I received a large response to my blog post last time, and the feedback was very mixed. I'd just like to clear up any confusion for anyone who didn't get the joke, or is unfamiliar with the terminology, and why this sort of thing is important to think about and discuss.
Within the gay community, specifically the black gay community, there is a subcategory of people who call themselves discreet, or on the DL. With issues like HIV, AIDS, and gay rights at the top of the news, many people say men who are in the closet (especially grown gay men in heterosexual relationships), are hindering progress. Unfortunately they are attacked and receive (sometimes) undeserved heat from openly gay men and activists alike, and are blamed for many of the issues of inequality we're dealing with today. Granted, no one deserves to be bashed for their beliefs, but at the same time no one should hide or be ashamed of anything they were born with, in my opinion, so it's important to step back and look at this situation with different eyes, just to see if what you think holds true in a parallel situation. People on the DL say that it's no one's business, and that sexuality isn't relevant information to most people in most settings. While somewhat true, I chose this idea to center my last post around.
Unless you're headless (in the words of Karen Walker) it's obvious that I'm gay - trying to hide that would be silly. Some guys do everything they can, though, to keep it form friends, family, and the like. Maybe it's that they see it as wrong, because there would be no reason to hide anything we're proud of, like being a musician. Like one's sexuality, a person's level of artistry isn't at all relevant information to most settings, but wouldn't it be strange if someone worked so hard to hide it they way DL men hide other things? For example, in my last blog post I demonstrated a situation in which someone asked if I played guitar, and I answered no. I think most musicians would follow that 'no' with a "but I actually play....", but when many gay guys are asked "Do you have a girlfriend," they leave it at no. Now tell me, do you think if someone asked a straight guy "Do you have a boyfriend," he'd leave it at 'no'? He wouldn't, and he shouldn't. Straight guys (and gals) wear their sexuality with pride, from having pictures of their children in the cubicle at work, to discussing how last night's date went in the lounge or cafeteria. We black gay men just don't tend to do the same thing, and it's a shame. Each scenario displayed in the post represented a situation I've seen first hand in the gay community in terms of hiding, and "putting it to music" helped me see my opinions clearer.
So what's my point? We're not all activists - I'm certainly not, but the least we can do for the sake of creating a better world for our children is to treat ourselves as equals, and not allow one group to be treated better than another. Everyday we can do something small or learn something more, so that we can be on the correct side of history when children are looking back at us 100 years from now. Those little things include being able to clear up the misconception that true Christianity is anti-gay, declaring your sexuality without the lies of omission, and refraining from giving your money to companies that feed these anti-gay organizations, like Chik-fil-A.