Just last week I was having a conversation with an older black, closeted homosexual guy about this very topic. He said one of the main reasons why he would never live in Atlanta was because of the overt over acceptance of homosexual behaviors and in his words "dudes who dress in female clothing". I responded saying, "I don't worry about what others do because that is their lives and I will live mine as I see fit.". Now this guy is from Chicago originally, where he rear and lived until a couple years ago before relocating with his daughter to Birmingham for a job. It's interesting that he mentioned that he thinks that "guys should exhibit any type of non-conforming behavior" yet he is a homosexual (another non-conforming behavior) and deeply closeted (also a "Praise Team" director at his church in other words he is a "church queen").
I digress, the story about Dyson Kilodavis of Seattle and his non-conforming behavior of dressing in female attire. The 5-year-old black boy likes to dress in dresses and even calls himself "princess boy". He and his mother Cheryl Kilodavis were on the NBC Today show on Monday morning discussing this and a book his mother wrote about similar behavior in children. Cheryl Kilodavis penned her book My Princess Boy in an effort to have these larger conversations about acceptance. The black and mostly black LGBT blogospheres have been talking about this all week. Now I heard about and saw the interview with the Kilodavis' on local NBC station, WVTM, on Monday, but was too tired to say much about it. However, after seeing how the black blogosphere's responses have fallen in other of the 3 catogories: ambivalent, supportive, or against it. (See Bossip, Lipstick Alley, Living Out Loud with Darian, Rod 2.0, Pam's House Blend, Miss Jia) The majority has been against it (no surprise). As Dr. Sheri L. Parks of the University of Maryland, College Park said,
"Religiosity permeates African-American daily life more than any other population," Parks said. "When you look at evangelical Protestants they are the most concerned about gender role development and sexual orientation. African-Americans are very emotionally involved in black masculinity. Masculinity is very highly valued, that's why some people come down hard on this little boy whose not taking his rightful place."It's a damn shame because identity is one thing as an adolescent that is very hard to figure out and discover as it is, but the additional pressures that blacks places on one another for "conforming behaviors" just makes it even harder for young black males and some females when it comes to these things. Hence, why I give folk the side-eye half the time because as a "group" (when need to used for subjective discussion), we talk out of both sides of our necks. We want acceptance as people as whole in Western society, but refuse to accept individual members for their differences especially in they involve not falling in line with socially acceptable behaviors of being hyper-masculinity in males.
(h/t to the Grio for the links)