Are you a queer black man and constantly feel burdened with the thought “im gay and black”. Find out ways to come out safely.
I’m probably sounding like a broken record as of now. The struggle of being black and gay is real. As a black gay boy I felt lonely, shamed, and In this post, I will discuss ways to come out safely.
“Im gay and black”: How do I come out?
What is sexuality?
Before I talk about dealing with sexuality I first want to explain what sexuality is.
Sexuality is a concept that a lot of people get confused with even me. I remember first learning about sexuality when I was working for the city government. I was still in the training phase for new workers and one of the lessons the instructors taught was diversity and inclusion. What I learned is that sex, gender, and sexuality. Sex is based on biology. You can either be born male, female, or in-between based on your sex organs. Gender is based on the sex you can relate to. So even if you’re born male you may relate to a female. Sexuality is who you are based on your attraction to a certain group of people.
Examples of sexuality
There are many different types of sexuality. And I’m pretty sure as time goes on new ones will be created. Here are some common ones:
- Heterosexual- A person who’s only attracted to a person of the opposite sex. A person would know of they are straight if they don’t have any intimate or sexual feelings
- Homosexual- A person who is attracted to their own sex aka gay.
- Bisexual- A person who is attracted to both genders.
- Asexual- A person who doesn’t have a sexual attraction to others.
How to know if you’re straight
Sexuality is a touchy subject. I explained above some of the most common sexuality terms. There are alot of terms and will be many more.
If a person is in denial it’s not easy to define their sexuality. For instance, a person may show signs that they are gay and vice versa. A person would know of they are straight if they don’t have any intimate or sexual feelings
Challenge of being gay and black
A gay person is someone who’s attracted to the same sex as them. Being gay is a struggle. Gay men are constantly ridiculed, bullied, and harassed. I remember growing up and hearing how random people would just talk bad about gay people. I even heard gay people, including myself, insult other gay people. Today, people are more tolerant of homosexuality. More gay men are open with their sexuality. I remember going back to the middle school I graduated from and seeing a few openly gay students. When I went there wasn’t one person I knew that was openly gay. Even in entertainment, there are a few openly gay rappers and musicians. Lil Nas X has gone against the grain by kissing a man onstage. Had he done this years ago his career probably would’ve ended quickly.
Despite homosexuality being more accepted, gay persons continue to be discriminated against. Just a couple of days ago two men in Brooklyn harassed a couple of men inside the bodega and beat the men up. What’s more challenging about being gay is being black as well. I know this because I’m black and gay. A lot of black men are raised on survival and expected to be tough and masculine to make it out in the world. And to show any feminity would make you weak. I know that gay men come in all types including feminine, masculine, strong, weak, emotional, etc. However, gays are stereotyped as being feminine and thus considered weak. And whether you are woke or not you already know how black men are viewed in society. Black men are seen as lazy, uneducated, and threatening. And so to be black and gay is almost considered an abomination. That may sound like an exaggeration but that’s how a lot of closeted black gay men.
How to deal with your sexuality?
I think everyone should receive therapy. Even if you lived in the best neighborhood with a great family you had to deal with some type of trauma, big or small, or conflicts at one point in your life. Certain conflicts like heartbreak or fallout with a friend condition us to think a certain way. And because a lot of us have not dealt with past unresolved issues we form negative thoughts about ourselves and other people. This is especially true for black gay men. There are a lot of black gay men who have had moments in our childhood where we heard others talk about and treat other gay men poorly. These moments affect us into adulthood. And so I would advise gay men of color, especially those in the closet, to seek therapy.
There are different forms of therapy including cognitive-behavioral and hypnotherapy. Hypnotherapy is when you’re tapping into the subconscious. I’ve had a few hypnotherapy sessions and it actually worked for me. Through those sessions, I’ve confronted childhood experiences and moments which has impacted me till adulthood. Now, I feel better about myself and can build better relationships with others.
In my opinion, you should choose a therapist to who you can relate.
If you’re black and gay I recommend you choose a black gay therapist because they would be better able to relate to your experiences and struggles. Homosexual black men face unique challenges different from heterosexual sexual men such as internalized homophobia, dealing with shame, and coming out. A gay therapist could better understand gay culture than a straight therapist which could provide more of a sense of relief. One black gay therapist here in New York City is Steven Welch. He offers one on one therapy on LGBTQ issues, depression, addiction, and more. Steven also leads a black gay men’s group for queer men 30+ that discusses issues and challenges specific to the gay community.
Friends and family can be very supportive. Some of them can give you great advice. Some of the can also give horrible advice. We are all imperfect individuals and have blind spots in our decision making. By speaking to a trusted and knowledgeable source we can make those good decisions. A life coach is a prime example of a trusted source.
A life coach would help you with certain areas of your life including self-love, management of emotions, and self-esteem. I’ve been counseled by several coaches and the knowledge they have instilled in me is priceless.
One life coach that I recommend is Love Dorsey. She drops alot of gems. She has Instagram lives where she talks about emotional management, co parenting, and healing yourself. I’ve had
I myself help gay men come out of the closet. I’ve personally experienced the challenges of being black and gay. The life lessons I’ve learned about self-love and compassion helped me to be less shameful of my sexuality and walk in my Ruth.
Here in New York there are plenty of support groups for LGBT persons.
Being black and gay is a struggle that many people don’t understand. Many of us have suffered childhood traumas where being gay was totally unacceptable. Furthermore as adults we deal with homophobia DAILY even by other gays.
If you say to yourself “im gay” and don’t know how to come out of the closet there are solutions. It can take time even years to become 100% confident with who you are. It all depends on you. As I mentioned there is therapy and coaching for gay men struggling with their sexuality.