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Wednesday, July 11, 2012

DENIAL - THE SILENT BLACK GAY KILLER





Black Gay Men’s
Blog explores denial and the effect it has on the psychological, spiritual and
physical well-being of black gay men. When one thinks about denial, as it
relates to black gay men, it is easy to focus on accepting one’s sexuality and coming out. However, it runs much deeper than that. The
purpose of this blog post is not to suggest that we all fly rainbow flags. This
article aims to explore how not accepting the totality of who you are (and your
current situation) can negatively impact one’s life. In my opinion, denial is a
silent killer. A pandemic, which is devastating our community at much higher
rates than HIV, diabetes, cancer and addiction. In fact, denial might just be
the cause of some of the illnesses and issues ravaging the black gay community
and the black community at large. Of course, denial affects us all, regardless
of race, gender or sexuality, but as I always say, this is Black Gay Men’s
Blog, so I am addressing black gay men.




Recent developments, over the last few months
(while the blog was on hiatus), prompted the need to take a closer look at
black gay men, denial and what it is doing to us. Of course, I am including
black MSM in this too. It doesn’t matter what label you choose to give
yourself. What matters is the fact that denying any of the following can have a
negative, chronic or fatal impact on one’s life:





·      
The totality of who you
REALLY are.


·       What kind of sex you enjoy and/or have recently
had.


·       Your relationship with alcohol and drugs.


·       When last you got tested for HIV and other STDs.


·       The fact that you look and feel ill or have lost
a lot of weight unintentionally.


·       The number of men you have had sex with in the
last year and how that makes you feel about yourself.


·       The fact that you feel like a failure, because
you have wasted years being fabulous and “legendary” on the gay scene and
haven’t realized any of your dreams.


·       Your secret desire to be in a meaningful, loving
relationship – even though you constantly say you are not looking for a
relationship.


What happens to your psyche when you remain in a
state of denial? If you don’t accept who you are and whatever circumstances are
real in your life, then denial can become a silent, deadly, killer! It is
impossible to talk about denial, without talking about shame and guilt, which
are often the cause of said denial. This is especially true among many black
gay men, who might not feel accepted by their communities and families. Only
when we learn to truly accept who we are, warts and all, can we begin to heal,
grow and become the strong, healthy men we were put on earth to be. This is not
simply about coming out, it is about being really honest with yourself. Many of
us claim to be out and proud black gay men, but we still harbor closets full of
secrets, shame and denial.


When it comes to denial and black gay men, denial comes in a
variety of shapes and forms. There’s the denial of sexuality(which happens to
most of us at some stage), denial of sexual practices, denial of our true
financial situation, denial of our HIV status…. and the list goes on. Not only
do we deny these parts of ourselves to our friends, but we also deny them to
ourselves, which is when it gets really dangerous. How many black gay and
bisexual men do you know, who can’t last a week without getting high and/or
drunk? Or those who always seem to be stuffing their faces with candy and junk
food, even though diabetes runs in the family. Ever thought there might be a
reason for this? I know I’ve had my moments too. It is important for us to
recognize what the shame and denial is doing to our lives. Suppressing who you
really are and the truth about your sexual, financial, emotional and physical
health often gives birth to other problems. Depression and addiction spring to
mind, both of which increase the risk of becoming HIV positive.


I am struck by the amount of black gay men still
not getting tested regularly for HIV. Many only find out when their immune
systems are severely compromised – with CD4 counts in the double and single
digit range. They are called late presenters and often only find out they are
HIV positive, when they also receive an AIDS diagnosis. I am saddened by the
fact that in the last 6 months, I have known and heard of at least 2 black gay
men, who have died alone in their apartments. I am disgusted by the fact that
some of us see our (so-called friends) looking like death warmed up and say nothing.
It is too close to home, we don’t want want to offend, our own denial kicks in.
We don’t want to deal with our own mortality, so we become enablers in the big
black gay dance of denial. A friend of mine was recently ill and diagnosed with
HIV – actually, he has an AIDS diagnosis. When I saw him, it made me wonder how
those friends, who had been seeing him regularly, had failed to say anything to
him, in the months prior to his diagnosis. I would have hauled his ass to the
clinic months ago. Sometimes, all a friend needs is a little push and lots of
support.


After receiving  an HIV or AIDS diagnosis, many of us remain
in denial. Some don’t take their meds, many lie to friends, sexual partners and
even lovers about their HIV status, because they haven’t accepted it
themselves. It is really not surprising, because some black gay men can’t even
admit to strangers, friends and lovers that they often enjoy bottoming. Now, if
you can’t even admit that to your man, how the hell are you going to be able to
deal with being HIV positive? Don’t get me wrong, I am not suggesting one needs
to disclose one’s diagnosis to all so-called friends. However, you owe it to
your lover or man to tell him. Sad thing is, taking the prescribed meds and
being honest about one’s HIV status both decrease the risk of HIV transmission.
Studies have also shown that HIV positive individuals, who have support from
loved ones live longer. This is why I say denial is the black gay silent
killer. If we are not poisoning our minds, bodies and souls with drugs and
alcohol, we are silently colluding with the spread of HIV and AIDSin
the black gay community.


A lot of us come out, burst onto the gay scene
and get caught up with the clubs, caught up with the ball scene, caught up with
the sex, caught up the drugs, caught up with keeping up appearances and we deny
what’s really happening in our lives. We deny the fact that our souls are
slowly dying, we deny the fact our dreams are dying, we deny the fact that our
ambitions are dead and we pretend that it is all a fabulous gay ole time! Of
course, it is never too late and it can be fabulous, but we need to wake up and
deal with what’s really happening in our lives. Not what we would like others
to think is happening, but what is really happening.  Only then can we
become stronger and achieve the inner peace so many black gay men crave. A lot
of us get so immersed in being gay and the perceived lifestyle, that the true
core of who we really are is slowly and silently being killed, each and every
day. I think it is time for us to dig deep, take a good long hard look in the
mirror and stop the denial, because it is killing our brothers, it is killing
black gay men.

OBAMA BOY VIDEO




There’s an ‘Obama Boy’—and guess who he’s got a
crush on.


Remember "Obama Girl"? She had that YouTube music video “Crush on Obama.” It’s
stuck in your head now, isn’t it? I bet you thought that was over, too. Well
with another election coming up it’s time for another stalker supporter
to show their love for the POTUS. Yes, there’s an “Obama Boy,” and he too has a
crush on Obama. He celebrates the president’s LGBT support while getting, um,
physical with an Obama cardboard cutout. While this election may seem tepid in
comparison to the fanfare of 2008, at least we can count on the internet to
keep the funny coming.


Watch the video below:










SOURCE: OUT DOT COM

LINKWITHIN

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