Black Gay / Gay Black He asked, “So are you a Black Gay or a Gay Black?” which of course is code for which is worse, racism or homophobia. Some people really shouldn’t ask questions, especially when they aren’t prepared for the answer. So I smiled and replied. I refuse to participate in your Oppression Olympics. While homophobia and racism are not the same, it is at their intersection where I am forced to live. I am a Black Gay and a Gay Black. The blood of my peoples was shed at both Selma and Stonewall. I am both James Byrd's severed head lying on a Texas, highway and Mathew Sheppard’s crucified body on a Wyoming fence. I am the gay black child left behind in HIV war zones known as Harlem, Oakland, Detroit, and DC. I am a professional pallbearer standing parade-rest over the coffins of ten thousand motherless children. I am the colored wet nurse from whose breasts the master’s children continue to suckle. I am the lone T-Cell who staves off Death and his galloping pale horse. I am the prophet Mathew who has returned to smite false prophets who have chosen to shepherd their flocks in designer suits while filling their coffers with money born of stale rhetoric and manufactured hysteria. But you will no longer lead my people to their slaughter and dine upon their carcasses for I am a sorcerer capable of spinning shame and brokenness into healing and restoration. And like my rage I have returned to gather my people and we shall fill up ten thousand Tiananmen Squares for in my world the civil rights cloak is vast and wide and able to warm everyone who needs protection. To my black brothers and sisters, I did not catch my gayness from white folks no more than I caught my blackness from God’s curse upon Hamm. You calling me dirty will not make you clean. I am not the enemy. I am not racism, teen pregnancy, illiteracy, hypertension, unjust incarceration, addiction, molestation, poverty, unemployment, police brutality, homelessness or domestic violence. To my gay white brothers and sisters, I am tired of my back being used as a bridge to your blackness, Build your own or at least have the decency to pay a toll. See, I’m not your girlfriend, sister, sexual fetish or disco diva, I am the incarnation of African Kings, Queens and American slaves; now please show some respect. To my heterosexual contemporaries I do not wish for a seat at your table. I wish to dismantle it and sell the pieces on Craigslist. I want to crash church weddings and, when asked to speak now or forever hold my peace, rise and tell the congregation that Sally and Brad, Tamika and Tyrone have no business having a church wedding because everyone knows they’ve been doing the nasty for hella long. And, oh, by the way, in answer to your original question, “Which is worse, racism or homophobia?”—well, of course the answer is whichever one I’m dealing with right then.