As a proud member of the Black Men's Xchange-New York (BMX-NY), I facilitate some of our weekly gatherings. BMX-NY is a Harlem-based, Black men's empowerment organization. We regularly discuss issues impacting our lives - as Black men - in an affirming, loving & nurturing environment. BMX-NY employs diversity, critical thinking & cultural affirmation. As such, I was seeking a specific 'type' of man for an upcoming gathering.
The topic was "Brothers Who Love Others And Don't Identifty As Gay." I wanted to explore identity politics, racism & self-determination. But where would I find the 'type' of brothers who'd offer meaning & purpose to this provocatibe dialogue? A trusted friend suggested I go online & look for brothers who are either 'not out,' or, 'on the DL.'
He immediately recommended www.Adam4Adam.com. I've heard some brothers reference this particular site a few times, but never thought about using it for professional reasons. Grateful for his marketing savvy, later that pm, I created a profile, uploaded a photo & signed on. I was surprised to find over 1000 men were online, particularly since it was a weekday pm.
However, as I browsed a few profiles, I noticed a disturbing trend. Many of the men who exclusively sought friendships, also wanted anal sex, cam to cam action, group sex, miscellaneous fetishes and oral sex as well. Is it any wonder the relationships of Black male homosexuals are in such disharmony? Folks lie about what they really want, place unrealistic expectations on themselves & others, in addition to posting pictures of men who don't look like them - I saw Nick Cannon, Tyrese Gibson & Usher! One brother said he was "looking for my soulmate." Perhaps therapy is in order...
Nonetheless, I had a job to do. But I was mad distracted. There was dick & ass all up in my face. What us gon' do, miss Celie, what us gon' do? Okay, I'll admit I got a few booty calls. I ain't mad at nobody either, cause it ain't like brothers is kicking my door down these days. Still, I pride myself on integrity. My father taught me to never get emotionally invloved when I'm doing business. Easy for him to say. He's a senior citizen. I'm 45, cute, drug free, independent, single...oh, I forgot, this was supposed to be about BMX-NY.
The first night I received 15 responses from brothers who'd expressed interest in the gathering. Three days later, 35 men stated they'd consider attending. A few offered to bring a friend. I was pumped. Who knew? To my surprise, however, the powers that be deleted my profile after five days online. Something about "solicitation is forbidden." I won't be able to utilize the site again until Tuesday.
Unfortunately, I got sick & was unable to facilitate the gathering last Friday pm. Though a couple of my peers humbly stepped in on short notice, BMX-NY will revisit this topic periodically. I actually spoke to a few brothers on the phone. They seemed pleased to learn an organization was in Harlem geared towards their emotional & spiritual support. We find dialogue to be a useful tool for healing & empowerment. And sometimes we find just what we need in the process.
- mark j. tuggle
- harlem, usa
- same-gender-loving contemporary descendant of enslaved africans. community activist, feminist, health educator, independent filmmaker, mentor, playwright, poet & spiritual being. featured at, in & on africana.com, afrikan poetry theatre, angel herald, bejata dot com, bet tonight with tavis smiley, blacklight online, black noir, brooklyn moon cafe, gmhc's barbershop, klmo-fm, lgbt community services center, longmoor productions, nuyorican poets cafe, our corner, poz, pulse, rolling out new york, rush arts gallery, saint veronica's church, schomburg center for research in black culture, sexplorations, the citizen, the new york times, the soundz bar, the trenton times, the village voice, upn news, uzuri, venus, vibe, wbai-fm, wnyc-fm & wqht-fm. volunteered with adodi, bailey house, inc., black men's xchange-new york, colorofchange.org, drug policy alliance, east harlem tutorial program, imagenation film & music festival, presente.org, save darfur coalition, the enough project, the osborne association, the sledge group & your black world. worked on films with maurice jamal & heather murphy. writing student of phil bertelsen & ed bullins. firstname.lastname@example.org.