When did you last spend time with your friends?
I mean really spend time, not in a bar or in a club, or in some other place you wouldn’t want your mama to know about! I mean sat down together and really connected?
Sister Sledge (what do you mean you’ve never heard of them?) once sang:
“Everyone can see we’re together as we walk on by”
But are we really a family? Are we together as a black gay community? Looking out for each other, taking care of each other, promoting, supporting and protecting each other?
Lots of questions I know, but they’re worth taking some time out to discuss them as friends!
I challenge you the next time you all meet to ban drink, drugs, TV, music and ALL mobile phones!
Picture a group of black gay friends spending time with each other talking and engaging in the art of conversation?! What you talk about is up to you. The only ‘golden rule’ is that you ‘listen’ and ‘respect’ each other’s points of view!
Many of us are already on great terms with our blood families. But some of us have faced rejection or abuse due to our sexuality. Others have decided to move away from their blood families as soon as possible. Whatever your situation, maybe your friends could become a source of family?
The Oxford Dictionary defines family as ‘a set of parents and children’ (ok, skip that bit) it goes on to say ‘all descendants of one lineage’ (skip that bit) then it says ‘group of kindred people’ (bingo!) But instead of kindred people, think kindred spirits.
The LGBT community can often face discrimination, is often misrepresented and misunderstood!
We are said to experience ‘Severe and Multiple Disadvantage’ (SMD) SMD can mean homelessness, drugs and alcohol abuse, offending or mental health issues. And in terms of being black and gay you can add racism to the list. Obviously SMD can apply to anyone but it hits the LGBT community hard!
I’m not suggesting that our friends can solve the complex issues mentioned, but they do say a problem shared is a problem halved. It can make a huge difference having friends to talk to! It can limit feelings of loneliness, isolation or even suicidal thoughts.
The Sledge Sisters (Youtube the single it’s still a classic) went on to sing:
“Living life is fun and we’ve just begun to get our share of the world’s delights”
Okay…..so this is debateable, and would require another article to go into!
But we have to start somewhere. So let’s start with us
I’m going to try it, I’ll let you know what happens . . .
To be continued . . .