Gay Lesbian and Bisexual

Exploring the Popular Use of “Don’t Judge Me”

“Don’t judge me” is increasingly becoming a popular and pervasive statement, especially among the 16 year old – 35 year old crowd.  I’m not against people judging me or anyone else. However, you must be qualified to judge others.  You should not be really serious about your use of “don’t judge me.”  While I think that it’s quite entertaining when I see “don’t judge me” used on Twitter and Facebook, you really should not be too concerned about what people say about you.  I’m not, however, saying that you should not totally overlook what people say about you and that you should not respond to some things people say about you. You should not overlook some things people say about you and you should respond to some things people say about you. However, I want to devote my dominant attention to my argument that you must be qualified to be an effective judge.

We cannot stop people from judging others and we should not try to prevent people from judging others.  What I would like for those who are committed to judging others is for them to be qualified about the things and aspects of people they judge.  For example, so many true and supposedly heterosexual people are quick to make a determination about whether a man is gay.  They will look at surface level things and rush to a quick judgment and call him gay.  As a deep and committed intellectual, I’m bother by how so many people will make a sweeping conclusion about someone’s sexual orientation and/or identity by just observing him in such a short amount of time.  Every man does not have a deep voice.  Every man does not and has no desire to “bust slack.”  Every man does not and cannot walk in a way that’s predominantly perceived by society as a “heterosexual way of walking.”

By the way, is there some class available that heterosexual men or women teach that men who want to learn how to walk like the typical heterosexual man can attend to learn this style of walking?  If so, I would like for you to let me know so that I can tell the people who are not committed to simply being themselves where they can attend this class.  Thanks in advance.

Some people even get a thrill out of being able to “detect” when a man is gay.  If the man does not reveal to you that he’s gay, then what makes your determination that he’s gay an intelligent judgment?  I’m not suggesting that you have to be gay to determine whether a man is gay, but your conclusions should not be based on the most inane surface level things that you see and hear.  What prevents you from mustering the courage to personally ask the man if he’s gay?  Always do this in an appropriate way because the method you elect to ask him can amount to nothing more than an attack, even if this was not your true intent.  If you are truly serious about being an effective judge, then why won’t you do the work that’s necessary to truly get to the bottom of your claims?  It amuses me sometimes and flummoxes at other times how someone can hear and/or see things out of context and then immediately arrive at a conclusion that someone is gay.

Always put things in their proper contexts.

People make judgments about myriad phenomena besides sexual orientation.  I selected to use sexual orientation as my primary example because sexual orientation is a phenomenon people often make swift judgments about without any critical thought.  Another example I could have focused on at length is about how people make judgments about others being smart.  People who are not smart are hasty to tell others that they are smart.  While their determinations may be true, what are the values and principles they employ for making their claims?  Do they even have any values and principles?  I could continue on and on with examples.

If you’re going to judge people, then make as strong of an effort as possible to ground your judgments in truth.  Try to avoid making judgments about things you have limited or no knowledge about.  Be real with yourself too and don’t try to pretend that you know everything.  If you want to be a qualified judge, then you need to focus on substantive things when you make your judgments.  While I certainly don’t have a problem with people judging others, I just don’t want you to end up looking like a fool because you focused on the wrong things and your conclusions materialize to be completely wrong.

Don’t be a fool.  Make informed, substantive, and wise judgments.

Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Advertisements

Why Are You Not More Transparent Like Don Lemon?

Too many gay Black men hide behind relationships with women—even have sex with them—to avoid shame. They don’t want their family, friends, co-workers, and associates to know that at their core they are gay. I’m not talking about men who are truly bisexual. Authentically bisexual men exist and they men should tell their partners they are bisexual. However, my problem lies with those Black men who know they are gay and would desire nothing more to just be gay, but don’t have the courage to simply be gay, so they just hide their homosexuality behind public facades and dishonest relationships with women. Okay, even if these men are truly bisexual, why won’t they tell these women they are bisexual? Many gay Black men will get married and/or have babies with women just to attempt to conceal their homosexuality.  Don’t the women who are they are having sex with have a right to know they are sleeping with men?

Don Lemon, an African-American male Emmy award-winning news anchor for CNN, recently disclosed on CNN and in his new book, Transparent, that he is gay. He also promulgated that he had been molested as a young child. Although there are many narratives available about men being molested as children and living a homosexual life as adults, what I appreciated most about Don Lemon publically divulging that he is gay is how casual he revealed it and how it’s not such a big deal to him. The comfortable way in which Lemon communicated that he is gay has the potential to unsettle some aspects of the ways in which homosexuality is discussed in the Black community. His verbal and non-verbal communication expressed a powerful message that what he was publically unveiling about his sexuality and sexual orientation is just as common as heterosexuality, and that homosexuality is not something novel, considering you know people who are family members and friends who are gay—if you are not gay yourself.

He considered all of the other aspects of his book to be far more important than the fact that he is gay. He even talked about the fact that he could have taken out revealing that he was gay at any point, but it was recent developments concerning young people and homosexuality that caused him to leave his story about his own sexual abuse and gay identity in the book. You will, therefore, have to give me some stronger arguments and rationales that he just penned this book to publicly disclose that he’s gay to get money.  Even though he didn’t just compose this book to express that he’s gay to get money and/or attention, do you have the courage to do the same?

Speaking of courage, it’s the lack of courage that prevents gay Black men from telling their family, friends, and others that they are gay. While I’m fully aware that there are consequences for promulgating that you are gay to your family, friends, and others, you must remove the veil that you put on about your sexuality if you truly want to be a transparent person at your core. The target audience for my previous two sentences is really those Black men who are involved in relationships with women just to cover up their homosexuality. If you are accomplished and/or successful like Don Lemon, what would keep you from living a life where you are free to enjoy the freedom to live out your sexuality as publically as you live out other aspects about who you are?

Many Black married men are having sex with gay men and are not telling their wives. This lack of transparency threatens the lives of these women. It’s unfair to hide your homosexual affairs from the woman you are married to because she didn’t marry you for you to be loving up on some other man.

I find it quite interesting that supposedly heterosexual men will have sex with gay men and do things after they have sex to try to prove to the gay men that they are not gay. What? Really? Were you not gay when you were having sex with the gay men? You’re gay—face it! If you have sexual intercourse where you penetrate a man in his anus and/or you let a man penetrate you in the anus, you are gay. If you gave and/or received oral sex from a man, you are gay. If you have had sexual intercourse of any kind with a man, you are gay. If you are thinking about doing these things, then you are gay too. Face it!

Stop using these women as trophies to attempt to hide your homosexuality. If you want to be a homosexual, just be a homosexual. No, you don’t have to reveal your sexuality to everyone, but you should disclose it to the women you are involved with, married to, or considering getting involved with or marrying. Do you have the courage to tell them?

If you are transparent with the right people in your life about your sexuality, then you might just find out life is more free and enjoyable. Before just recently, Don Lemon had not told the world that he is gay, but he had let his co-workers and the people close to him know that he is gay. While you may not be gay, are there other aspects about you that you don’t have the courage to unveil to the people close to you? What factors, if any, keep you from living a more transparent life?

To Don Lemon, I salute you for having the courage to “be yourself.” I have been championing the message of “be yourself” all of my life. Don, you have given America an opportunity to wrestle with the importance of being transparent and have given us an opportunity to explore what being transparent really means. Thank you, Don Lemon!

Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Black Men Masquerading: Part 5

I have decided to end this particular series with this article. I will return to this topic in the future.  The focus of this article is on how many Black males in Black fraternities lie about their sexuality and struggle to hide their problems with Black male sexuality. When it comes to the selection process of who gets into a Black fraternity, there is so much concern expressed by men declaring themselves to be heterosexual about candidates being gay or possibly being gay. These men will do whatever is necessary to try to keep men out of these fraternities if they are gay or they suspect them to be gay. Black fraternities are non-profit organizations that cannot discriminate on the basis of race, sexual orientation, political affiliation, religion, and etc. Unfortunately, they do. The larger question that must be explored is why do they discriminate against people who they think might be gay and/or who are gay. Why is whether or not a Black man is gay or not a serious concern for many of these Black fraternity members?

After giving this much thought, I have resolved that this extreme concern about whether an applicant for membership is gay or not is more about many of these Black fraternity members’ desire to sleep with these men. Why else would they be so concerned about their sexuality then? There is one Black fraternity that is highly suspected of having many gay members, but this is the same fraternity that does the majority of the discriminating against applicants who they think are gay. Many members of this fraternity will say, “I think he suspect,” when they think a person is gay. By saying this, these men begin an evil attempt to make sure that the applicant does not become a member. Why is there such a focus on the sexuality of these applicants? Has the applicants’ sexuality become the most important thing to these Black fraternities?

In one particular chapter of the previously referred to Black fraternity, some alumni members of the fraternity try to characterize the undergraduate chapter members in a negative light because they think they are gay. Think about this for a moment: You got old Black men placing their dominant concern on whether or not these younger Black men are gay. This is simply stupid and immature! One alumni member of this same chapter of this same fraternity told me that he would never hire one particular undergraduate member to work for him because he does not like the fact the guy has dreadlocks, and he did not want to hire another undergraduate member because he thought his weight and style of dressing does not positively reflect on the fraternity. This alumni member also told me that he thinks that the president of the alumni chapter is incompetent. I could go on and on about what this alumni member has said about the members of his own organization. What this demonstrates is there is a need for many Black men in these fraternities to be more mature about how they vote on applicants for membership. Let me make it clear that I’m not talking about all Black men in Black fraternities. I am, however, talking about many Black men in Black fraternities.

In these Black fraternities, there are serious divisions between members because some elected to engage in hazing (which is illegal) and some chose not to. Would you please explain to me why these divisions resulting from hazing are so essential? How does this represent true brotherhood? Do you still value true brotherhood? What do you think the founders of your fraternities would say about these stupid divisions within your organizations? What do you get out of beating (hazing) your brother? Could this beating (hazing) be a fetish? I also would like to know what members of these fraternities think about members you voted against while undergraduates, who you thought were gay, who later became members through an alumni chapter.

Many of these Black men in fraternities do not want gay Black men or ones who they or others think are gay to be members of their fraternities because they fear people are going to find out they are gay and/or start thinking they are gay. I want you to know this means you are uncomfortable with your sexuality. What is it that you are hiding? Please tell me. Do you despise the openly gay members of your fraternities or the ones you or others think are gay? What is it about gay men that you dislike so much that you do not want them in your fraternities?

Instead of focusing on who’s gay and who’s not, how about paying your fraternal dues! Lol! Instead of engaging in frivolous discourses and activities, how about creating programs that matter and that produce measurable results. Instead of talking negatively about fellow members of your fraternity behind their backs, how about doing some real community service. Instead of just walking around with your paraphernalia on, how about making serious efforts to ameliorate the progression of the Black male in the postmodern epoch.

Too many Black men are using these fraternities as masking agents to hide their true problems, deceptions, and insecurities. I call for you insecure Black fraternity members to stop hating on candidates who are simply more accomplished than you. One member of a fraternity hates on me because he has his Ph.D. and has no job. It’s not my fault that you did not work to achieve genuine accomplishments while you were in school. I guess you can take some satisfaction in walking around and talking that fake talk like you are doing something important in a fake “lab” making pennies from a fake grant.

Black men, let’s get real so that we can rise up and be the leaders we need to be for such serious and dangerous times like we face in the present.

Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Black Men Masquerading: Part 4

Black Gay Men

Before I begin with the true purpose of this piece, would any of you like to tell me why you have so much pride in saying, “I’m in deez streets”? This sounds quite ignorant to me. Well, let me get immediately to the focus of this piece: gay Black men who feel they have to be so extreme about how they express their sexuality. Many homosexuals feel like they have to tell the world they are gay. If you feel the need to do this, then I really don’t have a problem with you. I do, however, have problems with those of you who are just being so flamboyant to get attention. When you are being overly flamboyant intentionally, you are not being your true self—you are simply being vain and hiding who you truly are. Some of you gay Black men invest too much time in making sure that people know you are gay and making sure that you get attention. You are robbing yourself of the true fullness life has to offer you. Let me also tell you that just publicly promulgating that you are gay does not mean that you are “real,” that is, not masquerading. While you may be very open and honest about what you elect to do in your bedroom, this does not excuse you from the other areas in your life you are dishonest about.

I have heard too many gay Black men claim degrees they don’t have, claim men they don’t have, claim homes they don’t have, claim jobs they don’t have, claim cars they don’t have, and claim clothes they don’t have. Why do you all do this? It seems that you do this because you are compensating for something you are missing. What is it? What are you missing? Yeah, you are comfortable with your sexuality, but why are you not comfortable in other important areas?

Why do so many gay Black men participate in gay pride parades? I have no problem with you loving the fact that you are gay and that there are other gay folk around you to love. However, don’t gay pride parades amount to nothing more than vain cries for attention? If you are so sure about yourself, why do you have to go to such extremes for recognition and attention? It seems to me, therefore, that gay people in general are going to have to do more examining of their personal deceptions—just as much as they are asking heterosexual people to do. By the way, to those gay Black men who believe all men are gay, I want you to know that all men are not gay so stop saying this.

If gay Black men want to benefit from an America that is more honest, then they need to be more honest themselves. When you are intentionally being overly flamboyant, I want you to stop and think about how you are really being fake. Don’t be so overly flamboyant that you end up sleeping with all of the men it is possible to sleep with. Please have some standards for yourself. HIV/AIDS has no concern with your desire for attention.

Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison