The Fragility of Black Masculinity

"Oh, that's gay!" 

I've heard this phrase way too often by far too many people, but what's unfortunate is the looseness of its application when it comes to a male that does anything out of the ordinary. Yes, some harsh judgments do prove to be true indications; however, in the black community, there are some tables that need to be shook!

On Father's Day, a picture of an older man kissing his grown son on the forehead who simultaneously reciprocated the action onto his baby boy went viral because "that's gay…ain't no man kissing me." I'm a bit confused on whether or not your hurt comes from the lack of a father figure which caused you to not understand nor appreciate the affectionate motion, or just concrete ignorance. There's absolutely nothing wrong with a man showing a divine love for his son. In fact, that same type of affection may be what keeps him off the street, in college, and eventually a CEO.

Moreover, it seems that creativity and self-expression in our modern-day world are the beneficiaries of the most brutal backlash, especially in music and fashion – debatably the two most important stamps of Black culture. The hip-hop duo group Rae Sremmurd covered FADER magazine's summer issue and immediately received the "gay" tagline. This truly baffled me due to the fact that these guys are biological brothers - Khalif Brown and Aaquil Brown from Tupelo, Mississippi. I'm honestly curious when I ask, how, if a man lays his head on the shoulder of his own brother for a photo op, strongly implies that he's gay? Also, let's not forget how August Alsina was gay for adding a bit of red dye to his hair, or more recently, the cover of Young Thug's latest album, "No My Name Is Jeffrey," because "homo thugs don't get a pass."

Strangely enough, most – if not all – of the attack comes from other men which allows me to address the tangibility of this issue. The underlining truth that appears to be the foundation of today's reoccurring generational narrow-minded reflex is how much the image of the gay male, or a male's "gay-like actions," makes a straight male uncomfortable. The accurate definition of a gay male is to be sexually attracted and desire relations only with another male. However, what appears to be the urban dictionary's definition is dependent upon the article of clothing or the presentation of any emotional or skin contact between two males. Exactly what code of conduct must be followed for someone to prove their manhood? Ridiculously enough, extending or receiving a hug may even be too far fetch for some straight men as it has been replaced with a sufficient dap gesture.

Men are fine with being in the presence of another straight man until they do something "too" gay or when gay men do something positive that places them in the spotlight for them to see. Let's not forget Kordale and Kaleb who were ridiculed for being amazing dads to three beautiful kids, but since they aren't in the spotlight anymore and you don't have to see them on your TL, or in the news, you're okay? Even more ridiculous is the social media rant behind DeRay McKesson, an incredible Black Lives Matter activist, in which the following statement was made, "I wish DeRay wasn't a homosexual male…he would have had more support from black men. It's hard for us to take instructions from a gay male." So as a gay man, he can't stand in the front line of a protest and put his life on the line for a cause that could benefit you while you effortlessly watch from your couch? Allow me to hit you in your pockets … say you find out that your boss – the man who signs the checks that feed your family - is gay - or shows you some form of "characteristic", will you quit, or suck it up?

Quick lesson: Don't make your lack of comfortability within yourself someone else's issue.