I was pleasantly surprised to hear about Dr. Raynard Kington, the first Black gay president of Grinnell college. In a world where far too many of our people believe living an open and authentic life is a barrier to success, here we have a glowing example that it is not. But the fact that I was "surprised" tells me that I don't always instantly believe it. I have to remind myself.
There is a high level of "damaged goods" amongst Black gay men. We've had a tougher row to hoe growing up black and gay in a mostly 'churchified', hyper-masculine Black America where a drug-dealer gets more respect than an openly gay man. The "masculine journey" message featured above from Eddie Long's Longfellow's Youth Academy says it all - well, that and the anti-gay ranting Long's infamous and dizzying hypocrisy. Church vilification leads to the rise of the down-low and other self-destructive behavior, which, no doubt, explains the higher rate of HIV infections. Not disparaging my colorful and talented Black brethren, just relating a series of sad facts.
Rob Smith - freelance writer, former contestant on I Want to work for Diddy, and army vet - said it best in this HuffPo piece about Defarra 'Dean' Gaymon (the Black CEO of Credit Union of Atlanta, who was shot and killed July '10 by an undercover cop in Newark in a known gay cruising area in a botched sex-sting operation):
There is some truth to what he said. Some would even say that it is easier to break this taboo in academia than it is in the corporate world. The same people might parse between fields like Hollywood, professional sports, or the music industry. But it's never easy to be the first anything, no matter what field of endeavor.
The thing about glass ceilings is, hell, they're glass, which means they are poised to shatter at any given moment. The next 1st Black gay (fill in the blank) is just a brief, soul-searching internal struggle away.
Back to Dr. Raynard Kington.. This is a little out of left field but another friend lamented that he was saddened that Kington was not with another black man.
While it would have been wonderful to have a Black male power-couple in this story, alas, love is love and Kington fell for someone who wasn't Black. Such is life.
But Dr. Kington found love. He shattered a ceiling. He's living life authentically. And that's all that should matter to anyone. ~
Posted at 03:28 PM in Bishop Kevin Boyd, Sr., Black & Brown Bloggers ..., Black Pride 101 , Dean Gaymon, Don't Ask, Don't Tell, Down Low, Eddie Long, LGBT, Raynard Kington, SGL-Self-Help | Permalink | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0)
Tags: defarra dean gaymon, dr raynard kington, ed koch, eddie long, rob smith
Corey @ I'll Keep You Posted
With [Rudy] Lewis's cool, yet intense vocals, the Drifter's enjoyed some of their most critically acclaimed recordings, as well as some of the slickest produced Pop-R&B hits of the early 60's, and like all the lead singers before him, he was destined for a solo career. He was attractive enough, and certainly had the voice power, but unlike the other leads, he never quite achieved that star power. Rudy Lewis had a few secrets that may not have been known to the general public; he was addicted to heroin, and he was a black gay man... (more)
The above piece by Gary Hardwick blew me away. It is a very well thought out analysis of a serious problem in Black America, tracing sexual abuse all the way back to slavery and up to the prison system of today which houses 10% of the black males of America. Is Eddie Long the Chicken (laying abusive eggs) or the egg (once abused, now abuser)? I guess only Eddie Long knows for sure; and I'm equally sure he'll never tell.
Still, I felt something was missing in the piece. Something crucial.
There is a certain vibe in the piece that suggests abuse and a system rigged against black men are the cause of homosexual behavior. I know this is really about sexual abuse, still, someone less informed could surmise that all black gay men were themselves abused at some point.
Some people are born gay - without being molested or in anyway "lured" toward a same sex orientation.
Though I agree with everything said in the piece, leaving out the vast majority of (non-coercive) same gender loving black relationships furthers the ugly theory that we are broken and in need of repair. We're not. That mind-set is killing our children. The bad eggs (like McClurkin) are killing our children.
Before McClurkin's broken ass, long before 'Bishop' Eddie Long turned Jesus into a pimp, there was a real Bishop who embraced and affirmed his truth, and made us dance to it - Carl Bean.
Our powerful icon for equality Lady Gaga's Born This Way will be debuting in 2011. I pray its half as inspiring as this powerful song from the disco era of '77 ....