Yep, I'm going there. The Centers for Disease Control has said over and over again the statistics just don't add up. Down Low brothers have not single handed caused the HIV infection rate among black women. They don't people! About half of the women infected with HIV in the United States are from the use of a dirty needle during IV drug use. And furthermore, we still have a large portion of men infected from IV drug use and those men do have sex with women.
I accepted my culpability as a member of the Black community and I stopped playing into this covert homophobia that has infested the Black community. Even when we have a family member that is openly gay, we don't create space in our families for them to live and breath freely. Do we ask them if they have a partner? If they are lonely? If they are happy? Do we support them in their personal life the way they support us? This don't ask, don't tell policy in our community is unhealthy and it is killing our brothas.
Like how do you show love and concern for one family member's dating life and not the other and do it in their face. Like gee, you have no concern for their happiness? Your silence speaks a lot louder than your words. And don't tell me that your disapproval of their lifestyle is that thing that blocks you from loving them unconditionally. Who the hell died and made you God? This double standard I see is crazy. The shit we let straight men get away with in our community. For Real! I learned the other day that a prominent, prominent minister got his assistant pregnant and divorced his wife and never took any time away from the pulpit to get his act together and that was ok... Huh? Yep, double standard!
When you don't feel loved, you go searching for it. This alienation of Black Gay men in our community helps to fuel their low-self esteem and leads to unhealthy behavior and is a factor in their increased rate of HIV infection. So I'm going on record. I love Black Gay men and ain't a damn thing you can do about it.
Yep! That's why I tell women to take control and responsibility of their own freaking body! You have no idea if the penis is with Bob or Barbara when it ain't with you, so why are you out there having sex without a latex condom? *confused look* #forReal. And then blaming everyone but yourself. *blank stare*
So anyway, I'm taking a stand! I cannot be concerned about the HIV infection rate within the African-American community and not be concerned about our brothers. The Centers For Disease Control estimates that one in two Black Gay men have HIV. We cannot throw our brothers away because we don't approve of their lifestyles. Shoot, if I took a looking glass into your life, I probably will not approve of everything that I see. For real! So don't go Holy on me. Please... Let me say it like this, DO NOT come at me with the Bible because I will come back at you with the same Bible and then tell you to stay the hell off my blog!
With that said, I'm so excited about my next RLT Event, #UnitedinHIV Tweet-up. Lip service is over for me when it comes to supporting our brothers, uncles, cousins, sons, fathers and BFFs who happen to be gay. I am very proud to be partnering with the Chicago Black Gay Men's Caucus and the one and only Cyon Flare. Together we are taking control through unity and advocacy! United in HIV Tweet-Up is in honor of National HIV Testing Day.
HIV testing day is this month and it's true, the earlier you know your status the longer you live. And if you know your status the chances are slim that you will infect someone else. We will be offering HIV testing that evening because we want to stop this cycle in the Black community. We don't get tested so we die sooner than our white counterparts and when we don't know we are infected we infect others. About 38% of newly diagnosed cases are people infected by people that didn't know they were infected.
Tweet about HIV and have a blast doing it. It's gonna be fun. The one and only Lora Branch (Director of HIV/AIDS division of the Chicago Dept. of Public Health) will be the guest DJ... This should be fun! And I will be raffling off RLT Bracelets and yes, some tea items from my tea partners.
The Tweet-up is June 14th at the best gay bar in the city of Chicago, Side Track, 3349 North Halsted Street, from 7-9 P.M. And it's FREE... But a $10 donation will get you a free drink and all the money will go to RLT (me) and the CBGMC, half-straight down the middle...
Please RSVP... Here!!! I'm excited to be partnering with my brothas on this vital issue that has deeply affected our entire community. Be there or be square. But I'm #UnitedinHIV.