The Internet street is not buzzing about the allege historical moment on the historic black Morehouse University symposium about their first gay pride hosted by B.Scott amongst a panel of other representative of the LGBT community. It has been called a success! The images of the Morehouse University is changing and not in the way one would have expected 10-15 or 20 years ago. Men are wearing pumps, carrying purse, made up better than some of the women and your boyfriend might even be his lover. This event probably ruffle a few feathers amongst the church and leaders in the black community…..but someone needs to be first to bring this debate to the forefront.
You know what they say, no one wants to be the first one out the gate….this is why the President of the United States is having an difficult time in the big house. He is after all the first African American to hold the seat in the White House.
Needless to say being gay in the black community is nothing new. It is no longer being the norm in the LGBT community to keep their lifestyle underground…..the kids are coming out!
Some old time church goers and families who thought they wanted to send their well educated sons who striven for that high GPA to attend Morehouse University are probably praying on their knees and staring in disbelief at the first held Gaypride 2010. Back in the day and in the black church community being gay was frown upon and not acknowledge by anyone in the family……except someone might comment that boy has a twitch in his switch. They knew you were gay but was in denial….it was not a discussion held at the dinner table nor did the family comment when their sons only bought home boys during school breaks. Perhaps it was too deep to discuss because black families focus has always been obtaining an education, working hard to pay the bills and simply survival. A discussion that was not mainstream or happening inside your circle was foreign to most black household that dare not put themselves in a position to question themselves. Nowadays the kids are coming out the closet in full steam ahead in regardless of what anyone thinks about them being a homosexual, lesbian or bisexual.
About my stance on homosexuality….one of my brother’s was out and living his life as a gay man. Now deceased since 1995 I often wonder what he would have been like as an older man? What issues did he face being a gay black man in America? Homosexuality and being gay was not something the family discuss. I can only hope that they did not stop loving him either for being gay. We just simply knew he was gay and accepted it! I can not imagine what it would be like to live a life in the closet but I do know what it is like to be an African American in America…..lord knows that has not been a bed full of roses.
Morehouse President Dr. Robert M. Franklin says he represents a renaissance; that the students of the all-male historically black college are “well read, well spoken, well traveled, well dressed and well balanced.”
No Women’s Clothing
My agreement with Dr. Franklin ends at what he defines as well-dressed: “No wearing of clothing associated with women’s garb (dresses, tops, tunics, purses, pumps, etc.) on the Morehouse campus or at College-sponsored events,” reads the Morehouse dress code. Such an administrative policy represents not the cultivation of professionals, but a regression in culture. Yet, not all Morehouse students would agree:
“I have grown increasingly frustrated this year about issues of sexuality and gender norms on our campus,” The Maroon Tiger campus news editor George W. Washington IV said “Most of my frustration is with how these issues have been discussed: in an immature, irresponsible and insensitive manner.”
Attack on Effeminate Men
The public descent on queer-identified students is aimed at effeminate men “twerking in the middle of the cafeteria” and “dressing in a women’s blouse and a large belt while carrying a purse,” as Washington alludes.
Washington also notes that there have always been gay-identified students at Morehouse, but addressing the transgendered population is a “new phenomena” for the administration. He claims that Franklin’s policy has little to do with homophobia and is an attempt at curbing “unprofessional” conduct.
Washington has falsely translated Franklin’s homophobic rhetoric into misguided claims of professional responsibility. “We are talking about five students who are living a gay lifestyle that is leading them to dress a way we do not expect in Morehouse men,” says Dr. William Bynum, vice president for Student Services admits.
Kevin Webb, co-president of Safe Space at Morehouse, a gay-straight student alliance, says the college is committed to equality for gay students and that queer population is divided over the new dress policy. “Once you try to stop people’s expression, everything that is unique about people is going to start to crumble, and you will produce robots, and we wouldn’t want that, would we?”