As an African American in this country, I’m not naive when it comes to racism or discrimination. However, when you’re a black, gay man, homophobic attacks and slurs are added to the long list of discrimination we face. It is sad and frustrating to know that we still live in a society where hate still exists but hate will never win. When I heard Jussie Smollett was attacked I became angry, frustrated, and sad. It made me think we still live in a society where we cannot live in peace and live the way we were meant to live.
As an African American gay man, my mother and grandmother used to tell me I had to protect myself as a young man when I walked out the door each day. They said I had three strikes against me:
1. I’m BLACK
2. I’m a MAN
3. I’m GAY
I always walked through my life thinking about what they instilled in me and it did alter the way that I walk through life. I might be one of the fortunate ones who may never have experienced a homophobic attack as a gay man, but I have been discriminated against, attacked in my home (a hook-up gone wrong) and it’s disheartening and frustrating to let men and women feel that they have the power and the right to judge someone else’s life.
I have come to a point where I am disgusted with those who call being gay a lifestyle. I’m gay and I was born gay. It’s not a lifestyle. It’s not something I chose. Straight men and women are not living a lifestyle by being straight. They are simply being who they are. When are we going to just let people be?
I cry as a black man for what happened to Jussie because that could have been me. As f***** up as it may be I’m still living in an f*****-up, racist, homophobic, and hateful world but I refuse to be idle. I stand up for equality every day of my life. I’m gay and I’m a man and I know what it’s like to be discriminated against so I will never turn my back on striving for equality. We must continue to fight to be one. God created us all, at least that’s what they tell us, and that’s what the bible-belt folks promote. We are led to believe this and live by it. So I challenge others to prove it because I don’t see it, all I see is hate!
I’ve reached a point in my life that I am just sick and tired of everyone shoving this politically correct BS down our throats when hate crimes are still happening. My heartfelt best wishes go out to Jussie.
I also pray because I’m saddened that this man, who I admire, respect, and believe is one of the sweetest people in this world, was harmed. Ironically the song that stands out the most today for me is his song “Hurt People.” How powerful, and how coincidental he has this song on his CD that was about hurt, people. “We just gotta find a way to love.” Purchase “Hurt People” on iTunes to support Jussie.
I will not ignore the fact that we are still living in a very hate-driven world. People, it’s time to wake up and stop ignoring the negative state of the world that we live in. Please let’s stop this madness now. Let’s wish Jussie a speedy recovery and I hope the traumas attached to the experience will be transformed into finding solidarity with others.