What Ever Happened to The TV Rainbow?

Is it uncouth to go from a piece on a band called “White Town” to an article on the dearth of gay black characters on television? Probably, but oh well…

As you remember, earlier in the television season, GLAAD spilled much ink (and we probably loads of dough) on the lack of gay characters on network television. Now, Hikaru Freeman over at AfterElton is taking on the deficit of gay blacks in general.

While we think examinations of gays in media can be a bit tiresome, we’re actually intrigued by this piece. Okay, maybe intrigued isn’t the right word. Dare we say impressed?

Sure, it’s the standard flair: gay black men are either flaming queers or sexless props, but we have to admit that Freeman’s incorporated some pretty good voices into this study, including Keith Boykin and Rod McCollum.

While they’re all well and good, perhaps the most notable comment comes from Steven Emmanuel of Queer Kid of Color:

Now that I think of it, how come all the white gay men I see are more masculine then our black gay brothers? Brokeback Mountain … was about two masculine, white men on the down low. Everyone thought Brokeback Mountain was a love story. I beg to differ. It was a gay cowboy love story. Gay in the sense that they were both gay, cowboy in the sense that they were both cowboys, love in the sense that they were both in love, and let’s just throw in the words ‘down low’ since they had female partners while being together. There’s your gay cowboy love story. My point: The reaction to the film would have been different if it was two masculine black men who were closeted. It wouldn’t have been a love story. It would have been a black gay love story about two men on the down low who play basketball.

We can’t even imagine what GLAAD would do if Brokeback had been about two black guys. Undoubtedly they’d have said something, although we suspect they would have found a way to turn it into an argument about a lack of faggot crackers or something.

Anyway, check out the article and come on back, kiddies. You won’t regret it. If you do…well, tough.

(Oh, and if anyone out there plans on writing a racist comment, keep it to yourself, thanks. We’re not in the mood.)