Act Gay in Public- An Advocates Perspective- Raleigh NC
Act gay in public. The first time I heard that I thought it was so clever and so funny. I was sitting on a porch with my new boyfriend (now husband), my brother, and his ex. We were sitting and laughing, enjoying the evening with drinks and dirty humor. I had just grabbed Justin's hand and he leaned in to kiss me. " I don't care what sick things you do in the privacy of your own home but could you please act gay in public". I was so confused at first, like you want me to wave the flag and wear ass-less chaps?. "No." he responded. The exact opposite of that, " I don't want to see your PDA." All at once, it made sense. This wasn't something that he just made up, this was a real saying. At the time it was so funny, now, it's not. But maybe it is. Nah, it still is.
If you know my brother and I, our sense of humor can be a bit morbid or extreme. It's kind of how we have always been in our teenage and adult lives. Yes, being cynical can hurt people but for us, its the best way to laugh at the situation we find ourselves in. We have stereotypes thrown at us all the time, what are we supposed to do with them? Use them to our advantage. I am a black woman. That means that I am angry, religious, ghetto, uneducated, single, and strong. He is a gay and a black, which cancels out his masculinity (you know the only good part). That means he is loud, sassy, effeminate, and ready to fight at the drop of a hat. I seriously may have just mixed up those descriptions, oh well.
Some of our favorite jokes stem from those descriptions. Anytime I can send a religious video of some lady dancing crazy around a room, I am going to send it. We grew up HEAVY in religion. I have read the bible a million times and my brother has read it a million and one, thats why we know it's used as a wedge too often. If there is a joke about fried chicken and watermelon you better believe I am posting and tagging my brother in it. I will forever tell my brother that my marriage is more valid than his "gay" marriage. You better believe that he will remind me to keep a hot pot of grits on the stove just in case my husband acts up. And man do we BOTH love a good "yo mama" joke, because you know, he's my brother and our mother is the reason for that, what did you honestly think we have the same dad? Or do we?
The reason is simple, all of the titles and qualifiers are so unnecessary and we are smart enough to know it. Neither of us (read as any of all the Americans) fit into any category that has been thrown at us. I am not bitter or angry. I am well spoken and I love the acoustic channels on Spotify (like A LOT of Black Americans, that is the norm, not the exception). The closest thing that I can identify with in black culture is "2 Dope Queens" podcast, which I guess really only identifies with black culture because of the name and it's hosted by two black women (Shout out to my baby mama's Jessica and Phoebe!). I can dance, but only by default because I grew up around all white friends who couldn't really. I am not "strong" in the sense of not needing anyone, because I need my husband and my dog and Chipotle. And I think you all have figured out how I feel about religion.
My brother is something special. He's honestly maybe one of the most unique men I have ever met. Yes he is a gay man, but more than that he's my brother. He's one of my best friends and I keep thinking to myself that, what happened in Orlando, this could have easily been here, in our bubble. My brother and his husband could be walking in our downtown and someone could decide that they don't like what they see. Shit even writing that sentence... should I delete what I just wrote? (Fucking superstitious tendencies) My brother is MORE than just some gay guy. He is incredible and smart. He protects those who can't, he is an educator, and a writer, and sensitive, and smarter than most of the people I know, sometimes. He will change the world some day. I would hate to have to kill someone for not thinking anything more than he is just some gay guy.
People always argue that we should do away with abortion because what if we kill the baby that cures cancer, but what if you apply that to hurting anyone, especially the people that already are here walking on earth. Those 50 people shot in Orlando, what if one of them would have healed the world?
I just want stop everyone. Stop everything. Think before you speak. Your opinion, it doesn't mean anything if you don't stop to think about the words you type. Those people didn't die because of religion, because they were gay, because they were advocates, because of guns. They died because one man hated himself and we have a broken system where our capitalist values trump (pun intended) everything else. We have a system that profits off of the constant death of American citizens in war and shootings. There are people who actively fight against protecting us all, because their sales soar when we die. They create labels so we have reasons to hate each other. Instead of being angry at each other, lets be mad at them. Instead of attacking each other, lets attack them. Refocus your anger at the right people. Teach your boys and girls to respect other boys and girls. To love all people, even if they don't understand them. I am tired of being separated because of the labels placed on me.
My point in this is, we are the same, just different.
To my brother, I will not act gay in public and if you are with me I will make sure you don't have to either. I will always protect you any way I can. I hope that someday your heart and mind can be at ease to act straight in public, because I get it's not easy. Somehow, I just know, there are more people like us in this world and less people like them. I know it doesn't feel that way sometimes, because those with the least amount of common sense tend to speak the loudest, but there are more of us, there just has to be. Right?
You are all my brother, I will always protect you.