Queerty contributor Rob Smith is author of Confessions of a Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Soldier: How a Black, Gay Man Survived the Infantry, Coming Out, and the War in Iraq
I am a black, gay man who is in a healthy, happy marriage with my Russian husband, Misha. We have a joint Instagram account where we share about our lives together, and though we don’t get a lot of racist comments and messages, we felt the need to share one that was posted on our page.
There are very few images of black gay men being loved, affirmed, and supported in the overall LGBTQ community. We’re not in the proposal videos that go viral, and images of black gay men are notably absent from various Instagram accounts like Cutest Gay Couples, Couplee, and Gays With Stories that feature gay couples.
The administrators of accounts like those have decided that the only love that is worth sharing and being celebrated is between two white men. My husband and I decided to start our account so that young gay men of all colors – but especially young black gay men – can see someone who looks like them being loved, being supported, and being married.
That’s why it’s all the more painful when a troll hops in our comments section and reduces the love that I share with my husband to nothing more than a product of his fetish for “black dick.”
I chose to share the comment and our response on Queerty to show that not only do we have a lot of anti-racism work to do inside the community and outside, and also that a black man can be loved, affirmed, and respected for many things beyond whats in his Calvins.
Rob – If you haven’t noticed on #gay #instagram, there aren’t too many images of black men being loved, affirmed, and supported in relationships, let alone marriages. That is one of the reasons we started this account. To far too many people that see photos of me and Misha, he is a human being and I am nothing but a walking “black cock.” There is no way that Misha could want to be with me because I’m funny or handsome or educated or successful. Of course not, it must be what’s between my legs. In the spirit of #mlkday and #equality, let’s take the time to see each other as human beings, make more space for black men on gay-oriented Instagram accounts (That means you @cutest.gay.couples , @gaycouplee , @gayswithstories and SO many others), and try to see black men for our complexity and humanity. ??