The intersection of HIV, LGBTQ, and the path of acceptance
The growing phenomenon of black men who publicly practice a heterosexual lifestyle yet engage in private homosexual relationships has been the target of media interpretation and controversy over the past 10 years. Media outlets such as The New York Times, and television shows such as Law and Order: Special Victims Unit, The Oprah Winfrey Show, and recently Empire, depict a less complex and dynamic telling of the dispute, yet these interpretations have become normative. In essence, the men who are portrayed as down-low are generalized and ultimately shamed by culture.
There’s more to the issue than this.
1) A lack of resources implemented to impoverished neighborhoods, whether it be poor education, clinics, etc., can cause growth of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases among black women.
2) To quote a popular TV show, Scandal, black people have to work twice as hard to get half of what white folk obtain. To be a homosexual, this statement doubles, and for homosexual minorities, it quadruples. It’s a giant, upsetting challenge for men who identify as homosexual to be able to excel the same way the heteronormative male would be able to. Because of this, the pressure to live a heterosexual lifestyle is based on natural survival instincts — which embodies a wider societal problem.
The shame and generalization brought upon the down-low subculture only adds to the racist, homophobic society we are trying to reform.
The black churches, who have been recent targets in terrorist acts, have also been blamed for the lack of consideration for homosexuals in their community and the result of men having to practice homosexual relationships in secret.
In this time of reform and the new Civil Rights Movement, it’s important for us to accept and embody every single being in our community. Especially as the requirements of our next president will rely heavily on support of reformations in the LGBTQ community, race relations and reformations.