5 Things I Fear As A Black Gay Man
It’s tough enough living in America as a black man. But as gay black men, we oftentimes are more concerned about what our futures will look like than our heterosexual counterparts. As a black gay man, I’m afraid…
…a casual sex encounter will turn violent and dangerous.
As I scroll through the apps on my phone, it makes me a bit happy that there aren’t apps like Grindr, Growlr, Jack’d, etc., on it. The very next feeling that occurs is a lot less pleasant; there’s this aching suspicion about what would happen if I did. It’s only as safe as you make it, yes? Friends have told me but those same stories keep playing in my head about the bodies they found decomposing behind dumpsters. Now, after a handful of relationships, “regular sex” buddies and unrequited “situations” not worth revisiting even for make-up sex, the Devil’s advocate in me still wonders what it would be like. I’m used to guarding my heart, but I’m not sure I can get used to planning to guard my person with someone I’m expecting to be naked with in the first place.
…I will not get the chance to enjoy my retirement to the extent my grandparents have.
Even before the downturn of the economy, coming from the black middle class was not the guarantee for social mobility that coming from the white middle class has traditionally been. By the time I made it to junior high school, we were already being put on alert that Social Security benefits may not be around for us because of previous generations. As an adult, I realized exactly how little SSI would pay, were I lucky enough to get a payout from the decades of taxes I will have paid into it before becoming eligible. The picture’s gotten worse and it’s a real concern that I can’t stick to the middle class values that allowed my grandparents to retire before I was born and do so extremely comfortably.