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They were estranged from our family, partly because of their health and their sexual orientation.
My childhood in the Black church led me to believe that Black people were inherently homophobic — a myth — and that the only Black men who were gay were on the down low or infected with HIV — also a myth.
Within my own family, I had two gay uncles who died of AIDS-related illnesses before I was 10.
I’ve received messages that said, "I love BBC," or "I never been with a Black guy before," or, on the opposite end of the "no Blacks" spectrum, I've seen white men who are "not into white guys, sorry."When I'm dating a white man, I occasionally feel like I need to confront the issue of race head-on and acknowledge the difference in life experiences between me and my partner.
It can be frustrating, but also deeply enriching, to teach someone about my cultural upbringing.
After graduating, I moved to New York, and though here I was able to find queer friends who are also people of color, we are still always in the minority at gay bars and clubs.