Written by Michael (@mycooljaymes) in response to a former #SpillSesh interview on Dating As a Gay Black Man.
My story doesn’t really come from one that deals with body issues, mine deals with the color of my skin. I’ve seen so many ads feature for white men, white men have always been the face of everything. When I was a kid, I hated the color of my skin so much. I hated it so much that I would cry about it and ask why God didn’t make me white. I was only 6 years old at that time. Kids notice things, they notice when they aren’t represented and that hatred and embarrassment of my skin followed me well into my 20. Eventually my eyes were opened to how beautiful my skin was and for the first time in my life, I felt comfortable in my own skin. It wasn’t until I came out at the age of 27 that I began to look for my place amongst the LGBT community that I realized that the rainbow flag does not represent everyone.
I’ve given up on trying to find my place in the gay community. From what I’ve seen and experienced, It’s a community that only loves the idea of inclusiveness. When ever I see someone talking about how they love diversity, I always go checkout the he accounts they follow or the pictures that they “like” and it’s always the same thing, a white guy. I truly believe saying “we need more diversity” is in a sense, the new “I have black friends”. I once saw a Twitter gay make a post about how excited he was to reach 22K followers. He then asked what he could do with his platform since he had a big following. I suggested that he talk more about visibility or lack of it in our community. It was a pointless suggestion because he went back to posting his thirst traps.
I hope I don’t come off as an angry black man but I’m just tired of white being the default in our community. It always leaves me feeling invisible. I wrote a little bit about it about a year ago and my feelings honestly have not changed. I hate the feeling of being associated with a community that I don’t really feel visible in or apart of. There are so many invisible people in our community and they get overlooked for fit white gays and they become the poster children of our community but what about the elderly, the disabled, the people of color? I feel like we’re the forgotten ones. Our community lacks so much wisdom, we lack a generation that was lost during the AIDS crisis, I guarantee if the majority of them were still alive, we would have less of a fracture in our community. There would be people to slap you on the back of the hand and say, no, that’s not right. It really hurts to see the catty behavior, the lack of empathy, and compassion.
I wish there was a quick fix for this but it’s gonna take time and there’s still a lot of progress within our own community to be made. My heart is still a little hurt from the actions that went on at Stonewall (out of all places) during world Pride. To me it showed that a lot white gays still don’t care about what People, especially what trans people of color have to say. As long as they can prance around in corporate pushed rainbow products, they really aren’t concerned…