Do We Treat Each Other Worst Than The Str8s?

Below are some preliminary results from an interesting identity and self-concept study done involving Black homosexual and bisexual males between the ages of 18 and 50. Although I didn't find the results shocking, I do think that our lack of self-awareness and acceptance of one another has created the majority of issues we're facing today. Thus one of the purposes of FO' and OPERATION: REBIRTH.
Young/Older SGL Black males say homosexuals treat them worst than heterosexuals
By Cleo Manago (cleomanago (at) - April, 2006
I recently participated in two focus group cohorts that assessed attitudes, beliefs and perspectives among young adult homosexual and bisexual Black males - ages 18 to 35; and adult homosexual and bisexual Black males - ages 36 to 50. The purpose of the project was to review how males in both age ranges saw themselves, perceived how they are seen (in the Black community), and what kind of materials and messages in social marketing or health promotion campaigns would catch their attention. The campaigns focused on mental health, wellness, self-concept building and some on HIV/AIDS.

An additional set of questions asked how they identified in terms of their sexuality and why. A final question asked was who treated them worst, Black heterosexuals or other Black homosexual males.
We are still crunching the data, but some interesting observations surfaced immediately.
Each cohort had 25 participants:

Ages 18 years of age to 35Ages 36 years of age to 50
On Self-Concept

  • 20 participants perceived themselves as African American first, and homosexual second

  • 3 saw themselves as “gay” first and Black second

  • 2 perceived themselves as equally both

  • 9 participants saw themselves as African American first, and homosexual second

  • 4 perceived themselves as “gay” first and Black second

  • 12 perceived themselves as equally both
On Community Perception

  • 23 believe they are (or would be, if people knew) perceived as less of a man because of their homosexuality

  • 2 believed that their sexuality made no difference regarding how they were perceived

  • 22 believe they are (or would be) perceived as less of a man because of their homosexuality

  • 3 believed that their sexuality made no difference regarding how they were perceived
On Sexual Identity

(No identity options were given to participants. They came up with their own)

  • 3 identified as bisexual

  • 2 identified as “just a freak” (these men tended also to identify as bisexual or “versatile”)

  • 7 identified as gay (as a figure of speech, with no allegiance to the white gay community, but preferred the term “gay” over any other known options)

  • 5 identified actively as same-gender-loving [SGL] (purposely in an effort to affirm their “Blackness,” or to disassociate from how they saw “gay” and the gay community. Reasons for identifying as SGL included, “I just like it,” “when I heard SGL I felt like finally that was a label I could embrace as a Black man”) - Their perceptions of gay included “empty, old school, white, faggoty and ‘not feeling it.”

  • 5 preferred DL or no label (explanations included that they did not want to make a big deal out of “fucking a dude” and that “I just ain’t trying to put my business in the street.”)

  • 3 identified as homothugs (explanations included, “I am just one of the boys” and “when I’m with my homies we just being boys. We ain’t trying to join no gay ass club.

  • 2 identified as bisexual

  • 0 identified as “just a freak”

  • 15 identified as gay (SEVEN as a statement of “homophobic” defiance and pride – though none could comprehensively explain what was meant by pride; EIGHT as a figure of speech, with no allegiance to the white gay community, but preferred the term “gay” over any other known options)

  • 5 identified actively as SGL to affirm their “Blackness“, and or to disassociate from how they saw “gay” and the gay community. Perceptions included “I was never comfortable with calling myself gay,” “I just like SGL better” and “SGL affirms my spirit.” Other reasons for identifying as SGL included, “I just like it.”

  • 0 preferred DL or no label

  • 0 identified as homothugs

  • 3 stated that they were still thinking about it

On the treatment from Black heterosexuals or other Black homosexual males

  • 18 participants stated that other homosexuals treated them worst than heterosexuals

  • 7 stated that heterosexuals treated them worst than homosexuals

  • 20 participants stated that other homosexuals treated them worst than heterosexuals

  • 5 stated that heterosexuals treated them worst than homosexuals

MATERIALS REVIEW:Among materials reviewed by both cohorts were documents produced by a gay HIV/AIDS related project called '"The Institute." One piece, a book called "If We Take Tomorrow," another "The Scarlet Letters."

Though we are still reviewing cohort feedback, it was clear that these documents did not test well, especially with Cohort #1. Common themes were, "What are these for?" "Me or my boy would pay no attention to this." "I don't get it." "Dude on the cover is kinda cute, but that shit is wack." and "I tried to read it, but I just wasn't feeling it."

Themes from Cohort #2 were similar, but there was slightly more support. Comments included. "These are nice." "I don't see the point." "I have heard of Tim M." "I wonder how much money was wasted on this?"

PRELIMINARY CONCLUSIONS:There were clear attitude, beliefs and perspective differences between both cohorts, regarding identity and self concept. Cohort 2# had more members immersed in a defiantly (defensively) gay identity, and some saw their sexuality and ethnicity as parallel in importance. Cohort 1# overall was less static regarding their sexual identity, and saw their identity as more defined by and resonant with Black cultural concepts. Overall a static gay identity did not fit in their worldview. Across both cohorts perception of members as real men seemed to be at-risk based on homosexuality. They also strongly disapproved of gay culture focused materials targeting Black homosexual and bisexuals males. An almost general consensus was that other homosexuals treated other homosexuals worst than heterosexuals did. Disturbing and intriguing. It makes one wonder who Black anti-homosexual campaigns should really be targeting.

More will come, when more is available.

Local gay Internet site believed linked to the spread of HIV/STDs

By Gary Barlow, Staff Writer - Chicago Free Press
At the urging of Chicago Department of Public Health officials, the City of Chicago slapped a cease-and-desist order on the Lakeview home of an online gay porn site April 20 after concerns were raised about cases of HIV and other STDs tied to the site's models.

Christopher Brown, assistant commissioner for HIV/AIDS/STD programs at CDPH, said health officials acted after uncovering “credible” evidence that models at, which also operated CocoBoyz Dorm Room online, were HIV-positive, were engaging in unsafe sex practices and were spreading HIV, syphilis and gonorrhea through contact with individuals outside the business.
Brown said CDPH’s initial involvement came in late December after HIV service providers called CDPH to express “concerns that some of their clients could be seen on the website engaging in unsafe sex.”

“We also became aware of cases of HIV linked to some of the models,” Brown said.
The business allowed members to go online and view models engaging in sex in a “dorm room” setting that was staged in an apartment at 933 W. Irving Park Road. The models were predominately black and Latino. Members could also pay more to have the models perform specific sex acts.
Chicago’s Department of Business Affairs and Licensing issued the cease-and-desist order prohibiting the business from operating at the Irving Park Road location. Brown said CDPH Comm. Terry Moore also plans to issue a cease-and-desist order.

Brown said the business owner had been “less than cooperative” with city officials’ efforts to stop the spread of HIV and other diseases and get CocoBoyz models in for counseling, treatment and testing.

“Our main concern was the dorm,” Brown said. “Our goal is to immediately look at the models, screen them and address their needs.”

By the time city officials and police showed up the morning of April 20, CocoBoyz had already cleared out of the apartment. A man who identified himself as Jackson Robinson, manager of the business, said he and the owner closed it because they knew the city planned to shut it down. Robinson denied the city’s charges in a phone interview.

“There’s no one HIV-positive in our dorm, so that’s untrue,” Robinson said. “The models also engage in safe sexual practices.” He said he felt the primary reason the city moved against the porn business was that it didn’t have the proper license. He said he’d repeatedly been turned down for a license.
Brown scoffed at Robinson’s denials.

“We had evidence and reports from what I would consider credible sources that there was HIV and STDs among the models at CocoBoyz dorm room, and unsafe sex could be viewed right there on the website,” Brown said.

Brown stopped short of saying the porn models engaged in prostitution with customers, but said, “Yes, through our conversations, there were individuals who became infected through contact with the models.”

There are also allegations that the business used unusual labor contracts with its models, which, according to one source, “at least bordered on illegal servitude.” The 30-day contracts allegedly required the models to perform a certain number of sexual acts in exchange for a stipend. But, when the models tried to collect the stipends, they were told they were being charged for such things as food and bed linens, leaving them, in some cases, in debt rather than collecting money. They were then pressured to sign new contracts.

Robinson said the business, which dates back to 1999, is looking for a new home outside Chicago and will reopen “whenever we can be licensed and incorporated somewhere else.”

No Individuals = No Community

Just as individual drops of rain make up a puddle. Individual people make up a community. By definition, an individual is separate and distinct from others of the same kind. These individuals have independent thoughts. And to have independent thoughts, they must be free from external control and constraints. Today, with many of us being controlled through religion and label constraints, it is no surprise that very few individuals actually exist in our so-called Black Gay or SGL community group.

External Control Through Religion
I think it is safe to say that the majority of the Black population was raised under a Christian methodology. Very few have asked themselves why they believe what they do. And not many have actually sat down and interpreted the bible for themselves. Instead, they've allowed the words of their ministers and bishops to become bond, relinquishing control of their minds.

Most of us were taught from the beginning that homosexuality was a "sin" and simply an abomination. And even today as adults, many of us choose to hear these same words every Sunday. And although some may argue that they simply ignore it, the simple fact is that by them remaining in a gay-bashing church is a sign that somewhere deep down they believe those words or hate to be true. This reminds me of the process of brainwashing. If someone can spit in your face and you still remain seated to continue listening to what they have to say, you have lost control over yourself. Your independence is lost.

Contraints With Labels
Top or Bottom. Gay or Same Gender Loving. Feminine or Masculine. We've all heard them or have been asked to label ourselves by them. For whatever reason, many Black SGL or Gay men seem to be OK with allowing them selves to be placed into categories. These constraints simply strip away our own individuality, while separating us from one another causing wide-spread lack of respect. But what’s even more unfortunate is that many of us never ask, "Why can't I just be me?"

The sad truth is that very few of us are free from religious control or label constraints, thus leaving very few individuals by definition to make up a true community. And unfortunately, we will never obtain a sense of community and togetherness without more self-thinking individuals.

Watch how fast homophobia diminishes when we stop subjecting ourselves to religious abuse. Watch how the respect for one another increases with the disassociation to labels. And lastly, watch how fast the HIV rates decline once we start seeing ourselves as individuals and loving ourselves accordingly.