As an openly Black Gay man, I have often found myself starved for fairer depictions of who I really am, in the media. Television has done our entire community a disservice by only portraying Black Gay men as accessories. Per the machine, we are merely relegated to #bestie, #fashionqueen, lace-front connoisseur or confused “down low” brotha’. In fact, we are MUCH more than the caricatures we’ve been privy to seeing on television. We are executives, policy makers, CEOs of our OWN companies, prolific writers, activists, artists, AND athletes. We are more than our sexualities and should be treated as such.
By Contributor Guy Anthony
I founded the Black, Gifted & Whole Foundation a few months ago to ensure our collective stories are told with compassion and transparency, but most of all with love. I made sure to surround myself with other like-minded, progressive Queer men of color and vowed to celebrate men whose stories are never told because they can’t be sensationalized.
Black, Gifted & Whole will directly combat such skewed images by celebrating, acknowledging and affirming a Black Gay man’s WHOLE self. We, in no way, claim to be the definition of what “acceptable” gayness is. We are, in fact, a group of Black Gay men desperately seeking a more nuanced representation of ourselves on all facets of the media.
In order to effectively do this, though, WE must be the catalyst for change. Black, Gifted & Whole is determined to fill that void.
We plan to award 5-8 scholarships to Graduating Black Gay Men who are interested in attending Historically Black Colleges. It is our way of ensuring we contribute to the intergenerational mobility of our community.
#Fact! More than four out of five LGBQ/T students of color reported verbal harassment in school because of sexual orientation, and approximately two-thirds because of gender expression. At least a third of LGBQ/T students of color reported physical violence in school because of sexual orientation.
This story is all too familiar for many Black gay men fighting their way through high school before they even make it to college. This narrative has occurred for many years and no longer can we ignore the importance of ensuring that Black gay men are getting the chance to attend college.
#Fact! Nationally, only 59 percent of black males graduate from high school, versus 80 percent of white males. The worst rates were found in Washington, DC, and in Nevada—both had graduation rates of less than 50 percent for black males. The graduation rate of Black Gay Men is even lower.
The Black, Gifted and Whole Scholarship Fund is determined to close this gap.
We simply CAN NOT do it alone, though. We need the assistance of everyone dedicated to increasing the graduation rate of not only Black Gay men, but ALL Black Men.
My Vice-President, George Johnson, made me painfully aware that for nearly 180 years Historically Black Colleges and universities (HBCUs) have been a staple in the community but are now closing due to low enrollment. We simply cannot sit back and allow this to happen.
James Baldwin said, “You write in order to change the world … if you alter, even by a millimeter, the way people look at reality, then you can change it.” The time is NOW to change the world in which we live and you can help us help US by contributing to our GoFundMe campaign. https://www.gofundme.com/blackgiftedwhole