Losing Recipes: Where Do Queer Black Folks Belong?

Homophobia in Black households often stems from deep-seated cultural and religious beliefs. These beliefs are frequently used as tools of suppression against LGBTQ+ individuals, reinforcing the idea that being gay is unacceptable in various environments—whether in the ‘hood, the suburbs, or a strict religious home.

The phrase “You’re Black before you’re gay” is a flawed argument. Many queer individuals cannot “blend in” with straight people. If being Black is prioritized over being gay, why are Black people often the ones labeling children as gay at a young age? While Black communities assert that the police view our children as adults, they do the same by assigning labels to children based on their mannerisms, clothing choices, or favorite colors. Why is it acceptable to speak to a child in such a way? Your nephew talking with his hands is not an indication of his sexuality; he is simply expressive.

So where do Queer Black folks belong?

Although frequently under attack, there are safe space entities for Black queer folks that have been deeply fostered. Ballroom houses started as safe spaces for LGBTQ+ kids who were kicked out for being gay, lesbian or transgender. When these children are displaced they often times turn to doing unimaginable things to survive. So, here’s the big question for these parents: Why have kids if you can’t love them unconditionally and mirror safe spaces for them? And where are the grandparents, aunts, uncles and the whole village when these parents kick their kids out?

We need to continue asking generations of Black elders these questions because we need answers. What good are adages and sermons about love and acceptance if they are not practiced in totality?

Every day is a fight to be seen and accepted, battling stereotypes and prejudices from all sides. Yet, there’s an undeniable beauty in queerness, especially within Gen-Z, where authenticity, self-expression and the breaking of traditional and social norms shine through, creating vibrant, inclusive spaces for everyone to thrive.

It’s time to hold folks accountable. If you’re gonna lay down and have kids, you need to be prepared to love them unconditionally at every moment. Whether they are differently abled or love the same sex, your job as a parent doesn’t stop. Let’s create homes where every kid feels loved and accepted for who they are.

As this Pride month comes to a close, we need to do better as a community. Queerness is not something that can be prayed away, beat out of someone or a reckless phase. If you don’t love on your kids at home, they’ll go out and seek love from someone or somewhere who may not have their best interest at heart.

Understand what unconditional love is and give it to your children.

Updated: June 29, 2024 — 6:02 pm