You’d think that in 2008, that parents would react differently when their son or daughter discloses information that nine times out of ten, the parents already knew, but as Tatianna’s parents showed us all, that simply is not the case.
Many of us have been there and done that. Some of us are still getting dressed in the closet and have yet to come out. And behind us are generations to come of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender African-Americans that will some day find themselves where we once were, the point of no return.
I thought it might be worthwhile to hear from those of us who have been there before on the issue of “coming out” as it relates to the Black family, in an effort to catalogue our voices on the issue. As sons and daughters, I feel that it’s our voices that will make a difference with our families. Even those of us still in the closet, your voice is important too. They need to hear from us.
So with that said, I am going to leave this post open indefinitely to catalogue your input on what you’d say to Black parents who may be faced with having a son or a daughter “come out” to them. What did your parents do right when you came out? What did they do wrong? What do you wish that they would have said or done? How did your family’s reaction to your coming out influence your relationship with them? How do you plan to react if your child is gay?
While coming out isn’t relative to Blacks only, the purpose of this project is to hear from Black same-gender loving and transgender people on the issue. I’m not hating or diminishing the “coming out” experience for other races, but trying to keep the focus on the Black family and how being both Black and gay brings with it certain cultural nuances that deserve exploring.
You can post your thoughts anonymously or not. That’s your decision. I plan to catalogue them on this site in hopes that one day when a Black parent Googles the words “coming out” and African-American or Black, this will be one of the links that shows up.
What do you think?