Tuesday, February 24, 2015

M3 Bearcast Ep 5: Black and Gay Stereotypes

Episode 5: Black and Gay Stereotypes
February 24, 2015

Gay black men face a host of different stereotypes, and in our fifth episode of the M3 Bearcast I try expose some of those stereotypes and get at the heart of why some of them can be damaging to the gay black community. May gay men face discrimination because we’re expected to fit into a narrowly defined set of behaviors and attitudes. One mission of Male Media Mind is to show that black gay men have a diverse set of interests and backgrounds, and as we discuss these stereotypes that we’ve had to deal with, we hope to expose people to a wider range of the gay black experience. 

One of the more resistant stereotypes that seems to face most gay men is that of effeminacy. There are some serious issues with efemiphobia within the gay community, but not all gay men are feminine and it can be expectation that some people have of all gay men. In the Bearcast, we examine the different ways gay men express our sexuality without denigrating effeminate gay men. When you're part of a minority community, those within and without will try to place you in a box. Those who don't fit in that box will often feel like outsiders even though they are in the same community. And by attempting to make everyone within a community alike, it makes it all that much easier to discriminate and to discount their individual merits and abilities. 

We also talk about the cultural expectations that gay men have about each other. Are we supposed to know certain facts about certain gay icons? What books and movies are you expected to have read or seen? One of the stories recounted in the podcast was of a participant within the M3 Facebook group who claimed that he wasn’t part of the gay community because he didn’t like fashion or drag shows or something else, but what was strange is that the group was exclusively gay and black and he was part of that group and speaking to that audience while at the same time claiming that he wasn’t a part of that community. To a certain segment of the gay population they have bought into the idea that you have to like certain things or be a certain way in order to be gay, and many of the same things could be said about the black community as well. 

How far would you go to fight stereotypes about members of your community? Are you the type of black man who shows up 15 minutes early to every appointment just to make sure that CPT isn't considered a real thing or at least not applied to you? Are you embarrassed when you see black people fighting on world star hip hop or making lots of noise in a movie theater? Make sure to leave us a comment or question about this episode of the Bearcast 

Male Media Mind