The subject of identity is and has been a human made hell for people as being accepted is a basic human need. It was and remains a special kind of hell for those of us that are constantly being rejected for just being ourselves, and the continuous adjustments being made to fit in or be accepted is the foundation for a special hell populated with the misfits and outcast of society. A hell filled with hate fueled by ignorance, which is more often than not built on a foundation of misinterpreted understanding from a collection of writings whose authors had no concept of Same Gender Love. How could they when nation building was the goal of a nomadic people in search of their own identity as well as discovering who God was.
Those dynamics are lost and their recollections have somehow become law and the standard for all moral behavior. Nothing extracted from these ancient writings quite fit me and the more I tried to fit in the more uncomfortable I became, yet not uncomfortable enough to break away and just live. So I became a captive in that hell, trying to identify as others dictated. The battle was on and became an ongoing struggle trying to maintain what I felt was right, what I was comfortable with. I look around today and see the shift in the level of freedom my brothers and sisters in the LGBT community enjoy, yet notice that the labels within our community have only changed in name. Bottoms are what fem’s were referred to and tops are the new version of trade or husband (although two males marrying often refer to their mate as husband without role assignment), women have enjoyed that freedom more than men, yet terms being assigned based on sexual roles is not exclusive to the male SGL community. Identify then and now is a hell society created and we keep the fires burning by labeling each other. Sadly, those labels are often used to throw shade which adds to the shame and guilt so prevalent in the LGBT.
In the 70’s and 80’s we lived for the weekend and especially the night because under the cover of night, we were away from the probing eyes of judgement and condemnation. Shit even the children of the day found freedom under the cover of night. The Children of the Night lived large and out loud and even accepted the Children of the Day that often joined in their persecution. By night they were free to be, yet by day they joined the ranks of the self-imposed and self-righteous who passed judgment and condemned us to their imaginary yet believed place of torment and brimstone, many were just silent which hurt just as much. No one dared to defend those of us bold enough to defy the curfew of night and live out loud in the day, for fear of losing a job, or a career being put on hold and worst yet being ostracized by family and community. Families that clung to antiquated teaching of a theology of exclusion and not inclusion. Many families shunned their own out of fear that God would not love them if they loved us. We were a stain on the family tree and were not be accepted. It was a hell society created and the SGL community rebelled yet often in silence. Many kept the mask of believed acceptance in place until sunset and like the vampire rose up from their individual caskets, left the facades neatly tucked in the soil of believe acceptance and joined the parade of freedom.
Free to be Miss Thing, in drag or near drag which was often just an eye lash away from full drag. Free to polish our nails with clear lacquer, tie our shirts above the waste and head to the local bar where we gathered to hold open conversations with others like us, potential partners for the night or weekend (possible a lover, who also hid by day) and danced with the frenzy of a hurricane.
Yes, yes. Yes! Dance and drank with reckless abandon only to slip back into the coffins at day break, and those that refused to lay still in the coffin were shunned by the very people that drank with, danced and kiki’d with. We learn to accept that dual life except when the one that shunned you was the same person that fucked you or vice versa. I get that confused because it takes two to fuck so how does one get fucked and the other does not?
I defied the curfew and the alleged safety of hiding. Hell, I had heard the whispers so hiding was a waste besides I had reached a point of total discomfort from hiding, or so I thought.
I knew I was twin spirited long before I read that the Native Americans accepted Same Sex attractions as normal.
The masquerade continued in the late 60’s, 70’s and 80’s because I never fit into any particular group. I was too feminine for the Queens and not masculine enough to those we considered trade. Not daring enough to go in full drag so my feminine flare was laughed, at by the Drag Queens. Being light skinned I was not totally accepted by my Ebony toned brothers and of course still too dark for acceptance in the White SGL community (a blessing). Smart yet not degreed so the self-appointed elite kept me at bay. The same treatment was received by the people that saw me as arrogant because I could hold a decent conversation and my entire life was not the club scene. I knew a few things and interacted with the world of entertainment. I laugh because some people only befriended me because of the people I knew only to push me away when the expected introductions and invitations did not come. I have always protected the privacy of my friends and always will.
I spent two whole decades’ paranoid as all fuck. My paranoia was not about the identity that others tried to box me in with because none of that ever fit me. My paranoia was trying to be accepted on my terms knowing the labels were only temporary and often situational. I accepted the feminine terms because for me it was not about being female rather homage to the source of support and strength I found in the feminine face of this expression/life. I saw a strength in sisterhood that was either absence or hidden in the brotherhood. The bond of males/brotherhood I believe was hidden from probing eyes because any sign of male affection was considered weak.
Thirty-five years ago, top and bottom did not exist yet fem or masculine did and more than likely defined a sexual role that again for me the misfit was situational. No label stuck so I did not identify as feminine or masculine, and gay was considered a White term. Sissy, punk and faggot were offensive therefore once inside the community there were seldom used except to read others (an art I perfected to protect myself). I was too butch to be accepted by the queens (a very stupid and meaningless term), to feminine to be part of the masculine crowd and living in drag was out of the question. I was not a sissy most of the time and never a faggot, punk was not accepted because it meant weak and I saw more strength within the SGL community than I observed in what was considered the world of heterosexuals. That may be because of their clandestine visits to our world. It’s ironic now that I think about it, that those occasional and sometimes frequent visits the alleged trade made, he would be the one who got penetrated.
Identifying with any label evaded me until I went into the ministry and found myself. I was indeed as the Creator created me. I embraced my Twin Spirit/Two Spirit, stopped blaming my molester for making me this way, stopped living an alleged double life, and busted out as a full human being that just happened to be Black and attracted to members of the same sex.
My attraction was not abnormal nor an abomination. My attraction had nothing to do with love as I love male and females equally in that agape spirit. I just express my physical love and lust with males. It’s not a preference it’s who I am.
I don’t identify wholly as gay simply because this journey is not always joyful, homosexual is too sterile, therefore to release myself from the hell of identity and labels I am simply connected to being human first, and what takes place behind closed doors is not anyone’s damn business if they are on the other side on the door.
Too much effort is put into fitting into what others claim is right. Being authentic requires the bravery of stepping outside all the boxes of society including those created by the LGBT community. I am all that I am, this is me, this is me and I don’t give a damn about approval as I validate me.