WE ARE: 5 women navigating our twenties in search of peace, happiness and love (or not). WE WRITE: about everything and nothing. From the insane to the mundane- you will find different paths taken, lessons learned and lives lived. WE THINK: you’ll enjoy it...Warning: Consumption of these views may leave you enlightened while intoxicated.

SO LONG, FAREWELL...

The View From Here will conclude on Friday, October 1, our third year anniversary. We would like to spend this month thanking all of our readers, followers, haters, visitors, family, friends, and fans for your continued support, encouragement, and comments over these past few years. Thanks y'all!
-The Five Spot

Friday, January 16, 2009

Walk Like a Man?

So I attend the school of thought that Tyler Perry and John Legend (to name a few), despite their best efforts to prove otherwise, are gay. Of course I could be wrong. But for the sake of argument, let’s say that I could, possibly be right. Why do I think these things?

1. Way back when John Legend first came out (ha ha – no pun intended), a few of us girlfriends attended his concert in D.C. And let me tell y’all that place was full of gay men. I mean they came in droves! Droves! Now this was when Holla, Holla, Holla aka Used to Love Her had gotten some air play and Ordinary People was sounding cute and fuzzy and not what it eventually became – annoying. So people knew who he was, but they ain’t really know who he was. Anyway. Back to my point. The children had come out, for what I always thought, was to support one of their own. Cause you know they can tell their own. I mean they were rolling deep. Now I know it’s common to see gay Black men in groups in Metropolitan cities, particularly in Lenox Mall on a Saturday afternoon in ATL, but this was something unprecedented-the crowd ranged from the flaming, two snaps and a circle to the ones you would never have suspected. Until you saw him next to his "friend" who had on some skinny jeans and smedium t-shirt.

2. There is a scene in Why Did I Get Married when Tyler Perry switches his hips up the stairs. Get the movie. Check for it. You can't miss it. Pause it. And watch it in slow motion. And then laugh.

3. Tyler Perry is (again) on the cover of Essence Magazine and the caption says something about finding Mrs. Right. So, I say to my granny the other night, “how come we have to keep hearing about Tyler Perry looking for Mrs. Right? Anytime you have to put it out there so much, and emphasize the fact that your search for Mrs. Right is soo difficult because of your schedule, you make too much money, you want a real down home woman who reminds you of your mama but looks like a model, can fry fish with one hand behind her back, has got her own thing, doesn't want you for your money, yada, yada, yada, you are gay. Cause you know who else used to do that? Luther Vandross!” Oh my granny busted out laughing and said, “you true, you true.” Let me tell y’all I remember an Oprah Winfrey episode where Luther showed his house, his furniture, his fancy china that he used to eat grits. And at the end of the segment, he said, “Oprah now all I need is a woman to share this with!!” Snaps. And laughter from my 11-year-old belly. Even at my young age I knew there was something wrong with that statement.

And yet what if Tyler Perry and John Legend are not gay? What if they just don’t fit into the stereotypical ideals of [straight] manhood? I mean John Legend is an Ivy League grad, mayhap he is just well read and soft spoken. And Tyler Perry could just be a Southern boy, raised by Ma'dear and his aunties. And we all remember Kanye West's comment about him being called a sissy because he had taken on his mama's aka feminine ways 'cause that's all he knew...

So what am I looking for a man who has his backhand up ready to prove he can smack a b***h? That's not what I was raised around. I should know better. In my own life, I have had men accuse men close to me of being gay because they seem “soft” or “gentle” or not hard core. I even know a woman who told me girls continually told her son in high school, “I don’t want to go out with you. You’re too nice. You won’t try anything with me.” Hmmm… I would be remissed if I didn't mention the man I saw on Bringing Home Baby the other day: jerry curlish (I'm thinking dyed) auburnish/blondish hair, had that lilt in his voice, and a flick in his wrist, but was bringing home his seventh child. Now in my eyes he was clearly gay. But in the eyes of the at least three women he had laid down with, he was what?

In these ever changing times where the lines of race, gender, sexual orientation are blurred and fuzzy, what is the measure of a [straight] man? How do we define manhood in an age when so many Black men weren't raised by their fathers and may not have the stereotypical male mannerisms? Are women passing up potentially good men, because their girlfriends are buzzing in their ears, saying "that man has some suga in his tea?" I mean if a John Legend or Tyler Perry type approached me, with all the right credentials, great personality, and nothing but love and adoration for Rum Punch would I dismiss him completely because of my own ideas of manhood vs. mannerisms, homosexuality vs. heterosexuality, stereotypes vs. reality? I wonder...

That’s my time y’all! Happy Rum Punch Friday!

P.S. If you’re going to be in the D.C. area for MLK Day on Jan. 19, head over to Peoples Congregational United Church of Christ at 4704 13th Street, NW for the best MLK Program ever! The program starts at 12 p.m. and will feature acts from around the world! A red carpet pre-inaugural party will follow! You don't wanna miss it!

10 comments:

Amaretto said...

I remember my cousin, who loved Luther in an unnatural way, lamented that when she went to his concert she knew without a doubt he was NOT singing to her. As she told this story there were tears in her eyes. And now when I look at Luther videos on youtube his eyebrows were expertly arched.

Anonymous said...

Chile its so many closeted homosexuals in the industry it ain't even funny, with the two you named included, I'd say a strong 85% of the industry is either str8 up GAY and or BI and that goes for women too! Oprah is suspect in my book........

Heterosexual males are not necessarily "MEN" either tho LMAO!!!

We live in sad scary times, SMH if folk were just honest you know, it doesn't matter to me if you are gay, or bi etc lots of cool peeps are "family" but don't come at me like you are a heterosexual man, when you know you like dyck just as much as I do, thats FOUL, the lies etc and you aren't giving folk the option of choosing to deal with you or not bvased on who you really are, them other DL dudes know of course, but by lying to women you take away the option to choose based on truth!!!!!

Rum Punch said...

@ Amaretto - LMAO! Yeah, I remember in undergrad, taking a class where we randomly started talking about homosexual men. And this guy was saying as a Black man, he could take a gay man like Luther Vandross vs. someone who he played basketball at the park with. Twas interesting...

@ Anon - This line: Heterosexual males are not necessarily "MEN" either tho LMAO!!! is nothin' but the truth! But that's a topic for another day.
I had to go back and edit, because obviously homosexual men are men, but I think that us women have certain "ways" to try determine if a man is gay or straight. And we maybe off, either way, from time to time...
When you mention so many people in the industry being gay, I remember a conference I went to and a publicist was talking about her high profile black male client who told her to make sure it never got out that he was gay. And she said, "then stop going to gay clubs! Ain't no spinning that when you get caught." LOL!

Shana said...

Great blog entry! It inspired me to write one of my own on the subject, I even quoted you! To read it go here . . .
http://onetwistedsistah.blogspot.com/2009/01/measure-of-man.html

(fŭng'kē) [blak] [chik] said...

I used to make a friend cry everytime I teased her about Luther being gay..

And it wouldn't be so hard for Tyler to find the 'right' one if he'd just admit it comes in the form of a Mr..(j/k..well maybe)

Bellini said...

@ Rum Punch: youse a fool! i'm so mad you did this kind of post, yet i was lamao!-- tears, just tears of laughter -- you know granny never lied... tst.tst.; it was damn liberating, 'cuz i remember when John Legend first came to town--unreal... you know i have some stories that will have folks balled up in laughter all day-- alright folks one of these days i will muster strength to share

@Amaretto: stop lookin' at youtube-- youse a fool too!

Rum Punch said...

@ Shana - Thank ya! Glad you enjoyed it and that I could be inspiration! ;-)

@ FBC - O-k-k- to your Mr. Perry comment! But he can't be real with folk or he may lose his major fan base-old, church going, black ladies. But we all know that the choir director is always gay, so they shouldn't be too surprised.

@ Bellini - Well you know it's Friday, I have to keep it funky and funny! And now that I've opened up the floor, share, share your stories with the masses!

kamakula said...

Part of the reason this is an issue is because on the whole we tend to feel that men cannot be bisexual. That men (or particularly), black men, are either heterosexual, or homosexual.

Then, the fear is that if you (a woman) are in a relationship with a man of suspect sexuality, regardless of any and all other qualifications as a good man, husband, father, provider, lover, he WILL cheat on you with another man.

I think the underlying issue is not really a definition of manliness or an attraction to only men who are manly, but the idea that only heterosexual men have the potential to commit to a monogamous relationship. That commitment (to a woman) means nothing to a man if he also likes men sexually.

Rum Punch said...

@ kamakula - That is an interesting perspective that I never really gave much thought. I mean I'm sure that's a great concern that was buried deep somewhere in my sub conscious... Like if I think he's gay, then that means he coult potentially, possibly, sleep with another man. Ahhh yes. Another third dimension to the whole puzzle.

Courvoisier said...

Sorry to chime in so late Rum Punch but chipmunk says "I really can't think about it...it makes me cry too! I love Johnny."

My girlfriend says that he and big wille are one finger snap and hip twitch away from o--kay!(chuckle)

I hope they aren't living the lie.
And if they are bi...well yeh that is a whole another story.