I’m so sick of stories of Black gay kids dying.
I mean, I’m sick of stories of Black people dying in general, but I’m specifically sick and tired of seeing children…literal children…being brutalized or brutalizing themselves because adults can’t get their shit together. I’m sick of having to speak these children’s names before they get old enough to see their names on a diploma. I’m sick of people asking why “sexuality is being forced” on kids while stuff like this exists. I’m sick of Black kids being unable to find community in Black spaces or outside of them just because of who they are. Most of all, I’m sick of people acting like this isn’t a problem.
I’ve written before about how anti-Black and flat out stupid it is to be homophobic (particularly if you’re Black), but I think it is something that bears continual repeating: homophobia is anti-Black. It is a colonial (re: white) idea, which means that all the homophobic Black people are Black white supremacists, period. I know there’s gonna be some people who still don’t think that gayness has anything to do with Blackness like there isn’t CENTURIES of evidence regarding SGL Black folks. They’re gonna ignore the fact that from Africa to the early parts of the last century to now there is plenty proof that Black gay people exist to try and push their dumb narratives, but they will remain Black white supremacists. Sorry not sorry.
We are literally too far gone for any of the foolishness. We don’t have time to continually ascribe to whiteness and let it convince us that we have to be like white folks. We limit ourselves so much to fit into the white model of family (which doesn’t even work for them) and end up destroying ourselves because of it. We want so desperately to prove ourselves worthy we lash out vehemently at anyone who may jeopardize that, turning against each other, our children a lot of the time, to maintain the illusion. In other words, because we (as a whole) try so hard to be the “normal” people we see in the media we attack anyone who isn’t “normal”. Hard. Media plays a big part in this and so does religion (though that’s a whole other subject)
It is a MUST that we get out of this colonial mindset. We are losing some of our best and brightest by the second (and don’t pretend like Black gay folks aren’t talented AF at a lot of different stuff; we be out here killing in most categories) straight up because we are following what white folks convinced us was right centuries ago. We have to take the time to challenge this shit, for the sake of our futures. We have to love and support our kids, gay, straight, or otherwise, and give them space to grow and be themselves. It HAS to start at a young age because despite what people love to think, kids are showing who they are long before they even think about sex. That’s another thing actually: we have to get out of thinking that sexuality is nothing but sex. Whenever anyone brings up wanting to show children that not being heterosexual is okay, folks always answer with, “Kids are too young for sex!”. Like somebody is gonna have Bert and Ernie 69’ing in the middle of Sesame Street. Sexuality is attraction, romance, crushes, and dating. Just like how we all grew up on Disney princesses searching for their Prince Charming and watching Raven and Devon, Dwayne and Whitley (for the older ones) and (for some of us) Cory and Topanga courting each other and we thought nothing of them having sex until it was time for that, we can have the same with SGL couples. They can date, have crushes, and be a “kid-appropriate” couple if we allow them to be because being SGL, queer, gay, or however you want to classify it isn’t solely based on sex. Its your identity: how you see yourself, who you are attracted to, how you navigate the world. This is also why it is so vital that we expose younger people to the fact that they can be something other than straight: kids are finding themselves and hitting brick walls because we refuse to recognize that even at young ages they realize that they aren’t heterosexual and/or cisgender.
Until we do so we will continue to see kids dying, either by their hand or someone else’s. We are often so concerned with the safety of our kids and their futures (which is why people say that they fight against talking about queerness in kids in the first place) but we are not realizing that we are physically, mentally, and emotionally killing our future generations because of some archaic ideas. I want us to break out of this closeminded-ness and do what needs to be done. Talk to your kids, give them the love and support that they need, give them the opportunities to learn and be exposed to what they need to. We need more stories like Zion Wade’s than Nigel Shelby’s, otherwise soon we won’t have any kids at all, and what are we gonna do then?
How do you think we can support Black queer kids? What should be done to stop their senseless deaths? Leave your comments, questions, and concerns below and don’t forget to like, share, and subscribe!