loud. Stereotypes are around for a reason
Can recommend Six feet under. I can't recall which season Keith is introduced but he is David Fishers love interest, and ends up being his life long companion. He is a black police officer, well spoken, smart yet with human flaws like the rest of the characters...and us. I do get the point of the story though, it's a shame that often any race or group can feel so under represented. I do recall a comedian speaking about asians always having to do martial arts in movies it seems to happen all the time.
Season 1 Episode 1
One of the hottest men on TV!
this is CNN> Ever think of watching, oh, say, Don Lemon??
who the heck is that??!
As a fellow gay black man, let me say that, dude, it's not that bad. You need to come down off that cross and start enjoying life. Yes the LGBT community is overwhelmingly white and the male parts are overwhelmingly infatuated with thin, white (or light skinned) men. Yes, white people are scared of black people on the streets especially at night. And no, none of us like being subjected to all the racial fear inspired behavior. Yes it offends sensibilities. That said, no, you do not need to hang out at virtually all white clubs and bars just because you're gay. There are plenty of diverse venues in NYC, Washington, DC and elsewhere. There are magazines that appeal to more diverse audiences than the ones you read. There are many dating sites that appeal to diverse men as well. Do a web search. If you want to date white guys, go to diverse clubs and bars because that's where white guys looking to date more diverse men will go. If you want to date black guys, hang out at black gay clubs, etc. But don't waste your life wishing the world was other than it is. You could live in one of those countries that punish gays with imprisonment or worse. So go out, date, meet a nice man, settle down and you'll come to see that most of the social part of the LGBT world that you're worrying over is exceedingly superficial.
Oh, and if you want to sleep around cause you're young and horney, please use protection!
Very insightful reply - criticizing some of the silliest, most superficial aspects of the gay world for being silly and superficial just shows that the original writer has a lot of growing up to do.
He looks over 30, so I recommend that he diversify his social life to include activities other than cruising on Grindr or drinking at Hells Kitchen bars and clubs. Oh and for the love of God, I beg everyone reading this to please stop watching Bravo reality shows. At least he didn't mention the abominable A-List New York (though it has two black characters and a main Latino character, small comfort in an otherwise embarrassing show).
WAH! WAH! Quit your girlie-boy whining and GET OVER YOURSELF.
That's for being constructive, Shecky.
He can't change having dark skin, but he does not have to be gay.
They say they are born with it. Gayness.
Calvin, being gay is immutable. You, on the other hand, do not have to remain stupid.
One is BORN gay or straight. Get a clue.
Over the years, folks like you have posted that gays chhose to be gay thousands and thousands and thousands of times. And thousands and thousands of times we've asked you to post the citations to peer-reviewed scientific research that supports your contention that gays choose to be gay (and thus by corollary, that we straights choose to be straight). We've posted the citations to our science supporting the multivariate biological nature of orientation thousands of times.
Sadly, not a single solitary one of you has posted a single solitary citation. Not once. Ever.
Why is that?
Peer-reviewed journal citations! You're my new favorite person. Really, all these people need to do is get to know one gay person and they will instantly realize that it's not a choice.
Get a clue. There is no research that shows you are born "gay". If it is so ready, post every time. Rather you say, thousands and thousands or studies, and that's the rhetoric of the uneducated and unknowing. There are studies that debunk this. You ask for a siting: http://www.trueorigin.org/gaygene01.asp. If you are going state something as a fact, then back it up. BTW – don't show studies from "gay" researchers. They are not valid, because the researchers are by definition biased. That would be like choosing people who love coffee do research on whether coffee is good for people or not. It would be silly. Then again, if you are gay, you have your gay glasses on, and you either won't read this or reject it immediately, because there is absolutely no possibility of you being wrong. What was I thinking, I could have been reading Dilbert of something of value rather than responding to deaf people. sigh
"trueorigin.org"? You're joking, right?
You don't need any scientific research. just visit your local prison. It's filled with new gay converts.
Sounds to me, Calvin, that you wish you could change yourself. You're outspoken about the myth that orientation is changeable because you so desparately want to change. This is not new. Churches are full of guys like you. But, you can't change. You can pretend. You can even marry a women and have kids, but you will still be who are on the inside. I hope that you can eventually accept yourself. Step one: drop religion. Step two: read some recent studies.
oh trust me calvin... NOBODY and i mean NOBODY would ever choose to be gay!!
I live in this little western town that's not quite up to the men's haltertop revolution yet, so I wear a shirt over the top and blend in. Other cities I'd openly wear it on the street, at Burningman I just go naked...
Perhaps a short tour in an American prison will make this guy happy.
naw, he's happy spreading aids where he is.....
And you are free to spread idiocy everywhere... Darn these American freedoms...
This story reminds me of the "Gay, Communist Gun Club" skit on SNL.
Get off your lazy ass and quit acting like you are a victim. Thats in your head.
1) Start a magazine for gay black men.
2) Smile at the ladies and respond with a hearty "hello" or wave. Its called... "a greeting"
3) Take two seconds to say "HI" to the gay couple and let them know you are cool with it.
How to you expect to break ANY stereotype... if you just condone it completely???? Maybe one of those women were raped. Maybe one of the gay couple was bashed by some. You don't know !!
Blacks are less than 13% of the population dude. And what... about 2% of men are gay? You are in a mini-minority. Get on with it !
I mean really. Gay Black dudes just don't sell products man. It's a numbers game. Just be gay and go on about ya business.
Rick called it. 2% of 13% ... simple numbers. Same with the advertising. "Hey, I think that I want to spend all my advertising money this month on an advertisement for .3% of the population!". Not if you want to stay in business.
Predjudice exists in the Black community too-toward gays. It was the Black Vote in California that killed the legalization of gay marriage in that state. Such a shame-to have one group so in need of compassion so openly denying it to another group.
Hey get off Black folks case. Will ya?
Blacks in Cal. voted according to their moral conscience not because of some hate. I've never heard anywhere that a brother or brothers have jumped or murdered some Gay dude just 'cos he's gay. Brothers don't roll or play like that. You may argue that sisters don't appreciate gays and that's all that there's to it. Not hate or discrimination as you may wish to spin it. Your deceitful statements have intellectual merits.
I stand corrected: Your deceitful statements have NO intellectual merits. Nada!
i see what you mean sir. i think this is why bill cosby decided they should show melanin enriched americans in highly successful jobs and brownstone residences in NYC... became one of the most successful shows in tv history.
on the other hand if you see a void, maybe you should try and fill it. maybe you should be that man in cruise ads, maybe go for acting work, maybe go for other types of voids you see in america. be all you can be. isn't that what they say in the army?
your ducking into the subway instead of standing proud shows you are just another one of "them"... a gay man looking for more people like him in this world but afraid to come out and say you exist. show more of yourself if you see a lack thereof.
i am sorry you feel prejudiced and looked down upon. the interweb allows for anonymous postings and no reprocussioins to your statements. basically it allows your normally outspoken drunken side to come out of the closet and speak freely. inhibitions are gone on the internet. but if you give someone a chance to say it to your face 9 times out of 10 they won't.
i grew up on a gay block in PA and i can tell you these people are just as nice and angry and smelly and fresh as the rest of us. they eat food, drink water, breathe air and enrich the community. if we all just got along imagine how much we could accomplish as one and not divided...
as for the other commenters, grow up. a minority is not a minority anymore. you know what is? those like myself who lack melanin. why? skin cancer... and more and more of this will occur through history until we wise up and come together.
You're beautiful. Thank you.
Remember, being black is not a choice. You're born that way.
But whining and blaming everyone else for your problems is a choice.
Just like being gay is not a choice – they are born that way as well.
I can relate to this article. I am left handed.
With love and support you could train yourself to be right handed.
You are silly. LOL!
I will pray for you and hope that Zeus will relieve you of your filthy, immoral left-handedness.
You disgusting left-handed person... don't know you know that you can choose to be right handed at any point and time! ;)
I don't understand the negative comments here...why be so hurtful? If Rob feels the way he does, let him be. If you don't like his article, don't read it..not sure why you find it necessary to beat a man when he's down...you are nothing but horrid people.
I agree Sue but then again someone will respond they feel how they feel we should let them be. Seems like a no win situation.
Sue, I am with you. I do understand what he is saying and I know how extremely superficial the gay community can be and have experienced that personally first hand. I agree that you need to find your own happiness but what he is feeling is probably common for alot of other people in miniroties.I am shocked with how ridiculous some postings on here are and how ridiculous and insensitive some people can be.
I will never understand why it is so difficult for some to feel compassion for a fellow human being. I am a straight white woman and yet I have experienced enough in my lifetime to know that the bulk humanity's problems would be resolved if only people could find it within themselves to be kind, caring and compassionate to each other
Rob, I would never pretend to know what it's like to experience what you have to everyday of your life but I sincerely feel for you and admire your courage to put yourself out there and open your heart on these difficult issues. All of my best to you.
Are you fat and live with alot of cats?
I thank you for your help in illustrating my point.
Compassion is lost when you never get any compassion from others. Eventually, you get hardened to others' pain. I have never known romantic love – and Valentine's Day is very soon. I am emotionally close to no one, and never have been. Do I even count as human? And you want humanity from me? Good luck with that.
hmm-thats pretty tough,its a cold world at times....we are all alone but the trick is to love yourself and do not become bitter....dont let it kill your humanity.
That's a valid point Relictus. And unfortunately, in such situations we tend to get caught up in a vicious circle because negative feelings tend to attract more of the same. But then, how do you get the positive feelings in the first place when you don't receive what you need. The best thing to do as Jim put it is to try and love yourself and hopefully attract the right people in your life who will love you as you deserve. I know it's easier said than done though.
For what it's worth, I haven't had a Valentine in years because I'm a single mom who hasn't found the time for dating so I can relate to that feeling of seeing that day coming around with a bit of dread. I sincerely hope things improve for you.
Get off the emotional halmark card. You people act like you actually matter
you sound level headed and well spoken...email me at cusehoops@hotmail if you want-Jim
I'm sorry, this article is ridiculous.
I for one do not support the draconian movement of the LGBT in anything media or news related.
If you are gay, that is ok. Please find your peace, live well and happy. If you are black, that is ok. Please find your peace, live well and happy.
Its articles like this, that continue to pick at a scab begging to be healed. This country is possessed with its resentment for "Standard, or normal", and requires validation for ANY POSSIBLE minorities needs and wants.
Every one loves to be the victim nowadays.
Being gay and black sort of puts you in the minority of the minority. It reminds me of a friend of a friend who is gay, black, and Mormon. It makes you wonder are there more than just him? But clearly, there are lots of gay men of color. Whether the media opts to use them as their model of gay America, that is a whole other issue and I think that is what this author is getting at. And racism exists whether you are straight or gay.
It is not surprising that discrimination exists albeit on a much more subtle level. Even within the gay community, it is noticeable if one chooses to observe things as they are. The United States is a nation that is really not free, and our liberties are being reduced more and more. Just when you think that some areas might be investigated and rectified, it turns out that before the change stratification has already taken place, and a discriminating framework pre-exists. As a veteran, this gentleman would be in an excellent position to take note of these subtle discrepancies of racism and prejudice.
Oh my, you're different. So is everyone. Grow up and get over it and be you...and stop looking down at yourself for being different. Be you and quit crying.
Excellent article. I feel your pain. I'm biracial and being gay and biracial has it's own set of issues, similar to what you feel, Rob. I'm also in a multiracial gay relationship and my husband is white. People see us, they see him, but not me. They make comments to me that they would never make to a white person. I travel all over the world and you and I would be accepted without hesitation in most of Europe and the UK. I have learned over the years to have a thick skin, you have to in order to survive in this country. Wish it didn't have to be so but it's a long battle.
Could you give some examples of questions asked? (educate me on questions not to ask)
I'm a white gay male who has dated white/black/brown/asian/indian protestant/catholic/jewish/hindi (you get my point). Now in a LTR (does 17+ years count?) with a guy that's bloodlines are a total mix of just about every race/colour/etc.
Rob Smith, Don Lemon, LZ Granderson....CNN must be home to the 'gay, black, man...'
i know exactly how you feel, pretty sad when inclusion is the message yet in practice they fall woefully short.
Where are my posts CNN???? Free speech nazis don't like other opinions?
i look like you, however I am not gay. i've never given much thought to how you must feel because i've viewed your life through the prism of my own feelings. i have no problem with whatever your sexual orientation and having never been the object of the less than understanding opinions towards gays in the black community, i did not think how you might feel. i know it's there, i've seen it and i ignored it. for that i am sorry because i've been part of the problem. BUT, you cannot let this get you down. i know how lonely it can be when you look for someone like you and never find them so you have to stop. the "community" has not caught up with the times in this regard so think of yourself as a pioneer; explore and embrace what is there even if it doesn't look like you.
One of the best characters on The Wire is a gay black man! I feel for this guy but honestly didn't realize that there was such a lack of gay black men.
Lesson One: The real man is spiritual and perfect, not material and imperfect. Lesson Two: it doesn't matter what others think of you but what you think of others. Lesson Three: Your only duty is to love, love, love. Being being spiritually subjective in nature, by loving exclusively you will not only deepen and beautify your present existence but help improve the consciousness of the world. The Mind that is Love is what we need most of all to win our freedom from superficiality, lovelessness, evil.
A little correction – by LOVE cat did not mean what you are thinking. It is spiritual.
it's true. my friends that are black and gay had the hardest time coming out. its the same with all advertising though, commercialism puts one face to huge populations. I agree w/ Jim.
I am tired of gays crying that they are like others. You are not. Go over it.
What are we going over? Do you mean "go over it", as in step over something? Maybe you mean "go over it", as in review something; like " go over the article and find 5 points the author is trying get across. Just curious.
Im straight and I feel for him...being black has its own built in obstacles but compounding that by being gay must be hard...and the majority of the black community is pretty hard on one of their own being gay.
Boo F'ing who!!! this is a stupid article. " they dont look like me" get over it brutha!!!!!
Hey Donna, why such a stupid wh*re?
So gay folks can just stop being gay? I suppose that means folks can start being gay?
You wouldn't happen to have any peer-reviewed scientific evidence to support that contention, do you?
SHA, I AGREE. DON'T ASK--DON'T TELL ...BRING THAT BACK TO THE MILITARY...WANT TO BE GAY ? O.K. BUT KEEP IT INDOORS..IF YOU BRING IT OUT ? GOD HELP YOU.
Yup! Not that it matters, but as a masculine gay man, I found it to be whiney and annoying.
You are very ignorant. I don't want to offend you, but it's true. You are ignorant. Yes you may look around and sometimes not see people like you in the things you read, but think about what it's like to look around and never see people like you and when you do, they are portrayed negatively. Think of how you would feel if lots of people wouldn't give you the time of day because they've already made a decision that you're dangerous, obnoxious, rude, etc.
Step out of your comfort zone and really think about what it would be like and how you would feel if you were black, Latino, Asian and then how would you feel if you were a male of any of those groups.
Jose-you are just an ignorant idiot,people ARE born gay,its not that they chose it...believe me,most gay people would not choose this lifestyle,its something in the Genes.Do some reading and try and educate yourself before you make a stupid statement amigo
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