More Black Male Worship
- Recently, the black, openly gay editor at large of Vogue was named the next judge of Tyra Banks’ “America’s Text Top Model.”
Andre Leon Talley, right hand man to Anna Wintour and a personal hero of mine, is a fashion god: one must wonder how sitting in the offices of Vogue magazine, Talley decided to join Tyra’s weekly circus of a show. Is the affection and acknowledgement of a TV audience powerful enough to make such a mogul into a black/gay token character? After all, Talley’s promo video stars black/gay slang, preacher-like robes, and hearty laughs. Or perhaps, Talley feels it is not harmful to his image or career: a friend of mine who has worked with Mr. Leon Talley says he has a good sense of humor despite being so powerful in the industry, a characteristic which will serve him well in such a ridiculous broadcast program.
- Recently, a black, openly gay deputy director at NIH was named to be the next president of Grinnell College.
Raynard Kington was unanimously elected to the position because of his place at the intersection of higher education, public policy, science, and medicine, however, his place at the intersection of race, sexuality, and class interests me more than his exquisite job qualifications. The notice sent out to NIH employees, divulged none of his biographical information, and the majority of news coverage keeps his sexuality a footnote. Of Grinnell’s three core values, one is the advancement of a socially diverse community, and another is the pursuit of social justice; also discussed in much of the coverage is the college’s progressive nature. I cannot be more pleased for Kington’s achievement, and I cannot be more entertained at the widespread attempt to divorce his personal identity from his qualifications. It may be worth mentioning that this man has more to him than a killer resume instead of imagining his location on the political spectrum is merely an oddity.
- Recently, a black, gay porn star (one of very few) at Raging Stallion was named Best Cumshot, and given the Savage Humor Award for his blog.
Diesel Washington has dominated his field of black gay porn stars since he busted all over the scene. He is awarded every year with something or another, and generally it is owing to his size and ethnicity. The porn world makes no bones about the masculine appeal of a strapping black man, and many delight in the racial aspect of his body of work, however, recently he has been getting attention for his blog. Perhaps someone has realized the importance of such a viewpoint, one that is colored by race, and twisted by a sexual minority’s wild sexual fantasies.
As a side note, Diesel attended awards ceremonies for Xbiz, Cybersockett, and Hard Choice with his diminutive, white date Andy Kay. His critique of the situation was focused on the general response to his pairing with Andy Kay at the event more than anything else.
The one-two punch of blackness and gayness has always played a political role in the spheres or academia and entertainment; my news choices attempt to draw together a few “achieving” black gay men to investigate. In two cases, I believe that the identities of these men play a large role in their accomplishments, accomplishments which put them at the top of professions which have “othered” them in more ways than one. Andre proves the accessibility of advanced fashion journalism (or reality television) to the minority communities to which he identifies. Raynard in turn shows the same in fields of education and medicine. In the case of Diesel, his appearance and sexuality have in fact made his career, opposing the legions of a waxed, white, male “twinks.” Yes, I believe being black and gay are deal makers in a wannabe-post-racial/post-…gaytial (?) sect of society, and solid buffers to mistakes and mishaps, but no, I don’t think these men are anything less than wonderful.
Also: I began to realize in compiling queer/race news, that I do not directly access racial topics, but rather reach them through queer news and other queer means.