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LEVEL
Higher Learning. A publication from Medium for the interested man.

Pride

In LEVEL. More on Medium.

I just hope he knew I accepted him. Unconditionally.

Photo: Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash

I will call my friend “C.”

He grew up in Washington, D.C., with me and our crew of Black boys.

He was gay, but we did not know it. We suspected, but he didn’t say it, so that was that. People would say he was in the closet, but he and some other gay friends who grew up in the neighborhood had been pushed out.

C floated in both worlds. Still, there was no doubt in his mind that he couldn’t ever come out on his own accord. It wasn’t safe on so many levels. Yet C was our friend…


Rallies like Brooklyn Liberation are a crucial way the larger Pride tradition can expand to welcome everyone

A BLM march in LA in lieu of Pride, June 14, 2020
A BLM march in LA in lieu of Pride, June 14, 2020
A BLM march in LA in lieu of Pride, June 14, 2020. Photo: SOPA Images/Getty Images

Pride Month 2020 has been different, to say the least. In addition to a pandemic that has driven celebrations online, the start of June was marked by countless people taking to the streets as Black Lives Matter demonstrations spread to every state. Such a confluence has highlighted an ongoing reckoning about the ways in which the broader LGBTQ+ community excludes and further marginalizes those of us who are Black and Brown. While this month is often an opportunity for queer and trans people to let our rainbow flags fly proudly, it increasingly has become just another set of thirty-something days.


As a child, queering my life gave me choices. The main choice? Life over death.

Photo: HEX/Getty Images

I’m thankful for my queerness.

Sometimes, I sit and reflect on how I made it to this place in life. I have two degrees, a job with a significant salary, and I’m blessed to have access to communities that value and protect my Black fat queer body. I think I’ve figured out how I was able to achieve these things with no possibility models and a childhood I barely escaped.

Can you imagine being six years old believing that you were going to hell, that your life was damned?

I was born in Eunice, Louisiana. Area code 337, population 10,000…

LEVEL

Higher Learning. A publication from Medium for the interested man.

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