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.