« REPORT: Eddie Long "Close" to Settling Sexual Coercion Lawsuits | Main | King & Spalding Law Firm Drops House DOMA Defense »

22 April 2011



Manning Marable's biography is the second major biography of Malcolm X to make the claim that he was "Queer" (had some sort of sexual experience with men). Bruce Perry's biography "Malcolm" i believe was the first, but other scholars like bell hooks, Michael Eric Dyson and Lamont Hill have also discussed Malcolm as a Queer man, or at least as a man who was not exclusively heterosexual over the course of his adult life. So really, the information presented by Marable and several others is not controversial, except for the fact that being Queer in a hetero-supremacist society is controversial. The fact that Malcolm had sexual relations with men is corroborated by historical evidence, and a scholar of Marable's height would not make such claims if they were spurious. Marable's biography is the most comprehensive of Malcolm to be written (600 pages) and he is being attacked by folks in the Black community because Malcolm is a one of the supreme symbols of a Powerful Black Masculinity and being Queer is seen by heterosexists as a condition of "emasculation". Malcolm's Queerness radically contradicts the lie that Queers are "emasculated" and helps destroy the idea of "emasculation" altogether.

Jafafa Hots

Yes, of course children don't know everything about their parents.

Yes, of course given the climate at the time, if true, X would have had reason to keep some events in his life private.

Yes, of course, it might be fine to walk out on such questions IF the questions are intended not to illuminate and educate but rather to sensationalize or be "gotcha" journalism.

Yes, of course Mr. X was, as we all are, imperfect. But what the hell does not being perfect have to do with being gay or bi or straight or whatever?

Troubling. She seems offended for the wrong reasons. Possibly reasons of personal bigotry.

It's sad when victims of bigotry don't learn the one valuable lesson that can be learned from that victimization.

J Simpson

"I have a lot of friends who are gay. Where have we heard this before?


Great points Rod and Jafafa. Malcolm was a great man regardless of his sexuality. I really wish people could rise above it.


I heard this interview but I hadn't realized that Miss Shabazz had walked out, I must not have listened closely enouh. What I did hear was as angry woman who was unwilling to hear anyone else's story but her own even if there was a possibility of there being some truth to it.

I don't fault her for feeling the way that she does, since her family's history has been one tied up in tragedies, but she should perhaps channel her energies in a different direction.

Kevin Perez

To be honest, I don't hold it against her too much but how often do people resort to tired and lame response "My best/closet friends are XXXX!". Think of our conservative friends who love to announce their Black and gay friends to the world whenever they're in a position in which they're perceived to be racist or homophobic or accused of those prejudices.


These "allegations" are just that, ALLEGATIONS...conjecture...rumor...Dr Marable himself is dead, so we cannot ask him about it. I don't blame her for being angry. Gay people are so desperate to color someone as gay that we only need a rumor to solidify it for us. Let it go, gays. If the intent and motive behind this is to paint Malcolm in a "negative" light, then it is terrible. Where are these alleged "facts"? Or is it heresay? Chile, you kids kill me with messy rumors and drama teas.


I found Ilyassa's comments very complicated, though. She consistently distanced herself and her father from homophobia. And she said: if my father had had sex with men he would have told the truth about it. And she repeatedly condemned Malcolm's biographers as self-serving and opportunistic.

Kevin Perez

Pot meet kettle 'cuz you're killing some us with your subtle desperation to insist Malcom's heterosexuality and shoot down some possibility that the man could have had same sex attractions. Messy rumors and drama teas seems something that the likes of YOU are probably guilty of perpetrating

Everybody here has been respectful about the situation, no one has made any jabs or said anything bad about Shabazz and Malcolm X. Some skepticism about her reaction is justified. I don't know what crawled up your rear end and response with such condescending remark.

Did the Nation of Islam send you to protect the honorable, heterosexual legacy of your king? And what's this crap about gay folks having desperation to color somebody gay? Sorry, hun, but many straight folks are more obsessed homosexuality. Straight Black folks probably gossip more about someone's perceived sexuality.

You got some nerve equating our responses to hearsay and rumors. This isn't a Black Nationalist blog or your other trashy Black gossip blogs. All what was discussed was THE POSSIBILITY. Seems it does continue to strike a cord with you about the subject of homosexuality.

Kevin Perez

My comment is in response to Hassan. Who strikes me as angry, homophobic Black nationalist trying to school THE GAYS what constitutes us gossip, rumors, and hearsay. LMAO


Hassan, I'm with you. A lot of gays have faces that split right in two and can't even can even see where they're own arguments are flawed.

Kevin Perez

WHO the hell are you referring to? Are the two of you responding to phantoms?

The both of you seem to be projecting your bad habits unto others. Aside from comments made about the possibility of Shabazz being in denial about the POSSIBILITY of same sex attraction her father could've had, what the heck has ANYBODY said that has caused to post useless, condescending remarks? One comment about Shabazz's possible prejudice, one comment claiming Malcolm X was great regardless of his sexuality, and the other (mine included) about the tired meme of people claiming they have friends from XXX group to claim they're not racist or homophobic. What's pissing off you homos? Shoot the freaking messenger, will you!

Stop making a mockery of what's regularly posted on Rod's blog, so look check yourselves when you post accusations of rumors, hearsay, and gossiping. Osiris, are you referring to yourself? It would make a lot more sense given that you and Hassan seem to be delusional and arguing with yourselves about NOTHING that nobody has said.

Mel Smith

Why are some of you bickering over Malcolm X sexuality? Because to be real, gay people of color have a history of being social activists.

We have always been social activist because we know what it's like to face color prejudice and prejduice because of our sexuality. And I think our double prejudices push us more into the social activist field at a greater level than heterosexual black people.

If Maloolm was heterosexual, God bless my hero. If he was bisexual or gay, God bless my hero. Respect all of it, move on and stop bickering.

Mel Smith

Also, Manning Marable, one of America's greatest scholars, and a HETEROSEXUAL black man, brought this information about Malcolm's sexuality to everyone.


In his autobiography, Malcolm X seems to take an arm's length attitude toward women. Even look at the way he talks about his feelings for his wife. He seems more like a friend than a lover. It reminds me of something that was said about Alexander the Great, namely he "scorned sensual pleasures [with women] to such an extent that his mother was anxious lest he might be unable to beget offspring."

For that and other reasons, I have often thought that Malcolm X might be a "born eunuch" (i.e. innate homosexual), although I was quite willing to believe he never had any actual sexual experience with men either. But this book may throw a whole new light on the subject for me.


sex sells books and to smear Malcolm X with this is a disgrace, I'm sorry I bought this book. Malcolm X deserves our respect not this 'insiders' view of this how he lived and who he supposedly slept with, just what do you get with this gossip? Was Manning there??

Derrick from Philly

I read Alex Haley's co-authored, "The Autobiography of Malcolm X" in 1972, I believe. I was a 14 year old queen. I remember reading some part about a young Malcolm "Detroit Red" or some nickname he used having to take care of some old White man. I immediately thought of the relationship as "unusual" and thought about Malcolm being TRADE in his youth. Also, I believe he mentioned having sex with a White woman while being watched by her White husband

Why would that surprise some of y'all? The sex business has always been a way for young men (Black, White, Latino) to supplement their income.

Also, I've been told that there are some elderly Boston Queens who remember a handsome cabaret Calypso singer who was "Gay for Pay" back in the late 1950s. He joined the Nation of Islam and began to call himself Farrakhan.

Trade is trade, child...when they're young.


Thank you, Derrick. The man wasn't BORN Malcolm X, the icon. He is a human being who was surviving on the streets of Harlem any way he could. Why is it so unfathomable? MLK was rumored to have had affairs with white women, wasn't he? I don't recall anyone getting into an uproar over that. What is the difference?

If the book had said that he was a hired escort for a woman, would anyone have blinked? So why is it such a big deal when it is a man? Why is there so much defensiveness about it as if gay sex is shameful? I would expect this attitude from heteros, but I am truly perplexed (and a bit saddened) at some of the comments here.

The other guy

I agree with Derrick. Anybody who has familiarity with that relationship with that older gentleman should not be all that surprised. At the end of the day it hardly matters, as his impact rises far above any speculation about his sex life.


@Troy: I'm sorry you feel that the one paragraph in Marable's biography makes you 'regret buying the book.' I would ask you to please not judge the book based on a blurb, or a brief excerpt. There is a great deal more to it than this one incident (which I also took to be an admitted hustler being 'gay for pay').

I'm reading the book now, and it strikes me as being thoughtful, well researched, and thought-provoking as well. And a respectful 'warts and all' picture of a very complicated man.


Malcolm X was a hustler, dope dealer and convicted felon. He served time in prison. So it's not exactly a stretch that "Detroit Red", as he was known during his time as a criminal, could have been a 'gay for pay' guy as well.

chris w

@Elg. No one here has described the matter as clearly and succinctly as you have. Well said.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Rod 2.0 Premium

Rod 2.0 Recommends

  • PrideDating.com, a Relationship-Oriented Gay Dating Site

    The largest gay roommate finder in America

    Rolex Watches


Your email address:

Powered by FeedBlitz

Twitter Updates

    follow me on Twitter

    Search Rod2.0




    Blog powered by Typepad