I found this video so wonderfully affirming. It’s called “The Black Gay Male Pledge of Allegiance.” I initially saw it on Facebook and quickly friended the author (Derek McMahon) afterwards.
It made me stop and think about the ritualistic psychological abuse that the black community places on LGBT youth, particularly the church. So many lives have been destroyed because of spiritual gay bashing. Words really do have power. When authority figures (parents and spiritual leaders) tell you you’re: sick, perverted, nasty, dirty, sinful, and reprobate long enough you eventually believe it (whether you want to or not). This is why I believe STD’s are so rampant among many black LGBT’s. If you don’t believe you are worth anything why should you bother having protected sex? Why should you bother getting tested for STI’s? Why should any of it matter when inside you’re already dead?
The irony is that sexually transmitted diseases grow and flourish in the darkness. The Black community, in terms of homosexuality, is lost in the dark. It will be up to brave black LGBT’s to shed light on the situation by simply standing up and being counted. It really is a matter of life and death.
I remember an acquaintance of mine named Trevor. Trevor and I attended the same southern black Baptist Holy Roller church in the late 1990′s. Trevor was leader of the youth group, lead singer in the choir, and one of the smartest kids I knew. He seemed like he had such a bright future ahead of him. Well, after our church fell apart (there was a huge controversy that involved one of my family members) I didn’t see Trevor again until 2003.
Oneday I was coming home from work to drop some mail off at the post office. Trevor was meandering around in the parking lot begging for money. Initially I had no idea who he was. His skin was covered in lesions; he was emaciated; and he looked completely disheveled. Anyway he recognized me and called my name. I did a double take. Once I got a good look at him I knew who it was. So I smiled and said hi. He asked me how me and my family were. We had a little small talk before he asked me for a dollar. So I gave him two dollars. That was the LAST time I ever saw him again. The next thing I knew, two weeks later, he was dead from AIDS related complications. He was 27-years-old (He would have been 33 now).
It was rumored that Trevor had gotten hooked on drugs and hustled. I don’t know the entire story but it didn’t end happily. He had so much promise and it really shook me the way he went out…
Now, it makes me wonder which one of our wicked pastor’s sermons sent him over the edge? Which bible scripture (other than that Leviticus one) did his loved ones hurl his way consistently? Which of his relatives told him to stop lisping when he talked because it made him sound like a “sissy?” How many times was he called a “Faggot” or “punk” by his peers? I wonder how many men did Trevor give himself to simply because he wanted love (like so many other gay men who go that route), even if it was momentary? How many of them lied and said he was special but threw him away like garbage after the act was complete? How many nights did he stay up and pray that he could be “healed” from his “perversion?” How much can one person endure before they finally break?
I told myself that I never wanted to end up like Trevor, ever. Which is why I’ve made it my purpose to counteract all the negativity levied against me by the “community.”
To that end this has inspired me to write my own personal manifesto. Every black gay person should write his or her own. This is 2010. It is time to end all these negative statistics and start loving ourselves for who we truly are.
Thank you Mr. McMahon for throwing down the gauntlet!