So, one of my subscribers wanted me to talk about this topic, being that it is a very predominant subject in today's society, especially in the African-American community. I found out a lot of different things about the LGBTQ+ Community. For those who do not know the full acronym or what it means here it is: LGBTTQQIAAP, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, transsexual, queer, questioning, intersex, asexual, ally, pansexual.
I asked on twitter the following questions:
Do you know what the Kinsey scale is?
24% said yes
76% said no, but they would like to learn more about it
Where do you stand on the Kinsey scale?
50% said heterosexual
28% said bisexual
17% said homosexual
5% said bicurious
Have you come out yet?
64% said yes
36% said no
Do your parents/guardian know?
57% said yes
43% said no
So, there are two different types of scales for you to identify yourself, the Kinsey Scale and the Purple-Red Scale. These two scales are the main two that are used to understand your sexuality. With the Kinsey Scale, it is rated from 0 which means extremely heterosexual and 6 with being extremely homosexual. This scale was created by Alfred Kinsey in 1948. This scale was the only scale for a while until Langdon Parks created the Purple-Red Scale. The Purple-Red Scale allows to figure out whom you are attracted to and how much of that sex you are attracted to. The scale goes from 0-6, like the Kinsey Scale, and then A to F. A represents asexuality and F represents hypersexuality.
If you want to find out where on the Kinsey Scale you are then you can take the test here: http://vistriai.com/kinseyscaletest/
Also if you would like to find out where you are on the Purple-Red Scale you can use the chart below:
So, I found out that coming out to a black home is tougher especially when our parents have these mind frames of how they want us to act and how they need us to react in certain situations and being gay isn't in their goal for us. It starts to put a strain on the parent to child relationship because now the child feels like since you do not accept them for who they are then they cannot come to you about anything that is happening in their life.
Schell said, "Being gay in the black community is rough. It’s always referenced with such distaste. You can see the disgust when people speak about homosexuality. It was always seen as something sinful BUT my parents were relaxed about OTHER people being gay. They were always big on minding your business and not judging, but boy did that energy change when it came to me. My family was ecstatic when I brought my current boyfriend home. And I was happy they liked him, but it hurt knowing they wouldn’t be as happy for me if it was a girl."
Parental reactions weigh a lot on a child and as an adult because we look up to our parents and we need their approval to a certain instant. I wouldn't say that they validate everything we do but they do but we do need their support and love in the decisions that we do tend to make on our own.
Schell said, "My parents' reaction was God awful. I actually got outed to my parents, so I didn’t even have the luxury of being able to tell them on my own terms. They found out in middle school I had a girlfriend and boy did they flip their shit. They tried to change my school on top of the fact they punished me. They legit punished me for being gay. They took my phone, I wasn’t allowed to go anywhere, and I was instructed to break up with her. My mom basically told me I was going to go to hell and how disgusting it was to date the same sex. No lie I was so hurt my parents essentially turned their back on me during a time when I needed support. A lot of the other parents didn’t want me around their kids and my mom was embarrassed about it. As time went on I dated another girl my senior year. My people were absolutely disgusted by it. My sister told me she didn’t want “that” around my nephew, which drove a huge wedge between us. My mom looked like she wanted to throw up seeing us kiss. I was living with my girlfriend at the time in Glen Oaks because that was the only place I felt loved."
Jermisha also said, "My mom said some very hurtful things to me, but I don’t hold it against her. She didn’t know how to handle it, and neither did I. We were both processing things, so I can’t fault her for her reaction. I’m glad she got it together though. After a few years, she realized that this isn’t a phase and she began to accept it. She has had amazing relationships with my girlfriends. She’s come a long way. My dad was the exact opposite. He was excited to have a connection with me. He asked me a bunch of questions but never made me feel bad about myself. He constantly reminded me that no matter what, he loved me."
I believe that you should be able to be comfortable in your own skin and be able to love whom you choose to love. Your parents can have a say so but they should not be able to tell you that you cannot love whomever you want to love or date whomever you want to date.
So I asked a few people what their current statuses are and how their relationship is now with their parents knowing or not knowing.
Schell stated, "My family is a lot more understanding. They didn’t really have a choice though. They saw I would stop all communication outside of business and keep it barely cordial. Writing this I actually called my mom and we finally discussed it. She said they handled it so poorly but it completely caught them by surprise when I was outed and they reacted purely out of shock. I am a black pansexual female from Baton Rouge, LA and I always be everything I listed with pride."
Jermisha stated, "Happy. Lesbian."
Alexis stated, "hella gay"
An anonymous person stated, "I am a bisexual. I currently have my first girlfriend now. Which has been an amazing thing ever! I plan on telling my mom and dad next year to keep them in the loop but at the same time, it isn’t their life to live so regardless. Plus, I am grown."
Then I asked, "What's your rating on the Kinsey Scale?"
"3 equally homosexual and heterosexual"
"I am a 4 on the Kinsey Scale meaning that I am predominantly homosexual, but more than incidentally heterosexual."
"I’d say I’m a 6. I have zero attraction to men. Never “talked” to one. Never dated one. Never fucked one.
I also asked, "How does being in LGBTQ+ Community affect you being in your nationality community?"
"Millennials are pretty accepting but baby boomers are god awful to deal with"
"Um, it doesn’t affect me as much but being apart of the Divine 9 when we have meetings and they bring it up seeing their reactions to makes me not want to tell them about my experience. When I finally came out to my friends last semester we had a sorority meeting about the LGBTQ+ community and my sorors were rude to the point it was like well damn why did I join sisterhood when you can’t even see me for me."
"I have to fight between being more Black or more Lesbian. The same niggas that I love and defend drag me through the mud because I love women. It’s frustrating."
"I grew up in a small village back in Tongaat, South Africa and homosexuality especially back when I was younger was/is highly looked down upon, people get killed everyday for being openly gay. I was fearful but when I moved to America and saw that I wasn’t weird. Actually got to be around other homosexuals such as myself i was then able to live happily and true to myself"
Then I asked "How does being in the LGBTQ+ Community affect you? Is it negative or positive or both?"
"It’s both. I love being out and proud; I get chills when thinking about raising a family with my future wife. It’s a difficult life to live through. I think about kissing my wife in front of everyone at our wedding. I used to second guess doing things in public because I felt bad about confusing children. I’ve reached a point in my life where I am no longer ashamed of who I am, but I still have moments when things are tough."
"It has a more positive side than negative but they are both there because you never know how someone would react when you tell them that you are bisexual or that you are gay."
"Its positive now, I am more secure in my sexuality and confident. I have met a lot of wonderful individuals apart of the community."
"It’s been a journey so far. There have been some negatives and positives that have come up but overall, I feel more at home than ever."
"I believe it’s positive, there’s always going to be people outside of our community passing judgement but within our community it’s all love"
I then asked, "Are you or have you received backlash in the choice you made?"
"it’s been a journey so far. There have been some negatives and positives that have come up but overall, I feel more at home than ever."
"People are always going to have something to say. That doesn’t stop. I’ve been called everything under the Sun, and it doesn’t stop a thing."
"No, I haven’t just due to the fact it went from “dating” guys to boom oh you have a girlfriend and everyone thinking that girlfriend means best friend until I tell them, yes I date a girl."
"Backlash from everyone tbh. My friends were beyond very supportive though. They got me through all of my bs honestly."
"When I came out initially at 13, my parents were in America they came here before me. I was abused verbally, I remember my grandfather telling me I was going to hell, that if I didn’t change my ways I’d be disowned. I remember him telling people in the family not to bring it up with my mother because he didn’t want to upset her. And because of this backlash i became scared of what my parents would think, I didn’t come out to them till I was 17, they accepted me immediately told me as long as I’m happy it didn’t matter who I loved and I’ve been happily living a rainbow life since"
Honestly, doing this research made me realize more about myself and more about the people around me. At the end of the day, we are African-American and our culture is the same but whom you choose to love and be with shouldn't reflect on how we treat each other. Instead of shaming others we should learn to understand them and if it doesn't go with your values then DO NOT push them to believe what you believe is right because it isn't your life it's theirs. Nobody wants to be told that he or she are going to hell because he or she chooses to love the same sex and wants to be happy within themselves. It takes a strong individual to come out and even stronger to tell their family this is me and this is how I am going to live my life. You can either love or respect me for me or let me be.