March 3, 2016, 5:37AM
Little Black Gay Boys,
This is an open letter to you. I hope this finds you well. I'm sorry that it's taken me almost 40 years to admit this, but we failed you and I owe you an apology from all of us that came before you. I'm sorry that we didn't do a better job of shielding you from the pitfalls, of protecting you and offering guidance those times you were unsure or felt like you were all alone. I've asked myself a million times, 'Who cries for the little Black gay boy?'
I'm sorry that we didn't equip you with the tools to navigate successfully in this community. In some cases, we watched you stumble and fall while offering nothing more than a simple shake of the head. But for what it's worth no one taught us how to be. Nevertheless, I have to admit, you've made me very proud. You've marched boldly through the world, at times, holding the door open for some of us to step through and out of that closet. You flourished in some areas with very little direction from us, but still I wonder often, 'Who cries for the little Black gay boy?'
See, the generation that came before me taught me how to sneak, cheat, hide and lie about who I was so it was impossible for me to take you by the hand and show you the way, or even be there for you when your very own family turned their backs on you. Still, you've somehow managed to live unabashed in the light. Perhaps, you took notes from watching some of us cower in that same closet, which you've refused to dwell in. I want to break this cycle of silence and so again I ask, 'Who cries for the little Black gay boy?'
We should have taken you under our wing and taught you that being gay is more than sex or being well dressed and well spoken, that it's a responsibility. Instead, we allowed your well defined body to distract us and we became more focused on trying to lure you into our bed.
We used you for sex to feed our egos; all for the sake of pacifying our fear of growing old alone. 'Who cries for the little Black gay boy?'
And we were simply too busy trying to forget about our past hurts & past pains, and all of the emptiness we felt through our own frustrations with being Black and gay. 'Who cries for the little Black gay boy?'
We should've taken the time to show you what it really means to be Black, gay and proud because it isn't simply going to clubs during gay pride weekend in various cities across this country. 'Who cries for the little Black gay boy?'
But we were too worried about getting older and concerned with staying young, and looking young rather than teaching you the things you really need to know about sex. 'Who cries for the little Black gay boy?'
And because we failed you, you resort to using half naked and naked pictures of yourself on social media to gain likes and followers because we didn't step in sooner to whisper in your ear, 'This may come back to haunt you someday.' Again, I ask, 'Who cries for the little Black gay boy?'
We neglected to tell you that there's an art to love and it begins with friendship, not sex. Consequently, you have sex with hopes of finding love, and for fun even, because we've convinced you that people no longer die from complications from AIDS because the medicine is better now. 'Who cries for the little Black gay boy?'
We've even fooled you into believing that Prep is a cure or vaccine for HIV so you've become even more carefree and boastful about having raw, casual sex. Shame on us and shame on you for not doing better.
The consequence of us standing by, watching and saying nothing has resulted in far too many little Black gay boys living with the reality of being HIV positive; and moving through the world feeling empty and loveless. 'Who cries for little Black gay boy?'
What I know for sure is that it isn't too late because it's never too late to be better or for me to say, 'I love you. WE NEED YOU. Be safe and keep loving yourself...'