Friday, January 2, 2009

Boys In The Trees

Do you go to them or do you let them come to you
do you stand in back afraid that you'll intrude
deny yourself and hope someone will see
and live like a flower
while the boys grow in the trees?

I wish I was straight and I envy heterosexual males.

The last time I felt like this is when I made myself come to the conclusion that I was a homosexual. After praying, crying, and trying to understand, I finally did understand. I realized that being a homosexual is just one part of who I am. It did not have to absolutely define me; furthermore, it did not have to affect my behavior, goals, or choices. It simply meant that I preferred to sleep with men, not women….and I probably had to rethink my visions of a wife and three kids. What a tough pill to swallow? I swallowed it though and believe it or not I was starting to love and accept my life as a homosexual male.

Everything was fine until I moved to Atlanta. Atlanta has been a tough, tough city for me with a capital T, and I often find myself feeling like such an outsider to the “Mecca” of black gay men. In Atlanta I can only see a bleak future for myself when I observe the plethora of black homosexual men who are CONSUMED and caught up by the gay life.

Dating in Atlanta has been a non-existent disaster for me.

I just want options!

I have no gay male friends in Atlanta. I only hang out with females. Most men hanging out at the places that my female friends and I hang out: live music lounges, nice (not even expensive) dinning, independent film showings, and things of that sort are all straight...and this causes most of my loneliness.

You see, I had one of the best nights, I have had in a very long time when I went out with my good female friend to this spot called, “Loca Luna’s” about two weeks ago. It felt good just to be out and the men were sending me into some serious overdrive….nice button downs, tailored blazers, stylish loafers, and Creed fragrance. The music was a nice blend of salsa, meringue, and house. The band and the delicious tapas made me feel good to be alive. The only problem was that all the men were straight and they certainly were not checking for me. They were rightfully checking for the beautiful women who had noticeably come with their A game. I am not saying that when I go out, I need to be validated by having someone “check” for me…. But why shouldn’t I? I kill myself in school, at work, and the gym. If I had been a straight man, I would have left with tons of numbers that night. I am completely sure of it.

The scenario would have been much, much different if I would have been in any of the “popular” black gay establishments in Atlanta. The footwear would have been either Timberlands or extremely colorful sneakers. The music would have been undoubtedly ALL hip-hop. Don’t get me wrong. I have nothing against hip-hop, Timberlands, or things of the sort….but much of this is just not a reflection of my aesthetics. There would be no diversity. I would have to go to either an ALL black gay club or an ALL white gay club. I am not use to this.

The white gay spots are even more awful and depressing in Atlanta (The South) because 90% of the whites only like whites and the other 10% want their idea of a black “thug”...which is borderline offensive (but the blacks want a black “thug” too). What a mess and as you see I have nowhere to go. To make matters even worse, the few black guys in the white gay establishments will not even speak to you because they consider you a threat and think they, themselves are white. At least some of the white gays will speak or can carry on a conversation about something other than Beyonce or sex. At the black gay establishments, many times, I have witnessed guys stand in their circles and send off nasty energy, that always bring down my spirits, talking about every guy that walks by…. I know because many times, I have been that guy.

The more I self build…Stimulating my mind and exercising my body, I feel a distance (there goes that word again) from myself and the other black gay males in Atlanta. It has caused a great deal of recurring pain and detachment.

When I lived in NY and looked outside my window, the mass melting pot of people going and coming gave me an indescribable invigorating feeling. I longed to be exposed to new things and new ideas. In Atlanta, I just feel nothing and my non-existent dating life and companionship sends me into an overdrive of despair.

I just want to know what it would be like to be able to have the kind of choices and availability that straight men have in Atlanta. Isn’t it ironic that they are the ones rocking skinny jeans, button downs, aviator glasses, and turning Lucky’s Food Lounge into a Soho haven!

I do not understand when grown men call themselves kids and child. I have no desire to be in balls (no pun intended) and attend black gay pageants. I feel funny having to pay to get into a club that feels more like jail, with scary lesbian police following you around and yelling. I do not wear excessive urban wear or backward caps. I am allergic to broke-down parties where you have to bring your own bottle and the people only associate with the people who they came with. I often feel sad that I have tons of new shit from Club Monaco in my closet that I just cannot wear because I feel that the only compliments that I would ever get when I wear them are from females....and why bother.

You see, lately, I have been doing some real struggling. Why must I always feel this anxiety, this difference, this remoteness, this coldness, this “it’s been months and months, and he still has no dates.”

It is just not fair. You know. I had to be born this way because I would never choose it and it is too bad I have enough truthfulness to refuse to refute it.

The funny thing is that since I moved to Atlanta, so many people constantly tell me that I expect too much, have unrealistic expectations, and live in a fantasy world. I hear this at least once a week.

P.S those “so many people” have all been black gay men.


  1. By all means brother, keep striving to be better, keep writing and keep the faith. In regard to this post, Love will hit you right upside the head when you least expect it (It did for me and I'm madly in love with my boo), and as long as you allow it in. This just may be a sign from the universe that in the meantime, you need to do the work on YOU. Enjoy the journey!

    Peace & Light,

  2. Hmmmm interesting. When I was in Atlanta last summer, I too felt a bit out of place. Personally, I felt as if I was not gay because everyone seemed so overtly gay that I felt str8. It also seems like the polarizing city you described but honestly, I think in the end it is what you make it. My only advice to you is to keep ya head up and keep striving towards excellence.


  3. Oceans,
    I have this innate drive within me that is both a curse and a blessing. I definitely will keep striving for the best. As far as love goes…Well I was more concerned in this post with group conformity amongst the gay black men in Atlanta and my isolation because I don’t readily fit the mode of the group. Companionship would be nice though…as I am far too busy for a relationship.

    Well I am happy that someone understands! Many of the gay black men who live here love Atlanta and would definitely not agree with my post. My post is a result of MY experiences…and that’s all I can speak from. “Overtly gay” is a good way of describing it…but I think it is more that these men are “caught up in the life” and have nothing else to offer outside the “life”. This includes conversation, attire, and ventures. Atlanta has been known as “The Mecca” for the black gay man; however, I wish these men would take that fire and run with it…proving to the world that black gay men are capable of so much more….What’s sad is that many of these men are well educated; nonetheless, they are so heavily trying to fit in, that they compromise their individual selves. I could really go on and on…but I think you get my point. Like you said,I just feel out of place. Many of the men here just do not understand why I feel that way.

    To all my readers that sent me nasty emails and comments,
    Know that I am not bashing the Atlanta black gay man. I think that there is truth to what I am saying…..and if I am wrong…then I ask for some direction and different experiences…until then…I stand by the Boys In The Trees….