Welcome Anthony Stanford (The Beacon News) and Host Deena Bess Sherman (The Beacon News)

Homophobia in the Black Church: How Faith, Politics, and Fear Divide the Black Community

My colleague, Anthony Stanford, just published a book that couldn’t possibly be more timely. As national debates rage about homosexuality, marriage equality, and the roles of Church and State in deciding legislation, his book, Homophobia in the Black Church: How Faith, Politics, and Fear Divide the Black Community is an absolute “must-read.”

I had sometimes wondered why the Black Church, an institution that anchored black culture through generations of oppression and violence, did not show more tolerance for LGBTs–another group that has been reviled and violently opposed in this country.

The answer is complicated. Stanford masterfully tells how African-American history and the fight for equality has made black culture less (rather than more) tolerant of its LGBT members. His research is thorough and meticulous; his writing is clear and engaging.

Stanford explains the underlying reasons why blacks particularly resisted the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” in the military and some are unlikely to ever support marriage equality. He demonstrates how former president George W. Bush’s “Faith Based Initiatives” increased strife and division by exploiting the African-American experience and encouraging cash strapped congregations to compete for federal funds.

While some saw President Bush’s Faith Based initiatives as a way for religious groups to help more people, others saw it as a clear violation of the separation of Church and State, allowing religious groups to use tax dollars, while openly discriminating and proselytizing.

When Bush could not get legislation allowing churches to receive federal money for administering social programs passed, he rammed it down America’s throat with Executive Order #13279 in December 2002.

The program created an uneasy alliance between the GOP and black churches. Stanford said that as he researched, he was “surprised by how well organized, determined and emboldened conservatives were in their attempt to buy the influence of some African American clergy.” And they succeeded to an alarming degree.

Conservative politicians and religious groups, both black and white, put aside all other differences in order to persecute and scapegoat LGBTs. Black evangelical, Rev. Gregory Daniels told the NY Times in 2004 “If the KKK opposes gay marriage, I would ride with them.”

The hypocrisy surrounding homophobia remains the same, regardless of race. Some of the harshest critics of LGBTs are people who are later found to be struggling with their own sexuality. And it’s amazing to me that those who accuse LGBTs of tearing society apart cannot see that it is their own intolerance that causes the suffering. When people are ostracized and persecuted for being who God made them, they try to please society by forcing themselves into heterosexual roles that are unnatural for them. This ultimately causes depression, the spread of AIDS to spouses, divorce, and even suicide.

In writing this book, Stanford takes a brave stand to shed light on this important issue from an African-American perspective. Perhaps Marc Morial, National Urban League President, said it best: “In an era of divisiveness, Anthony Stanford’s work provides a thoughtful analysis of one of society’s most compelling issues. Mr. Stanford boldly confronts attitudes about race, sexuality and religion, opening the door for meaningful discussion and broader understanding.”

There are people of deep faith on both sides of this issue. There are people of all races and backgrounds. The only way to make communities stronger is to listen to one another and choose dialog over hate. Let the dialog begin.

[As a courtesy to our guests, please keep comments to the book and be respectful of dissenting opinions. Please take other conversations to a previous thread. - bev]

75 Responses to “FDL Book Salon Welcomes Anthony Stanford, Homophobia in the Black Church: How Faith, Politics, and Fear Divide the Black Community”

BevW June 2nd, 2013 at 1:49 pm

Tony, Deena, Welcome to the Lake.

Deena, Thank you for Hosting today’s Book Salon.

For our new readers/commenters:


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Deena Sherman June 2nd, 2013 at 1:58 pm
In response to BevW @ 1

Hi Bev. Tony are you there?

Deena Sherman June 2nd, 2013 at 2:00 pm

Tony, when you’re ready, I wanted to start out by asking whether there was a particular person or event that inspired you to research and write this book?

dakine01 June 2nd, 2013 at 2:01 pm

Good afternoon Tony and Deena and welcome to Firedoglake this afternoon.

Tony, I have not had an opportunity to read your book so please forgiveme if you address this in there but do have a comment/question based on Deena’s intro today. I know the Republicans have long hoped to use LGBT rights, including marriage equality as a wedge between the Black churches and the Democrats. I have also understood that many blacks resent the LGBT community for focusing on the civil rights aspect of LGBT rights and comparing the struggle to the Civil Rights struggles in the ’50s/’60s and beyond.

How do folks in the black churches respond when reminded that many of the arguments against LGBT rights are much the same wording as the arguments used against blacks, with just a different subject substituted (i.e., LGBT instead of blacks)?

Deena Sherman June 2nd, 2013 at 2:03 pm

Excellent question! Tony, have you logged in?

Deena Sherman June 2nd, 2013 at 2:06 pm

Tony is having a little technical difficulty and should be with us in just a moment.

tuezday June 2nd, 2013 at 2:08 pm
In response to dakine01 @ 4

I have the same question. It makes no sense to me whatsoever.

Anthony Stanford June 2nd, 2013 at 2:08 pm

Hello, I am glad to be here with you and moderator Deena Sherman.

Anthony Stanford June 2nd, 2013 at 2:10 pm

I was inspired to write this book because of my ignorance related to the subject.

Deena Sherman June 2nd, 2013 at 2:10 pm

One of the things I found interesting in Tony’s book was how the Bush administration used the lure of money (2.2 billion awarded in 2005 I believe he had noted) but still treated black leaders like second class citizens, making them enter literally through the back door to meetings of the Christian Coalition (noted on p. 59)

Deena Sherman June 2nd, 2013 at 2:12 pm

That comment was in response to dakine01.

dakine01 June 2nd, 2013 at 2:13 pm

As a technical note, there is a “Reply” button in the lower right hand of each comment. Pressing the “reply” will pre-fill the commenter name and comment number being replied to and makes it easier for folks to follow the conversation.

Note: some browsers do not let the Reply function correctly if it is pressed after the page has been refreshed but before the page completes re-loading.

Anthony Stanford June 2nd, 2013 at 2:13 pm
In response to dakine01 @ 4

Hi Dakine01, your question is very interesting. The response from the black community varies greatly,but solidarity on the issue as it no being a matter of civil rights is being won by the religious vanguard.

As was recently noted in Chicago where the issue of marriage equality was successfully blocked by black lawmaker at the urging of powerful black clergy.

Deena Sherman June 2nd, 2013 at 2:15 pm
In response to dakine01 @ 12

Thanks I had forgotten to do it that way. Forgive my clumsiness with this. It’s my first time.

Peterr June 2nd, 2013 at 2:16 pm

Welcome Tony and Deena!

Tony, I’m only partway through the book, but am anxious to finish it. I’m a white Lutheran pastor in Kansas City, and just seeing the title reminded me of an African-American Methodist pastor I knew back in the early 90s. His son contracted AIDS and came out to him before he died, and it served as a huge wakeup call. The dad became a strong local voice for full acceptance of gays and lesbians as a result.

But the homophobia he encountered, especially from his African American colleagues, was stunning. He would sometimes drop by my office to vent at some of the more outrageous stuff he had to deal with, and a recurring refrain was “. . . and these are CHURCH FOLKS!”

Deena Sherman June 2nd, 2013 at 2:19 pm

Tony, could you say something about why homosexuality is looked upon differently in black culture then white culture because of the unique cultural history? That part surprised me when I read the book and I found it very interesting.

dakine01 June 2nd, 2013 at 2:20 pm
In response to Deena Sherman @ 14

No problems. Just a friendly reminder :})

Deena Sherman June 2nd, 2013 at 2:22 pm
In response to Peterr @ 15

Actually, I guess this probably belongs with Peterr’s:

Tony, could you say something about why homosexuality is looked upon differently in black culture than white culture because of the unique cultural history? That part surprised me when I read the book and I found it very interesting. OK, wow, that was badly stated. I’m sure I’ll relax in a few minutes and do a little better here.

Anthony Stanford June 2nd, 2013 at 2:23 pm
In response to Deena Sherman @ 10

Homosexuality in the black community is perceived as entirely related to masculinity. Deviation from sexual norms are not generally not tolerated. The reasons are complex and date to slavery and the treatment of blacks throughout America’s history

BevW June 2nd, 2013 at 2:23 pm

The response from the black community varies greatly, but solidarity on the issue as it no being a matter of civil rights is being won by the religious vanguard.

Did you find the degree of acceptance of the LGBT Community different in different areas of the country? North vs South, East vs West?

Anthony Stanford June 2nd, 2013 at 2:25 pm

One of the reasons that the question of civil right and equating it with the struggle for marriage equality is such a sticking point is due to the sacredness of the civil rights struggle.

Phoenix Woman June 2nd, 2013 at 2:27 pm

How much of this is due to outright monetary gifts and other actions by well-heeled conservatives like Howard Ahmanson, who is the bankroller of efforts to make being LGBT a capital offense in many African nations?

Phoenix Woman June 2nd, 2013 at 2:29 pm

Much like how many Jewish people don’t like it when various things (including the Israeli occupation of Gaza) are compared to Hitler’s “Final Solution”)?

Anthony Stanford June 2nd, 2013 at 2:30 pm
In response to Peterr @ 15

Peter, sadly the story of your friend’s experience is one that is repeated throughout the black community. There is a vicious scorn that is deeply rooted in black culture.

Of course, there are exceptions. However, in doing research for the book I was shocked to find that clergy who I believed would at least be willing to discuss the issue, refused to do so.

nixonclinbushbama June 2nd, 2013 at 2:31 pm

Homosexuality in the black community is perceived as entirely related to masculinity. Deviation from sexual norms are not generally not tolerated.

Isn’t that also where most of the white community was before Stonewall?

Deena Sherman June 2nd, 2013 at 2:32 pm

In which denominations did you find the most tolerance generally (or was it not so much by denomination)?

Peterr June 2nd, 2013 at 2:33 pm

I was glad to see you mention Jeremiah Wright and Trinity UCC in Chicago as one of the black church leaders raising his voice in support of acceptance and inclusion of LGBTs.

When the Obama campaign distanced itself from Jeremiah Wright (incorrectly, in my opinion), the presenting issue was a quote taken out of context from a sermon on government and God. At the time, I wondered why more African-American pastors didn’t stand by Wright; after reading your book, I’m wondering if these other pastors were happy to see an LGBT-friendly pastor taken down a notch.

Any thoughts on that?

(Also, I was surprised that you didn’t include civil rights icon Rev. Joseph Lowery, who gave the benediction at Obama’s first inauguration, and has since been an ever louder and more public advocate for LGBTs.)

Anthony Stanford June 2nd, 2013 at 2:33 pm
In response to Deena Sherman @ 16

Deena,

To my way of thinking, and I believe that research support it, the role of black men in society contributes to the stance against deviation from sexual norms. Many black people believe that guarding of male and female traditional roles is essential to the protection of the black family structure.

nixonclinbushbama June 2nd, 2013 at 2:35 pm

Being treated equally is the essences of civil rights, though.

Originally, civil rights were only for white men of a certain financial level. Our constitution has gradually cut back from that.

Civil rights were always there for some. The struggle for civil rights, whether by people of color, Jews, women, gays or whomever is actually a struggle for equal rights.

Peterr June 2nd, 2013 at 2:36 pm

When you’ve got a black preacher unwilling to talk about something, that’s a sign that you’ve really hit a nerve. Was it “I’m not going to change my mind, so there’s nothing more to say” or more of a “Society is moving toward greater acceptance, and even if I’m not, I don’t want this issue to color how I’m seen”?

Anthony Stanford June 2nd, 2013 at 2:36 pm
In response to BevW @ 20

BevW, to my surprise the reluctant to accept marriage equality and any threat to DOMA in the black community was pretty much the same. However, that said, when Faith Based funding was introduced, northern clergy were quick to be much more vocal about their displeasure with LGBT equality.

Phoenix Woman June 2nd, 2013 at 2:39 pm

It’s also tied to the place of women.

Institutionalized homophobia is much more likely in a given society if it, like that of the ancient Greeks or modern prisons, sees only male penetrators as worthy of full rights as human beings, and condemns those who are penetrated — women, other men, etc. — to subhuman status, alternately treated as slime or given a fake reverence and put on movement-restricting pedestals for their “protection”.

If a culture sees women as intrinsically human, just like men, that culture is less likely to see it as somehow wrong or offensive for men to be gay.

alicia1227 June 2nd, 2013 at 2:39 pm

I wondering if there is an unwritten (mental) division between that which is “civil” and that which is “moral”? That is to say “civil rights” is/was more about a civil ethos whereas support to LGBT has ben sequestered to the “morality” bucket and those held more dearly whether rightly or wrongly?

Phoenix Woman June 2nd, 2013 at 2:40 pm

And there we see the corrupting influence of money.

nixonclinbushbama June 2nd, 2013 at 2:41 pm

Peter, sadly the story of your friend’s experience is one that is repeated throughout the black community.

I am still not sure how the black religious fundamentalist community is different from the non-black religious fundamentalist community. White parents, Middle Eastern parents, Asian parents, Jewish parents, have been shunning their gay kids, too.

Anthony Stanford June 2nd, 2013 at 2:41 pm
In response to Phoenix Woman @ 22

Hello Phoenix Woman,

There is no doubt that especially during the Bush era that the millions of dollars made available through Faith Based Funding was a factor. However, that is not to say that the Black Church was not already on board and of like mind with Christian conservatives like Ralph Reed, Pat Robertson and others.

Anthony Stanford June 2nd, 2013 at 2:43 pm
In response to Phoenix Woman @ 23

In some ways that is an apt comparison.

Deena Sherman June 2nd, 2013 at 2:43 pm

Tony, would it be fair to say that the shunning was potentially even more severe in the black community because masculinity was seen as absolutely essential for survival itself in black urban culture?

nixonclinbushbama June 2nd, 2013 at 2:44 pm
In response to alicia1227 @ 33

The reluctance to grant the right you mean?

I don’t know if it is a morality based or religious based. While atheists can be homophobic in a 1950s way or a macho way, I don’t think I know of a single atheist who objects to same gender marriage on moral grounds.

BevW June 2nd, 2013 at 2:45 pm

millions of dollars made available through Faith Based Funding was a factor

As background could you explain the Faith Based Funding, what is was, how much money as spent, how it got to the Black Churches, and what was expected from the money?

Anthony Stanford June 2nd, 2013 at 2:50 pm
In response to Peterr @ 27

Peter,

Rev. Wright’s downfall was in my opinion political and very complex. The fact that he opened his church and started ministries for the acceptance of LGBTs would have of course been a factor in a further removal from the traditional thinking of black churches.

While, I did not mention Lowery in my book who deserves much credit for his stance on the issue, I did try to reflect Lowery’s position through the position taken by Dr. Martin Luther King’s good friend Julian Bond, who refused to attend the funeral of his lifelong friend Coretta Scott King because the services were being held at the homophobic Bishop Eddie Long’s church. Long was named by the SPLC as one of the ten most homophobic black pastors in America

Anthony Stanford June 2nd, 2013 at 2:57 pm
In response to Phoenix Woman @ 32

Phoenix Woman,

The analogy you present is a logical and fitting. However, in the black community the storied history of the civil-rights struggle excluded even the great Rustin Bayard who was an openly gay black man at the forefront of the struggle. Bayard was urged by black leader to work in the shadows and to keep his sexuality secret.

Deena Sherman June 2nd, 2013 at 2:58 pm
In response to BevW @ 40

This really does get to one of the important aspects of this whole thing and I didn’t mean to gloss over that earlier, when I mentioned the money as if everyone understood the whole Faith Based Funding piece of the puzzle. But I’ll let Tony finish composing his answer here . . . .

Phoenix Woman June 2nd, 2013 at 3:01 pm

That’s what’s so sad about all of this — Dr. King and Mrs. King were much more tolerant than many that (like their infamous niece) wrap themselves in the King legacy for personal gain. Bayard Rustin wouldn’t have been Dr. King’s right-hand man for the March on Washington if the Kings were as hateful as those who would trade on their good names for bad purposes.

I do note that the fact that President Obama has himself evolved on LGBT issues has helped push the issue forward in the black community, though not enough to totally counter the Eddie Longs among us.

Anthony Stanford June 2nd, 2013 at 3:02 pm

Absolutely, the corruption of federal funding during the Bush era was used by the GOP to co-opt the already homophobic black clergy, but now with certain results.

nixonclinbushbama June 2nd, 2013 at 3:03 pm

Was that universal as to Rustin, though? Or was it among conservative African Americans?

I have heard older African American men and women who went through the struggles of the 1950s and 1960s speak of him almost reverentially (usually by first name, as I hear them speak of “Martin.”)

Deena Sherman June 2nd, 2013 at 3:05 pm

And to what extent was the result quantifiable when votes were counted?

Anthony Stanford June 2nd, 2013 at 3:06 pm
In response to Deena Sherman @ 43

I don’t attempt to say that money was the sole motivation for the hateful rhetoric against the LGBT community. However, I do contend that it was a masterful way for the GOP to garner an increased percentage of black voters, by playing on their proclivity for homophobic ideas. And my using the congregation of megachurch preachers it proved genius.

nixonclinbushbama June 2nd, 2013 at 3:06 pm

I do note that the fact that President Obama has himself evolved on LGBT issues has helped push the issue forward in the black community, though not enough to totally counter the Eddie Longs among us.

Just for the record, President Obama took a very strong pro-equal marriage position in 1994, then was against it, then was for it again. So I am not sure “evolved” is correct, though I know that is the word he chose.

Valley Girl June 2nd, 2013 at 3:08 pm

I hope this statement makes sense, as I’m struggling to word it correctly-

My impression, and it is only an impression, is that at least in the South religion and prayer were about the only hope that enslaved people had. In some ways, perhaps this made the authority of God pre eminent. And, pastors are stand-ins for God. To accept the fact that God would allow such a thing as LGBT people somehow challenges God, and their stand-ins with a loss of “authority”.

I’m interested to know your reaction Anthony, and hear from Peterr as well.

Phoenix Woman June 2nd, 2013 at 3:11 pm

If your view of gay men is that they are substandard because they somehow “take the woman’s role” or otherwise don’t hold to ideas of how men should act, and someone like Rustin shows you to be wrong, it’s much easier to keep him on the downlow than it is to admit your belief is wrong.

Traditional notions of manliness the world over are based to a large extent on zero-sum thinking, particularly when it comes to the rights of women. Many cultures, when faced with change, react by retreating into this sort of thinking. (This is happening in white America as well as nonwhite America, as income inequality grows and many of its victims, instead of organizing to fight the real enemy in the 1% class, choose instead out of feelings of powerlessness to take out their frustrations on those with even less power and status than themselves.)

Anthony Stanford June 2nd, 2013 at 3:11 pm
In response to Deena Sherman @ 3

If I may, I quickly like to extend my remarks related to Deena’s question.
While I was raised in the African American community, I belonged to an Episcopalian church and eventually became a Catholic.

I had never attended an traditional African American Church, and did not know the scorn that LGBT were subjected to.

However, growing up I knew that young men who exhibited feminine traits were frowned upon and mistreated, but was surprised to know that they did not find refuge in their place of worship.

Phoenix Woman June 2nd, 2013 at 3:14 pm

I do know that when he recently got off the fence, he brought a lot of black people with him. Just as if he were to have appeared in support of marriage equality in Illinois, it likely would have caused the measure to pass.

He has the power to lead on behalf of the oppressed, more than he’s willing to admit. He just doesn’t choose to use it very often.

Anthony Stanford June 2nd, 2013 at 3:16 pm
In response to Deena Sherman @ 16

Deena,

I tied this contradiction/question together in what I believe was the best example possible in the book’s introduction. It really boils down to the historical risks that black masculinity has been subjected to since the founding of this country. Embattled on a number of fronts, many black men are left to feel that they have nothing else but their masculinity.

Deena Sherman June 2nd, 2013 at 3:17 pm

Tony, do you think there is any way for black churches to ever fully accept LGBT members someday? And if so, what would it take for the LBGT community to gain that acceptance?

Anthony Stanford June 2nd, 2013 at 3:19 pm
In response to Deena Sherman @ 26

By far I found that black Episcopal church are more accepting of the LGBT community overall regardless of race. As early as 1976 they were establishing equality for women and LGBTs as equal partners in the church.

Anthony Stanford June 2nd, 2013 at 3:26 pm
In response to Deena Sherman @ 55

While I try to remain hopeful there is much work to do as it relates to honesty related to the issue. The question of civil rights is subterfuge for advocates for and against LGBT rights to extend avoidance of the real conversation about homosexuality in the black community. It gives both a way to stand on a moral issue that will garner support for their differing positions.

Anthony Stanford June 2nd, 2013 at 3:27 pm

Peter,

Did my response adequately respond to your question?

BevW June 2nd, 2013 at 3:33 pm

Tony, do you see any positive trends after all your research?

Anthony Stanford June 2nd, 2013 at 3:34 pm
In response to Deena Sherman @ 38

This is an absolute truth. The survival of a young gay person in urban America is a life altering struggle. While white and other ethnic groups are also known to shun homosexuality, it is different for black LGBTs who are rejected on every front, including church, family and LGBTs of other races.

Deena Sherman June 2nd, 2013 at 3:39 pm

Since it would seem that rejection by the religious community is primarily happening in the more fundamentalist groups, do you see any movement of young black LGBTs toward the more accepting Episcopal or UCC Churches?

Anthony Stanford June 2nd, 2013 at 3:40 pm

Nixon, some of the differences are subtle and other downright cruel and patently different. Young black LGBT’s are from an early age shunned not only by classmates and parent, but in their place of worship they are made to feel inferior. Moreover, they are routinely reminded that to closet their homosexuality is key to their survival. As a result, many of them live their lives on he down low (DL) perpetrating live as a heterosexual and as a result eating away at the black family structure.

The issue and increase of HIV/AIDS is directly related to the rejection of homosexuality by blacks.

Deena Sherman June 2nd, 2013 at 3:44 pm
In response to Valley Girl @ 50

Tony, not sure whether you saw this very insightful question. This may speak, in part, to the black and white fundamentalist concept of God and why homosexuality is so much more demonized in those churches.

Anthony Stanford June 2nd, 2013 at 3:45 pm
In response to Deena Sherman @ 10

Yes, even with the offering of funding, and he GOP leadership selection of J.C. Watts a black congressman and former college football star, blacks and whites while on the same page related to the conservative views related to LGBTs, could not come together to coordinate the fight against marriage equality. It took the offering of money through faith based initiatives for them to tolerate each other, and even then, lawsuits alleging discrimination were filed.

BevW June 2nd, 2013 at 3:50 pm

As we come to the last minutes of this great Book Salon discussion, are there any last comments?

Tony, Thank you for stopping by the Lake and spending the afternoon with us discussing your new book.

Deena, Thank you very much for Hosting this great Book Salon.

Everyone, thank you, and if you would like more information:

Tony’s website and book

Deena’s website

Thanks all, Have a great week.

If you would like to contact the FDL Book Salon: FiredoglakeBookSalon@gmail.com

Anthony Stanford June 2nd, 2013 at 3:51 pm
In response to Valley Girl @ 50

Valley Girl,

This is an excellent observation, and aptly describes what some black minister who did not accept Bush era funding believed. That said, some white and black believe that it is their God given duty to defend DOMA and to protect the sanctity of marriage between one man and one woman.

Anthony Stanford June 2nd, 2013 at 3:53 pm

Thank you to Denna, Bev and all the participants who joined in as Irv Kupcinet would say, “the lively art of conversation.”

Elliott June 2nd, 2013 at 3:54 pm

Thank you for coming,-I certainly know and understand a lot more than I did at the start.

Best of luck with the book.

(Thanks Bev)

Deena Sherman June 2nd, 2013 at 3:55 pm

This is a great site and I appreciate the excellent questions and thoughtful discussion. I’m sorry that as a newbie I may not have been quite as smooth as your more experienced moderators but thank everyone for their patience. I look forward to joining FDL discussions in the future as a participant.

CTuttle June 2nd, 2013 at 4:03 pm

Mahalo Nui Loa, Bev, Deena, and Tony, for an excellent Book Salon…!

nixonclinbushbama June 2nd, 2013 at 4:08 pm

Thank you. I see those same things happening to people who are in fundamentalist churches who are not black. So, I guess I am missing the point.

nixonclinbushbama June 2nd, 2013 at 4:09 pm

Thanks for the discussion!

zubonhebi June 2nd, 2013 at 4:40 pm

This is a very interesting and extremely complicated topic. I have an unusual perspective as a gay white man who lives with a straight black man. We are very close friends and discuss topics such as this one. One of the insights I have gained through him is the role of the experience many black men have with incarceration. Far too many young black men are imprisoned and most are forced to have sex as part of their initiation to prison life. Those who spend a long time inside will almost certainly have sex with other men, whether or not they are “gay”, and whether or not it is forced or consensual. A black man out of prison has friends and male relatives who have been through the same experiences and although no one talks about it, everyone in the community knows about it. They all have to prove to one another and to the community that whatever they did inside was not because they are “gay” and did not make them “gay”. Thus the extreme over-compensation; the aggressive anti-gay talk and violent response to anyone who suggests they might be gay, whether it is true or not. On the street there are very few things that can be said that will cause more violence than that kind of accusation.

Anthony Stanford June 2nd, 2013 at 6:22 pm

Zubonhebi,

Sorry that I didn’t get to your question during the session.

This is a very interesting perspective. I can say that it certainly fits the story of the black man’s fight to protect an image of strength and masculinity at any cost and in any situation.

What I find in talking with black men who have been incarcerated that above all they are protective of their exposure to what would be a major problem in the hood.

Phoenix Woman June 3rd, 2013 at 5:06 am

Thank you for coming back and replying to Z’s question – I was hoping you would.

Sorry but the comments are closed on this post