Photo: National Black Justice Coalition
Last week, Clay Cane Live gave you a hilarious best of show because yours truly headed to the nation's capital for the Congressional Black Caucus and NBJC's (National Black Justice Coalition) annual Out on the Hill event. Plus, book signings for For Colored Boys
On Friday afternoon, I was honored to participate in the panel “How the LGBT Equality Movement Has Impacted Black America and the Media Landscape.” The vibrant commentators (pictured above) included myself, Keith Boykin, Laverne Cox, LZ Ganderson, Jonathan Capehart, Carolyn Brown and moderated by Jeff Johnson. We talked everything from gender identity to the responsibility of being in the media to making a change.
While panels come a dime dozen, this discussion was not just rhetoric — we truly searched for solutions. One, looking at the LGBT community above the groin — as I said in my Huffington Post piece when Frank Ocean admitted he fell in love with a man: "For many in the LGBT community, our understanding of sexual identity was not the first time we had sex, but the first time we experienced a heart-shaking kiss, the first time we waited all day for a phone call from that special person or the first time we fell in love." Many times, gayness is linked to hyper-sexuality, an awful perception that diminishes the love in relationships.
I saw many signs of a new day in Washington, D.C. For example, signing books at the legendary Howard University with Keith Boykin. In past years, Howard had a reputation of homophobia. But the LGBT and straight students I spoke with said they feel "safe" at Howard. They never felt threatened and their orientation was not a focus. The times they are a-changin'…
Lastly, Keith and I attended a private book-signing event at the house of couple who have been together for 11 years —legally married for three years. They welcomed us to their wonderful home with a group of amazing people all in support of For Colored Boys. The beautifully decorated house had an undeniable energy of goodness. I said to myself, "There is so much love in this house."
I saw their wedding album and another married man came by with his two daughters. I said, "It is so great for me to see this because I hear so many gay men complain, ‘Two men can't be together! Especially two black men!' You and your friends are proof that it can work." Only the willfully ignorant would deny love when it was plainly in their face.
As trite is it may sound, it is solely about the love — sometimes the clichés are correct. Last weekend in D.C., I witnessed the actualization of love that we easily forget in a journey to be legalized, affirmed and recognized. Love is not shy or hidden; it is a manifestation of authenticity and freedom.
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