Friday, April 17, 2009

Why is street life so homophobic? Some Gs and Gents respond

I watch the show From G's to Gents. It is one of two shows on MTV that I still watch. This past week they had the reunion show where all the original men come back and discuss what occurred on the show. One of the reasons why I'm writing about this is because there was an interesting discussion regarding sexual orientation and a specific situation that occurred this season. A handful of the men had targeted and chose to identify a particular member in the house as a gay men. Mr. Bentley asked the men during the reunion show this question:

It seems like the "Gay" word is used when you ultimately want to damage a guys cred. Just period. Like I think that that is just, not about you all, I'm just saying, like just in general, I think that that is a real thing. So I want to open this up to all the gentlemen who are here right now. Why do you think that street life is so homophobic? Anybody can comment. Fahim, you want to go first?

Two men responded to this question. First was Fahim (my favorite for selfish erotic reasons) and Riff Raff. Fahim's response was a bit difficult to follow and I interpreted his comment as a perfect example of how compounded and complicated the topic is among men of Color and working class men. Fahim says:

Where I come from, you don't, you're not comfortable with it, it's not out there, it's not, it's not. See I would do the same thing. It's not right! I would try to correct it, but that's just what it is you know? You can't blame a man cause he's some kind of way, because that's how he's bought up. I ain't scared of shit in this mother fucking world. So there ain't no reason, this "homophobia" word, that word should be crossed out, like a new big word, let's put a new big word. If that's the question you asking, you know.

Next to speak was Riff Raff who shared this:

A lot of my friends is is gay, but they just happen to be females. I got fans who are whatever, whatever they do is whatever on them. I just fuck with strickly females see what I'm saying, so. But if there is someone who is gay or such and such, man that's their lifestyle, man I ain't even trippin on that. So then the way I see is like this, I see it like this: So if somebody's gay, if somebody's gay, that's just one less person I got to worry about pulling the baddest bitch in the club when I'm in that mug

Mr. Bentley responds to these statements by saying:
At the end of the day, I just don't allow discrimination of any sort. Period. End of story. Listen listen listen listen. I think that homophobia really is something that is passing away in urban America. It's abating in the same way that racism did. It went from being legal to illegal. Then it went from something said aloud to onto something that is said in private. And at long last today you see people who understand that it is not just a distraction from the real problems that we all face. But one of the things I can say is, I would like to say thank you to every one of you for being vary honest and for coming up here and putting this out in the open.

Mr. Bentley tried, and I was with him when he said he does not allow discrimination. That's a powerful statement. But then he did the whole color-free discourse I'm not too down with. I'm sure there are extended conversations and comments from others, or maybe that's my hope! But due to editing, all we get are two statements. I find it interesting the times when the audience claps and how 2 of the top 3 men, Blue and Teddy both look while Fahim is responding.

Below is the full reunion show. The conversation on homophobia begins at about 24:00 minute mark. This was the first time I've ever heard such a discussion being facilitated among the community. What do you think?

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