I was recently reading a post by an old college associate, Zack Rosen, on thenewgay.com and I was moved to create. In his post about Antoine Dodson, of “Hide your kids, hide your wife” fame, he writes about the lack of representation of queer people of color in the media. OK, well while Rosen doesn’t fully explore the concept he references the idea and points out that Rob Smith, AugustAfterElton, really explores the idea in a deeper fashion. The “net, net” (my old boss would say that all the time) is where are all the brown boys? And I specifically ask about boys because the media seems obsessive about white gay males, fascinated by any kind of lesbian, but fully uninterested in the brown boys.
The saturation of Dodson in the media goes to support the traditional stereotype of gay males of color in the mainstream media. Gay men of color are general depicted as flamboyant—you know the ones with their arms akimbo, their voices which seem to be at follow as sweetly as honey from the hive, and that swoosh when they walk that every women seems to envy. So, no I understand Dodson is a real person and not some caricature, but what gets me is that the reason it became such a popular item was because of his flamboyant nature. So what is the obsession with this particular caricature that is the consistent representation in the media?
As a student of sociology I could explore the ideas of the “demasculinization” of the black male and its reaffirmation through the over saturation of these images in the mainstream media…but I am not going there because I don’t think that is the case. What I simply want to say is lets encourage more variety in what we see out there. No fault of Antoine Dodson’s because he is who he is…but I want people to understand we aren’t all like that. Regardless of what you see on RuPaul’s show, the men that serve as sidekicks on The Real Housewives shows, or the other effeminate gay men of color you have come to know over the years just know there are some of us who are more like Will from Will & Grace, Kevin from Brothers & Sisters, oh and even Brian from Queer as Folk (yeah that’s me).
I give kudos to Smith for fully exploring, and questioning, why there isn’t more variety of gay men of color in the media. And I am sorry that Mr. Dodson will be used as a focal point to engender conversation.