Why I have opened the window!

Amerykah has turned a corner and we should all turn with it. I have thoughts ideas and suggestions but I also have patience and desire for us to be whole and one. I have been speaking a lot lately of the human condition and the generations of Black Americans. i will entertain any and all conversation as long as we can be respectful and grown up. Let the healing begin......

Friday, November 21, 2008

A story that never goes stale....

It has been a long time since I have told my coming out story.

I came out over 15 years ago right before being gay was really a gateway to being cool and interesting. When I was growing up I was that quiet moody but oh so bright kid that didn’t seem to make many friends. Not only was I a social misfit in school but because of test scores I skipped the 5th grade so everyone was a little older than me for a lot of my school life. On top of that, I was gay. I knew it and I think my mother knew it too. But somewhere along the way we had both made a pact of secrecy to never ever bring it up. I remember trying to talk to her about it once I had to be about 13 years old and her eyes literally pleaded with me to not have the conversation so I back peddled. I stuffed it all deep inside me and sat on it. Every time I thought it might come up I threw food on top of it so now I am a fat social misfit.

It took me another 7 years of torment and torture to get myself to a place where I just didn’t give a damn anymore. My mother was the first family member I came out to, luckily she too had grown some and when we had the conversation she didn’t beg me not to. My grandmother was a very different story. Now for those that know me outside the internet machine know how much I love my grandmother. A psychic even told me once that she and I have shared many past lives together and I am inclined to believe that. So imagine how hard it was for me when she could not accept her gay grandson. Not only did we have a huge fight followed by a series of smaller ones but we pretty much spent a year away from each other. And while her reasons were not biblical she just could not understand why I would choose to be gay. That statement told me more about then and still holds true to this day about how straight people tend to see gay people. And I guess that is why even if I have told this story 100 times I should tell it 500 more, just for those in the cheap seats.

As I told her that day in a rather sarcastic manner (hey I was 20) when she asked me why I would choose this I responded with “ I am a young intelligent black man in America, I feel I didn’t have enough strikes against me so I figured if I was gay I might win some kind of Nobel prize!”

Coming out is rarely easy for regular folks, I have seen and heard of people getting disowned, thrown out of their houses, beaten etc and that is from family member. People who are suppose to love you and have your back. And while I am sure it is hard all over I can speak from experience how hard coming out is in the black community. I picked my Tuesday invite to go out to Wanda Sykes because she did something quite courageous. She came out as a black lesbian. She just lost a third of her audience. She may never be cast in any of the African American orientated Christmas or church movies now (on the surface not a bad thing) but this will affect her career. My only hope is that others will follow suit and join her on this side of the closet.

And for all my religious friends out there who are going to use the bible against me when it comes to homosexuality I am posting one of my favorite scenes from the West Wing.

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