Tales of Being Out in the Hood

So I’m rolling on Crenshaw today and as I pass Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. headed south, a sista driving north passes me in her car which is all tricked out in rainbow colors. Rainbow spoiler. Rainbow leis. Rainbow stickers. At first I wasn’t sure if she was a lesbian or she just liked the candy Skittles. I mean this sista’s car should be a float in the upcoming gay pride parade and that’s just being real. This is the part where you insert Smokey’s infamous “dayum” line from Friday, because that’s exactly what I said.

Which brings me to last Friday when I had to attend a funeral service with my grandmother in Watts. As we’re driving down San Pedro past Locke High School nearing Imperial my grandmother and I observe a young brother sashaying his ass across the street carrying a fierce red purse. I let out a, “work!” and snapped my fingers. My grandmother turned to me and said what was that for. I said any brother that can be all of who he is in the heart of Watts and with a red purse, is all right with me. She chuckled, I cheered.

I keep trying to tell folks, Black lesbians, gays, and transgenders are out and about all throughout the hood. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t cross paths with someone who is Black and gay. Most of us are not in hiding—we just choose not to go to that rally in West Hollywood because we have more important shit to worry about.  But don’t mistake that for us being in the closet.


The Court of Public Opinion

  • Me

    Um, okay … if you say so. I love my people but I really don’t get why some people refuse to acknowledge that most black gay people are NOT out of the closet – in the hood, the suburbs or anywhere else for that matter. What realm do black gay bloggers exist in? Surely its not the world that most black gays of color live in. I’m not sure where you came up with your observation that “most” of us are not in hiding – it may be like that out West – but in the District of Columbia and its surrounding areas, that is hardly the case. You’ll be hard pressed to find a black gay man who even wants to meet you in public let alone be out about what he does and who he is. For that matter, the few brothers I have met who are from LA or live there aren’t even out. I don’t know maybe it’s different for lesbians, but I can count on one hand the number of out, comfortable black gay men I know. And as somebody who’s black and has been out for years that’s a lonely existence. I think this is slowly changing but to say that most aren’t in hiding is a gross exaggeration.