Atlanta filmmaker Chase Simmons recently produced the documentary “Dear Dad,” which explores the lives of eight gay men of color and their experiences coming out to their fathers. In an interview with HuffPost Live, Simmons says he used the documentary to come out as gay to his own father, and discussed the themes of black masculinity, religion and the challenges faced by single mothers.
Yolo Akili, author of ‘Gay Men’s Sexism and Women’s Bodies,’ discusses what he believes makes it difficult for black men to be openly gay.
“When you’re, particularly, African-American, because of the history of slavery and the history of race in this country, that masculinity is more rigid. So when you come out as a queer person, there’s a way in which historically that’s not connected with blackness or black masculinity. Black masculinity is rigged hard, tough—not what’s typically associated with gayness like vulnerability ad softness It’s hard to circumvent those stereotypes.”
Others interviewed agreed that the stigma around black masculinity made them afraid to come out, and most described parents knowing they were gay but choosing not to discuss the topic. Simmons says he hopes the film will help people heal from negative experiences they’ve had expressing their sexuality within the black community.
(h/t HuffPost Live)