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28 October 2008

Comments

freeleo

ok, these statistics are making me sick to my stomach. what are people doing? doesn't any one care to save their own damn life?

West Side Poz

I do not live in Philladelphia but in the great city of Chicago and hometown of our next president Barack OBAMA. Irregardless it is very easy to see the problems here are the same. There are programs for white gay men, black women, black men but VERY FEW PROGRAMS FOR BLACK GAY MEN.

it is no surprise the Philladelphia Enquirer does not mention black gay men. WE ARE AN INVISIBLE MINORITY AND OUR KILING OURSELVES.

Daps to Rod for not being afraid to tackle HIV.

We need to get involved MY BLACK BROTHERS.

jbm

"There are programs for white gay men, black women, black men but VERY FEW PROGRAMS FOR BLACK GAY MEN."

I don't understand this statement. Do the programs exclude black gay men? Why can't gay black men partake of the programs with white gay men or [straight] black men? Are the barriers regulatory, mental, apathy or something else?

jbm

"There are programs for white gay men, black women, black men but VERY FEW PROGRAMS FOR BLACK GAY MEN."

I don't understand this statement. Do the programs exclude black gay men? Why can't gay black men partake of the programs with white gay men or [straight] black men? Are the barriers regulatory, mental, apathy or something else?

freeleo

jbm, that's crap. if you show up they will serve you regardless of color. the problem is black gay men are still having sex without condoms. the problem is black gay men don't love themselves so they don't give a damn who they infect. the problem is the amount of homophobia in the black community. it's sickening. i grew up right in north philly. i know how trifling some of those men are. it's sickening. after my third encounter with a poz brother who didn't disclose his status (i had to trick it out of all of them) i got sick of it and moved to cali, not that it's any better here, i'm still negative but not dating much because black men lie and i don't trust easily anymore. (don't ask me about white dudes. i don't date them or care what the do.)

gurlene

Love them or not I admire the way white gay men got organized back in the 80's when it was appearant there was an epidemic. They new they had a hostile administration and a clergy who continously harped on how this was gods answer to homosexuality(Reagan, Rev. Fallwell). The could not have asked for a better ally than the black church.

After many of my friends passed away in Los Angeles I got so depressed I transfered to DC sight unseen. That was the biggest mistake of my life so far. I had never been around that many black gay men who were as self hating as they were. Many of those men looked like walking skeletons and had no idea what they were infected with. One person who I met and befriended on the job collapsed and had to be taken by ambulance to the hospital. Five days later he died. The same black women whom he had laughed with for years did not attend his funeral. When I pointed out to them this was the time you should reflect back on the good times they had had over the years you could have heard a pin drop. Trust me being an out of the closet gay man I was at war with those bitches and I didn't give a fk. You could only just stand back and watch and shake your head.

It was also the fault of the black church that HIV spread with like wildfire. As long as they thought it only infected gay men they sat back and said nothing. A pastor of one of the largest churches in DC refused to attend his own sons funeral because he refused to acknowledge his son was gay.

White men never once discriminated against black gay men when they came to the Whitman-Walker clinic. Never. It was the Nation of Islam, who complained about white gay men's clinics getting funding and they got nothing, that made black gay men feel less than human. Several of those workers were caught on tape making derogatory remarks about gay men. This only led to more men not being tested. It is really painful to think back how many funerals I attended only to hear the comments of the pastor about the lifestyle of the deceased, directly or indirectly.

We are now in a new millenium an what is still happening 26 years later after HIV was discovered in the black community? Basically nothing. I find it sad that celebrities such as Luther Vandross (and please don't try to tell me he was not gay) could not find it in his heart to make a gesture toward his brethren in his waning days. Maybe he figured no one would buy his old cd's. I don't know. Elton John and a whole slew of others said to hell with that. We are helping our own kind. Black gay celebrities just don't get it. Tyler Perry all of a sudden turns strait and puts the "queen" Bishop Eddie Long in his movie. I have written that sorry azz queen and his alter ego Medea off my radar screen. His lack of sensitivity towards us has no effect on his black gay fan base. Even David Geffen dug into his pocket and threw a few nickles at gay causes. But our "queen"? Need I go on?

Get set for round two. The wave of this tsunami have been visible for at least two years now.

Luther

Gurlene, you have made some great points, however, if someone wants to keep their private lives private and if they don't go around bashing the gay community, I can respect that.

The article shows one big point, just how and what is it going to take to get us up and fighting this battle with all the ferocity that it takes? And, for the life of me, three paragraphs in the paper is amazing, I have never been to Philly, but, would assume three are more than two black gay men in town and that there has to be some black geared group trying to fight the battle.

I guess it goes back to that line, no diversity in the office and this is the result.

S. Flemming

Gurlene has a point about DC ...

Self-loathing is the law of the land here. I don't even bother with dating here anymore. I don't even think I want to be here much longer, period.

As for the article, I mean, it is what it is. We all know the the deal. Honestly - if there were more than three graphs, would it really have made much difference? The moral of the story is the same after two decades: use a condom or keep your pants zipped.

QH

I think everything said has validation from almost each angle. But we as a people, blacks, have to change the way we deal with things.

As mushy as it may be, until we start making an atmosphere to free our hearts and minds, our bodies and actions can't follow.-QH

Rowan

Gurlene said it all.

ALL.

jbm

Picking up on the self hate comments, I have observed that many of us black gay men don’t like or respect each other. Even so called friends often make cutting and biting remarks to each other and call each other by derogatory names. So maybe we should begin with an honest dialog to discuss this and some of the reasons and issues behind our feelings of distain for each other and what are some possible solutions.

I will begin with some of my reasons and true feeling for resenting other gay brothers:

1) Rampant promiscuity and high HIV infection rates; I think how can anyone in this day an age be so irresponsible an loose.

2) You can’t trust gays around your man. I’ve had gays tell all kinds of lies behind my back in efforts to get with my man or just cause a break up.

3) A growing lack of interpersonal skills among gays. It appears to me that many gays increasing do not see another gay as an individual but merely see an amalgamation of body parts that can be ordered per specification via the internet.

4) The rampant drug use. After witnessing the devastating effect of drugs in the 80’s on people and on communities, again I think how could anyone be so foolish in this day and age as to use drugs.


Some claim that these behaviors are the result of persecution and pain. Sure there is persecution and pain, however today there are also tremendous freedoms and opportunities relative to yesterday. Gays can get married; many employers now offer same sex domestic partner benefits, many communities have laws prohibiting discrimination and the younger generations are much more accepting of same sex relationships. Back in the 80’s you could be fired from your job or evicted from you apartment for just being gay. Yet and still back then some of us at least attempted to form stable meaningful relationships. Why not grab onto the opportunities of today and work towards and believe in a brighter future? To often today however I hear black gays say that they are only interested in jump offs and could give a damn about getting to know anything more than their jump off partner’s body parts that night. I believe this attitude is really a mask for insecurity and a fear of true intimacy and rejection.

I like many others must deal with insecurity. My insecurity stems from my early childhood when I was persecuted and abused and I would ask, “what wrong with me; why are they treating me like this?” Today I deal with my insecurities by picturing many of the events which happened from the stand point of a third party adult observing the events. From this vantage point I am often able to realize that there is indeed nothing wrong with the young child, but it is the teenage or adult persecutor with whom there is indeed something wrong. This lets me honestly say to myself, there was and is nothing wrong with me , and honestly believing that there is nothing wrong with me helps to lowers my insecurity and fear of intimacy and makes me more tolerant of the human faults of others.

gurlene

JBM I understand your feelings based on your observations and experiences.

Many of the things you listed are the very reason I quit going into bars in the village. I stepped into ChiChi's two years ago and so help me god I felt like I was at a casting call for OZ. It was just thug city and I'll be damn if I sit around shit like that. I have been gay since I can remember but I knew that is not the type of crowd I want to be around. Damn the fact they were black these people looked and acted just like what many of them claim to be. THUGS. Now I knew why there is always a police car nearby and undercover officers dispursed amongst the thugs. It is a damn shame.

But many of those kids have social problems up the yang yang that can actually be traced back to the way grandma brought up momma. Many of them are from NJ who come over because there is no safe place for them in Newark. Many of them have no other choice but to hustle because of criminal records that forbid them from breaking out of that revolving door situation they unfortunately got trapped in looking for easy street or just did not know any better then nor now.

However lets not forget several things about people themselves. All jews are not rich. All young white gay men who hit the bars are not meth addicts. All young black men do not bareback nor stab each other in the back.

That is just a generalization. I am not saying you said they were.

Just beware when that alarm bell goes off pay attention to it though. It is always best to err on the side of caution.

Kevin Perez

A lot of these comments have made made me feel a little better about my insecurities, somewhat. I'm 18 and a senior in High school, I'm still pretty much in the closet when it comes to my family. I suffer from a tremendous inferority complex, mostly because I'm incredibly light skinned (by light skinned, I mean what's considered ''White'') which is basically problematic when comes to what being the ideal ''Latino'' is. I'm too scared to think of dating or ''hooking up'' with someone. I suffer from severe sexual frustration but know its better to be safe than sorry. Especially since there is a DL to Hispanic/Latin men as well.

I won't be coming out anything time soon, especially with the Spanish Carribean and Latin America's stance on homosexuality, even if Puerto Rico is supposedly ''accepting''. Not to mention the role of the g.....n Catholic church and machosim too boot. Also into consideration a psuedo-religious mother and a former US soldier for father. Not a nice mix.

For the most part, though, it's not as terrible as I could imagine the way it could for many others. I'm just go to let things be the way they are until I figure out something.

freeleo

Wow Kevin. That's a lot to deal with especially if you are trying to do it alone. Brother, you may want to try talking with someone. There are programs in most cities where you can go and talk to counselors for little or no money based on your financial situation. This counseling can be done on your own. If you live in a major city, there is usually a gay and lesbian center where you can go and ask for information or a referral.

You don't have to get hiv, Kevin. I came out at the height of the AIDS epidemic. I've been sexually active for a long time. I'm still hiv negative. Since the scientific community told us that condoms were our best defense against the virus, I've always used one. Abstinence was not an option for me. I enjoyed sex way too much for that.

I can tell you are a wise and cautious young man. You don't want to become paralyzed with fear. You are young. You should be enjoying your life. Be very safe. Ask questions. Regardless of what men tell you about their status, this is your life. You control it. I feel for you man. It's a very different world you are trying to find your way in then the one I came out in. Be safe.

ChrisJ

Why are you surprised that a largely "white" paper is not discussing black men more when black men hide from HIV/AIDS themselves?

Don't wait for the "white" press to shed light on HIV/AIDS...mobilize yourselves! Protect yourselves!

You don't need white people to tell you to put on a condom and be safe.....tell each other!

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