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02 November 2006

Comments

Earl FF

Rod, I'm so glad After Elton interviewed you. We need as many different voices as possible to speak up for black gay men. It'sm a great article.

Henry TW

I'm actually impressed. After Elton has been doing a very good job trying to be more inclusive. As usual, you and Keith make us proud!

Samuel I

Wonderful, execllent observations. We are too often portrayed as femmes or eunuchs.

Rod, when are you going to start making the talk show rounds?

HissyFit

Some of you may be able to offer better and more insightful commentary than I since I've only watched Noah's Arc maybe three times. But the very reason why I can't stomach that particular show is because I thought it was chock-full of stereotypes, namely, that of the effeminant black gay male. And isn't Daryl Stevens the actor who portrays Noah? To me, he's the most stereotypical of all the characters with all of his arched eyebrow antics, shoulder shawls, skirts and flower corsages. I respest the fact that the powers that be over at Logo have given Mr. Polk the opportuity to showcasr black gay men in a broader spectrum but Mr. Polk himself has to burden a small amount of the blame for perpetuating some of those long-held misconceptions of black gay men.

Dluv

I'm surprised nobody mentions Mathew St. Patrick from Six Feet Under. To me he was the most realistic black gay male on television or film.

Ryan

This is an interesting conversation..

But, can we really talk about representations of Black Gay Men in film and tv...

When black people in GENERAL aren't given the three dimensional treatment now in film and tv???

I have yet to see a black character on tv who is something MORE than a sidekick, best friend, etc.

I feel like we can't really comment about Black gays being represented respectfully in tv or film if Black people aren't represented either.

As for Black Gay men on tv/film, besdies Matthew St. Patrick (Six Feet Under), there is Omar from The Wire--a hitman/drug dealer, but arguably one of the most conflicted and fleshed out characters on tv right now. Shakima Griggs is also very well developed for a Black Lesbian...

Rick Worthy was a black private eye on the short lived ABC show EYES (2005)..he was Chris Didion on the show. Everyone in the office knew he was gay and never thought about it. he was also three dimensional, struggling with very real issues (telling his partner about what he does, dealing with issues of race in his relationship {partnered with a White man}, etc.) I really liked his character and was pretty disappointed that the show was canceled his character was getting interesting...

Cadence

Despite the fact that the main characters on Noah's Arc may tilt to the more feminine side, Darryl Stephens is right when he says it's probably the first time that Black gay characters have been written as three dimensional people with opinions, desires, and wants. The show should be applauded for that. It's true that Keith on Six Feet Under was well written the first season, but after that he was just part of the plot to used to help further the storyline for David Fisher.

It is also true that we hardly see any Black characters who are written this way, but we don't have to put gay Black characters on hold until Black characters as a whole are represented fully. Just like we don't have to talk only about equal treatment for Black people and not mention equal treatment for Gay Black people.

CA

cadence has a very good point. noah's arc isn't a tremendously well-written film or well-acted but it is the best representation of black gay men so far. it's only right that patrik-ian polk and darryl stephens would contribute to the discussion.

matthew st. patrick was probably the best written black gay character. however, let's not forget that he was involved with a white boy and was the only black character on "six fee under."

by the way, that series was fantastic, that's probably why his character was so well-writetn and acted.

Cassidy

Interesting discussion. Have to disagree with the guy who says Noah's Ark perpetuates stereotypes. Just because the show features some characters who are more feminine, that in itself does not equal stereotype. They would be stereotypes if they only served to make us laugh and we never got to see them as fully realized people. But those guys have love lives, professional lives, etc. I applaud them all for a job well done.

Also, there's an interesting article in the current issue of Instinct magazine- their "leading men of 2006" issue. Of the 25 men listed, Patrik-Ian Polk is featured and gives a great interview discussing issues of race and sexuality. Also included are Phill Wilson, founder of the Black AIDS Institute, and Derek Briggs, a black gay book club founder. Check it out.

Derrick from Philly

Cassidy and Cadence: Thanks for giving an intelligent explanation of what a "stereotype" is, and how Noah's Arc's characters, and the actors who portray them, go BEYOND any stereotypes. I've tried to do this in the past, but I turn into an angry raging queen...my thoughts don't come out clearly--but y'alls did. THanks.

nahtans

hissy fit is so wrong about Noahs arc. Patrik Ian P via noahs arc goes beyond stereotyping in that the characters are all fully realised. Noah is clearly an effeminate ( not effeminant) man who has a career. He is not simply a hairdresser or makeup artist. The Butch guys on the show are also not all thugs or wanna bes nor are they in jail or ex cons. The relationships are also not sterotypical in that we are never clearly sure who is the top and who is the bottom except for perhaps Noah and Wade.

I don't think that having masculine black gay characters automatically goes against stereotype.

sm

sorry but Cassidy's "definition" of a stereotye is self serving.

its OK to like Noah's Arc. But dont pretend it is something that it is not.
sorry, but Noah's arc does stereotype. It seldoms goes beyind the basic stereotypes.
hell the season ender had one couple having sex in a public bathroom, and another having sex in another public place. all the cuoples are made up of one who is the "fem" one and plays the "female" role.
Noah himself is a screaming stereotype.


nahtans'
are you serious? the relationship are pretty clear about who is the "man" in them. seriously. you think Trey is the one on the bottom?? i dont think so.

Serp

Can someone please explain to me exactly what Polk and the actors on Noah's Arc mean when they keep proclaiming that the series offer "fully realized, three dimensional characters"? Where? All I ever see is horrendous acting, poor production values, ridiculous "real life" scenarios, soap-opera-like story lines and a bunch of horny queens having sex. I no longer care to watch the show. Just because you sprinkle a few episodes with a gay-bashing, unsafe sex debates and gay marriage does not make up for all the other faults the show encompasses. Each person has there own definition of what is a stereotype but the one that Cassidy offers is hard for me to accept. When does a stereotype only exist if it only "served to make us laugh"? Huh? I remember when the gay community was up in arms a few years ago because the serial killer in The Silence Of The Lamb was considered stereotypical too. And that movie certainly wasn't a comedy. And if I'm not mistaken, seems like a lot of effort is put into making Noah's Arc a comedy as well as a drama series. I've watched the show and stereotypes abound! Sorry!

sm

serp
thank you.
also, i forgot the third couple is in an open relationship. stereotyping??
chance and eddie is the only relationship where there may be some grey area to their roles. Only some. because chance definitely plays the wife role in most situations.

in will & grace, jack is a stereotype. its funny, i am not complaining. but lets not pretend jack isnt.

Derrick from Philly

Serp and sm:
The problem with your definition of stereotype is that it may not be truly honest. What y'all and other black men don't like is the effeminacy of two of the main characters: Noah and Alex--ignoring the fact that they are both intelligent and articulate characters. And also for many of y'all, the fact that they have masculine lovers is "unrealistic". Using your definition, there can never be a feminine-acting male character in a film, book, play, etc. who is not a stereotype. Look fellas, I and other feminine identified males are not stereotypes. We think, we have joys and sorrows, we have regrets and we have moments we're proud of. We have feelings just like other human beings on this planet. We've simply defied society's rules of gender role behavior since the day we were born. We are seen as acting more like what society says a woman is supposed to act like. If you say we are stereotypes then you are saying that we are less intelligent, less psychologically equipped to deal with life, less able to articulate our thoughts than y'all masculine identified males. And that sho' nuff aint true.

himself

the whole issue of stereotypes here seems to stem from "masculine" identified faggots--excuse me, gay men--who are uncomfortable seeing any reflection of themselves that is not cloaked in their own desperate (pathetic) need to pass... to you, anyone who is not living half-way in the closet (like you are) is seen as a screaming queen. and the only worthwhile characters on television are the ones viewed as the epitome of macho (e.g. matthew st. patrick or greg kieth.) do you even watch televsion? what you don't seem to realize is that most characters on TV (particularly those on half hour shows) are limited in range. (think of anyone on Cheers. think of anyone on Girlfriends. think of anyone on Entourage.) was keith on Six Feet Under a stereotype because he was masculine and not prone to having deep, sensitive, emotional discussions? was david (arguably less "masculine" than keith) a stereotype because he was the more emotionally volatile one in the relationship? is christina (sandra oh's character) on Grey's Anatomy a stereotype because she is asian and driven and works her ass off to succeed? i'd like to see one of you "masucline identified faggots" write a character, let alone a television show full of characters, that depicts something beyond the macho stereotype that you are all so desperate to see represent you in the media. come out of the closet, stop hating on "out black gay men" and get over your macho selves. it's a fucking TV SHOW.

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