On my way to work this morning, I saw a woman in her cap and gown. She was graduating from NYU, and I only knew this because her gown was purple and her father had an NYU pin on his lapel. Her siggie-o was with her ( boyfriend or whatever) dressed in his gown and extra shiny shoes. I only knew they were an item because they kept kissing and assuring each other that everything was going to be okay. His parents were there, both arguing about catching a cab uptown to where the commencement exercise was happening.  I congratulated the two and headed to my office where I sat my Black ass down and thought about them.

Straight people, arguably, have it easy. Hetero folks essentially have a timeline that they can abide by if they chose, you know? You’re born, there’s grammar school, high school, your first kiss, prom, college, first break up, graduation, dating, marriage, kids, purchasing a home, raising the kids, grandkids, retirement, and then it’s time for you to go on to Glory. I’m sure I’m missing some things, but that’s generally the course of action of straight people. There’s ages and milestones surrounding such that have the ability to gauge your quality of life. There are milestones that dictate if you’re “on the right path.” Of course, not everyone follows this path, but it’s not like people don’t follow that either. But I’m not straight, so what does that leave me?

You know what’s the best and the most fucked up part about being Black, Gay, and almost 30? Making this shit up as you go along — defining myself and making my own standard. It’s so much easier when you have things laid out for you, but when you reject that linear lifestyle and accept one that you’re the most comfortable, it’s frustrating. Sure it’s rewarding to create your own rules and reject societal norms, but life is hard on it’s own outside of you creating a new type of dynamic for yourself.

I don’t have any milestones to measure my life satisfaction or to assist in assessing I’m doing the “right thing,” because being Black and Gay isn’t as cut and dry. Kids (I’m sure I’ll talk about at some point here) are difficult to have because they aren’t something that just happens to us. Marriage is becoming more of a thing for us and that’s great, but it’s difficult when so many Black Gay men who are my age are hurt, refuse to get over past and societal pain, and who are career driven to the point where sex is only on the menu.

I guess what I’m trying to say is, I don’t think I’m lost but it’s easy to get lost, if that makes sense. I know what I’m doing to make me happy career wise, sure. I know I’m a good person and I do good business, and I know that should be enough. But at times, I wish there was a guide to tell me what’s what. I wish there was a Black Gay Timeline or archetype I could follow that was positive, uplifting, and attainable. I’m sure we as Black Gays have a long way to go before this is possible but…one can wish.

 

1 Comment

  1. Nandi May 21, 2015 at 11:53 am

    In my 20s I attempted to live on the Hetero Track but it always felt disingenuous to me. I’m 35, grew up in NC, & went to an HBCU so 70% of my friends started getting married & having babies at 25. I was secretly bored with it all but pretended to go along. It took way longer than it should’ve for me to realize a) the suburban two kid, two car, four bedroom house life maybe wasn’t for me and b) I’m a lesbian (I didn’t start coming out until I was 28). In a weird way, coming out freed me from that expectation but it’s a double-edged sword. On one hand, damn… some think since I’m gay getting married & starting a family seems less likely. On the other, screw you and all of the arbitrary goals YOU had for me because I’m the baller & shot caller in my life. I’ll tell you something about being 30-plus: I’ve never been happier with who I am. I’ve never accepted myself more. I’ve never trusted myself more. I’ve never loved myself more. All the angsty bullshit I felt in my 20s disappeared two days after I turned 30. I started dropping people out of my life that I realized weren’t supportive of my dreams & goals and started living for me vs doing what I thought was expected of me. Turning 30 was one of the best things to happen to me… it’s a hard process but worth it.

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