Here we go again, Mary Mary and gays

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So I posted this short blurb in Mary Mary’s new album Something Big and it wasn’t five minutes before I got a message on Facebook from one of my white gay friends about Mary Mary being homophobic and how could I like them.  Now mind you, I didn’t hear anything from this same person about posting Nate Dogg’s greatest hits or the best of N.W.A. (Message!).

For the record, if I were going to tailor the music I listen to according to the moral character of the artist singing it, there wouldn’t be a whole lot of today’s music I could choose from.  With pedophiles like R. Kelly’s on everybody’s album, Chris Brown’s anger management issues, Nigga this and bitch that in every other rap song I hear—the pickings are very slim if you like R&B and hip-hop.

My friend’s comment is indicative of this idea held by a lot of white gay people and some confused Black gays that if you’re gay everything you do is somehow defined by your sexual orientation.

And so by his logic, Mary Mary once said something negative about gays so no one who is gay should ever listen to them.

Well that logic doesn’t even work on gays and the church because I know a lot of gays, in particular Blacks, who attend homophobic churches Sunday after Sunday and at the end of every service, wallets a little lighter, find themselves feeling awfully sanctified.

Am I saying that Mary Mary shouldn’t be condemned for their homophobic comments? Not exactly.  What I am saying is that their fans, who by and large are Black—both gay and heterosexual—are the ones who should hold them accountable if they choose to.  White gays who don’t even listen to Mary Mary but know about their 2007 VIBE magazine interview comments don’t really have a dog in the fight as far as I’m concerned.

And who is to say that Mary Mary hasn’t changed their position on gays?  I’m not saying they have but if they did, then what?  Still boycott them?

But more importantly to me is this idea that once again my being gay trumps everything when it comes to anything.

While I respect my friend’s comments to me about Mary Mary, I’ve never heard him say a thing about the use of the word Nigga, bitch, and ho to refer to Black people in lyrics by Black people. Not that white gays in my opinion have a dog in that fight either, but I’m always amazed at how they pick and choose when to go after Black artists—namely reggae and gospel singers.

But this is an ongoing problem in the gay community—you know those pesky cultural nuances that have Black lesbians like myself listening to Duran Duran, gangsta rap and liking a Mary Mary song—but won’t buy an R. Kelly album to say her life.  What do you do with a girl like me?

Nothing.  You let me be because trying to make me fit into your box or definition of who I should be and what I should be listening to is going to have you disappointed every time.

While my friend will never admit it—his reaction to my posting a minuscule blurb about Mary Mary has more to do with the fact that he like many other white gays are cultural inept when it comes to the Black community.  Does that make him a bad person—not at all but he needs to understand that many Black gays like myself don’t walk through life looking at everything through a gay lens.  Our being gay isn’t our culture like it is for many white gays—our being Black is.

So please–take your shackles off my feet so I can be.

P.S. And for those people who like to say Black is not everything–you are definitely reading the wrong blog.

The Court of Public Opinion

  • Patrique

    When it’s all said and done no one on this earth has to pay for his/her right or wrongs until he/she meets their maker. Your right why does being gay have to be the focal point of everything we do. We are first human beings.

  • Fige Bornu

    Interesting because Mary Mary is performing tonight in Detroit at the Fox Theater. In regards to their anti-gay remarks, to this day, I consciously work to avoid playing their music (music that I like – although I am non-religious). And the confused Black gay people you speak of may have been helped in their confusion by Mary Mary and the Black churches with their judgment of sexual expression. I might try to get their attention and probe them (Mary Mary) on their opinion of their gay fans. I’ll let you know. Peace.

  • DEREK

    THANK YOU FOR SPEAKING TRUTH TO POWER

  • Mickey

    Being gay is just who we are and at least we can be hones with ourselves and live in denial. There are some many other issues that everyone needs to focus in on and NOT just who’s gay and who’s not. For example, I don’t see whole lot of people fighting for Barry Bonds who PROBABLY didn’t know his trainer was giving him steroids. But people like all those SENATORS who listened to ALL those Ballplayers who testified BEFORE CONGRESS AND SWORE THEY NEVER TOOK STEROIDS and then lo and behold, years later, they offer a TV APOLOGY TO ALL THEIR FANS FOR LYING. So let me close with this question. Why is Barry Bonds THE ONLY MAN TO BE ON TRIAL? People need to realize that is doesn’t matter what your sexual preference is- what really matters is the color of your skin. Peace

  • Just right

    Weak

  • Jason

    Mary Mary are gospel artists so people can deal with that are not. Isn’t “tolerance” about accepting people you happen to disagree with?

  • I am a gay black man. You won’t find gospel music in my Itunes however one of the first gospels cd’s I owned was Mary Mary’s first album. I was shocked to hear the interview blurb. Firstly, it’s ironic that gospel artists make such statements when I’m sure at least 2 or 3 of their staff members are gay and I’m sure all of them have a gay relative or know a gay person. Second, it’s a slap in the face to hear black people, my people, who are a minority group make such negative comments about another negative group.

    I’m not saying that everyone is going to be pro-gay people and support all human rights but it sure would be an easier world if the people the gay dollar went behind would support us outside the closet.

  • @ Victor I agree. I was a Mary Mary fan when they first hit the scene, but as I grew, I moved away from gospel period. I don’t understand celebrities who damn well know that a good part of their fan base are exactly what that condemn or criticize (i.e. gay fans). It’s hypocrisy. Are these celebrities willing to give up the dollars that represent the percentage of gay fans? Bet’cha not!

  • Jenn

    If you like music for its words, who cares if the artist approves of gays? I am gay and I like what I like. Some people have their beliefs, like I have mine. I’m not gonna keep myself wrapped up in some “gay standard”. Keep doin u Jasmyne

  • I think you bring up a good argument about the issue of white gays attempting to decide what is acceptable for all homosexuals.

    I like some of Mary Mary’s music and I think if people like the music they should focus their attention on that. Entertainers are people just like the rest of us they are also flawed people. However, for some reason people put singers and actors on a pedestal.

    I like Chris Brown’s music and I don’t care what anyone says Chris is talented. Now, I know Chris has anger management issues but I don’t like how the media are demonizing Chris yet treating Charlie Sheen like a rock star.

    Charlie Sheen was in Toronto last week performing at Massey Hall and the way the Canadian media treated him like he was God or something. Charlie Sheen beats women, he screws prostitutes, and he allegedly held a knife to his wife’s throat. However, Charlie Sheen is treated with kid gloves because he is a white man. The double standards are annoying.

    I think the reason some white gays focus on their gay identity is because their whiteness is the norm in society. White people in North America are considered “raceless” their whiteness is viewed as natural.

  • Casey Rockway

    I’m very disappointed with this post. Is this the same blog that went after anti-gay pastors? Mary Mary are openly homophobic and any self-respecting gay person would not buy their music. Mary Mary are laughing all the way to be bank.

    Gospel artists Angie and Debbie Winans put out a song calling homosexuals “unnatural”. Is it okay for gay men to like that song too? Where do you draw the line?

    If you are not part of the solution then you are part of the problem. Every time a gltb person buys Mary Mary music they are just supporting ignorance.