What it's like coming out as a black man when people see it as a 'white thing'. I still remember my mum saying that to me. But I was 23 and still living at home, and I had no idea my mum had been listening through the door. I remember feeling so scared in that moment. I realised that I would have to finally tell her the truth - I was gay. Despite knowing I was gay from the age of 14, it took me almost 10 years to come out.
I came to the United States in as a scholar-at-risk fellow at Harvard University. After I was kidnapped and tortured in Nigeria for being gay and daring to speak openly about it America offered me refuge. The anguish cuts deep into the bones. Growing up on the other side of the Atlantic, I was well aware that in America, Black masculinity is pathologized and the Black presence relentlessly policed. The story of Martin Luther King Jr. The glory of America is global, and so is the struggle of its Black citizens. And yet, somehow, I managed to believe that my queer identity would protect me.
'Growing up, it felt like I was too gay to be black and too black to be gay'
Try out PMC Labs and tell us what you think. Learn More. Black young gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men YGBMSM are at high risk for negative health outcomes, though this population is underrepresented in the health literature.
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