Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2019-12-11
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage



by Jean Pierre Campbell

facebook twitter google +1 reddit email

It wasn't a direct verbal attack. It was more subtle than that. In fact, you wouldn't have caught it unless you listened to his tone of superiority, as well as his language . Indeed, it was more than a declaration.

'I have always been out,' he began forcefully. 'And always been fierce. Everybody in my family knows and has always known. And they support me. And I wouldn't have it any other way cause I don't play that mess!'

I couldn't help but interrupt. 'So are you saying that you had a choice in the matter, or were you out because you really couldn't do anything about it?' Ignoring my question, he continued his tirade without ever considering my point. It was clear from his well-greased ponytail, manicured nails. and 'fierce' manner that he had always been a big queen. That was obvious. And my point was intended to illustrate that he really couldn't have been anything else in life.

His tirade was directed toward another brother in our discussion group, one whom you could tell had not always been out, which is why he was attacked. At one time or another, he ( let's call him Thug Life ) probably had a girlfriend and maybe a baby, too. He was rough and hard, definitely capable of being one of those brothers keepin' it on the DL ( that is, 'down low' ) , though it now appeared he was somewhat out, at least out-enough to come to our meeting. But Miss Thing let him have it anyway, the way we self-righteous sissies always do.

Symbolically, Thug Life was the kind of brother we've always adored and hated, all at the same time. Adored because he was masculine-enough to intrigue us. Hated because he was dating girls by day but secretly doin' us at night. Hated because, on a deeper political level, he held back the movement, because he wouldn't stand with us in the light of day. In fact, to many of us, Thug Life was a weak male, incapable of standing up for himself, choosing instead a fake hetero existence in order to be socially acceptable. In other words, he was a 'playa' who got played . . by his self.

In her own way, Miss Thing was claiming her superiority over him. She was, in fact, declaring who was the better man: her. Usually, I would've agreed--that she was the strong male and Thug Life, by extension, was a weaker example. After all, she'd always been a fierce ( that is, out and self-affirming ) queen and he, judging from his participation in our discussion group, hadn't always been as out or self-affirming. But in this culrture how could he?

When you're a queen or a rather effeminate male, like Miss Thing and I, a gay identity is always assumed. So it makes coming out virtually unnecessary, because queens are never really in the closet. For the most part, everybody already knows. In fact, not only will people take for granted that you're gay, they will often call you out. I've been called sissy since the age of 8, roughly. So by the time I got to high school, I knew exactly where I belonged. For me ( thanks to society ) , gay self-acceptance wasn't traumatic or difficult, because in a way I'd been prepped my whole life. Besides, for me, it was all just a natural process, a natural way of being, more so the inner core turned outward.

For Thug Life and those like him, the act of coming out is a more complex dilemma, as another brother on the DL helped me to understand. Speaking of a deep fear he still held, he said, 'I don't want people to look at me differently, not my family, not my brothers, my uncles . . . cause they will.' Suddenly, it became apparent that the risks for him and Thug Life were so much greater than for Miss Thing and me, because we never had to sacrifice a masculine identity: we didn't have one. Before and after, we would be seen the same way in the eyes of others. They, however, would be seen and judged quite differently afterwards.

After all, they'd spent a lifetime doing what boys do, honoring male protocol and rituals, making masculinity a cornerstone of their identity. It was in the way they probably chased girls vigorously, fought boys ruthlessly, played sports herocially, and even talked shit vulgarly.

For Thug Life, in particular, it was in the way he cocked his hat to the side, the way he pimped into the room, the way he sat with his legs open wide, commanding space for his superior endowment. Aggressive and atheletic, not to mention a bit thuggish round the edges, now his exposed sexual identity could erase that part of him that was at the core of who he was. Of course, he would be hesitant. Masculinity didn't just matter to him, it was a natural way of being, more so the inner core turned outward.

Like so many, Miss Thing is incorrect in assuming that coming out is simply a matter of courage, separating those who have it from those who don't. Or that just because we're all gay, we all face the same 'core' issues. It's not that simple. And it never was.

facebook twitter google +1 reddit email

Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


Gay News

MOMBIAN Holiday gift guide for LGBTQ children's books 2019-12-11 - It's time for my annual gift guide to some of the year's best LGBTQ-inclusive children's picture books! There were happily more books published ...

Gay News

Community turns out for World of Chocolate 2019-12-10 - About 1,000 Chicagoans and other visitors showed up at Revel Fulton Market in the West Loop for AIDS Foundation of Chicago's annual World ...

Gay News

About Face to run 'The Gulf' 2019-12-06 - About Face Theatre continues its 2019-20 season with the Chicago premiere of Audrey Cefaly's award-winning drama The Gulf, running Jan. 9-Feb. 15, 2020, ...

Gay News

TRAVEL Louisville: Putting a twist on Southern hospitality 2019-11-27 - The South is renowned for many things—including food and its vaunted hospitality. However, it also has been maligned for, among other things, what ...

Gay News

NU professor talks about delving into the heart of 'Infectious Blackness' 2019-11-27 - The tale of Michael Johnson took a turn this past July—when he was released from a Missouri jail 25 years early. In 2013, ...

Gay News

NATIONAL Subway attack, Matthew Shepard, OUT100, Indiana hospital 2019-11-26 - In Manhattan, a man was hit with a hammer and pushed onto the subway tracks in what police believe may be a hate ...

Gay News

Youth urged to take quiz before World AIDS Day 2019-11-26 - As part of a continuing effort to educate young people about HIV prevention and treatment, Illinois HIV Care Connect has introduced HIV and ...

Gay News

AMA supports laws protecting youth from conversion therapy, NCLR responds 2019-11-20 - CHICAGO, IL — Today, the American Medical Association ( AMA ) announced that it will formally support state and federal legislation protecting LGBTQ ...

Gay News

New report out on lives of trans people in rural America 2019-11-19 - ( November 19, 2019 ) Des Moines, IA—Stereotypes and pop culture portrayals often overlook the diversity of rural America, framing rural regions as ...

Gay News

Trevor Project raises $1.2M at L.A. gala 2019-11-18 - On Nov. 18, the Trevor Project—the world's largest suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for LGBTQ young people—hosted its 2019 TrevorLIVE Los Angeles ...


Copyright © 2019 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.







About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.