Updated: Jul 5, 2020
**Names and info may have been changed to protect the Identity of the participating party
“I am a pretty newly identifying bisexual male, and I want to share my experience with people during this month of LGBTQ pride. I want people to hear what I have to say and know that [they're] not alone in the world.” - Evan C.
Interviewer: For this interview as we talked about it’s going to be for LGBTQ Pride Month
So I’m going to start with a few introductory questions.
First, what is your name?
My name is Evan C. and I am from the DC Area.
The DMV *woop*!
How old are you?
I am 24 years old.
What do you Identify as in regards to your gender, sexuality, and what are your pronouns?
I would consider myself to be…*contemplates*
Gender wise, I would say I am, male assigned at birth, but I feel that I am more of a gender fluid kind of person. I don’t really care what kind of look I have when it comes to appearance, hair or like piercings. Just things that people might see as traditionally being something men might wear.
For sexual orientation I feel like, It would be fair to say I am questioning it at this point.
I feel like I have a majority of an attraction to men as opposed to women, when it comes to being romantically attracted to, it definitely is more men than women.
So, yeah I would consider myself that in the acronym, I would be the Q.
So you consider yourself more queer and gender fluid?
When I met you, at the time you were identifying as Bi, would you like to elaborate more on that realizations between then and now?
(note in this question I am referring to us reconnecting and he is referring to when we met for the first time)
I think my experience growing up has been interesting just looking back. I’ve been more in tune with myself, but if I think romantically there was never really an attraction or happiness, with identifying as a straight male. But I feel like it was pushed on to me anyway. I remember being a kid doing stuff like this…*recreates dainty hand position*
Then my mom just freaking out and being like, ”don’t do that, that’s for girls”, you know.
Also, I feel like when I would do something that would be seen as feminine, they would always get like a dude who was super masculine to be like “this is how you act, this is how you’re supposed to be.” I feel like a lot of that was always kinda carried with me. Like you need to be this way and I feel like there was no happiness there, in that.
So, I feel identified as a straight person for a good amount of my life but not really because I didn’t really date anyone... *laughs*... I wasn’t really attracted to anyone so, I wasn’t really acting it out.
So, because you weren’t attracted to anyone at the time, for a moment did you feel more Asexual?
Umm, well no…I would say I’ve had an attraction to men for a good amount of time, really since I’ve been a kid. I would have moments where dudes would have a crush on me, and I wasn’t pushing them away, I enjoyed it.
There was this old story I remembered recently. I used to be in boy scouts, and my mom would be around and there was this other little boy who had a crush on me or whatever, and she got so mad at that, but I never knew where that energy came from. She was just like “why would you even let him be near you!”, and you know it’s not telling you, but it is.
[ Interviewer: It’s like implied.]
Yeah, like an aggressive question kind of.
And i feel like that has been done to me like a lot, growing up and it definitely got internalized. I think it’s really apparent to see, I was just really in a sad state when it came to stuff like that and I wouldn’t even think about it…so, yeah.
I think that led into a bunch of other stuff… *awkwardly laughs*
But what question were we on?
[ Interviewer: I was just inquiring more about where you stood as you were adjusting into your sexuality, and to my understanding based on your response. It wasn’t that you felt Asexual...but that people around you were essentially telling you, you weren’t supposed to feel the way you were feeling...does that sound accurate? ]
Yeah. I mean, I feel like I have a very interesting relationship with straight dudes.
I grew up around a lot of straight dudes and it was interesting talking to them growing up. It was a lot of pretending to relate with a lot of the things they had to say. To the point where you know you get used to things that they’re saying and you kinda do relate a little bit.
But, I don’t know it's very interesting talking to women about romantic feelings and things like that, like they’re the same.I’ll have the same thoughts or someone will say something and I’ll be like ”Oh!" I feel that same way about a dude or something like that. I think that's always kinda been there. But I think I’ve had like a kinda bad relationship with dudes.
I think that really affected how I saw men romantically, as in like the possibility of being with a dude and being comfortable with it. Just because I feel like dudes made me feel uncomfortable around them in general. And being open about feeling like I wasn’t necessarily straight. People would try to catch it all the time and make fun of you for it.
To be honest I’ve been made fun of for being *contemplates on word choice* Gay, since I was in third grade. It's been kind of a heavy bullying point for me. So I don’t know, I feel like it happened for such a long time that you start to believe some of the things that people say. So yeah…*huffs out air*
How did you deal with all of those negative influences and negative emotions that were being directed at you?
Umm…*contemplates* I don’t think I took it well. I think it was a lot, you didn’t really have any like support system for real, about that kind of thinking or something that people saw as so different.
I was going to one very small school and a lot of my classes only had like 5 or 10 people in them and it was also a really religious school. So, me being Gay was never really like *shakes head* something you know you should be doing. I mean…*mutters thought to self*
There’s stuff with my mom...I don’t know, but getting back to your question. Things that would help me is like simple stuff sometimes. Like going on YouTube and just seeing some type of representation of what a Gay man could be!
One thing that was kind of an early thing that helped me to have an image of what a Gay man could look like. That stems out of a healthy relationship was my Uncle who is actually Gay. He was such a nice dude, such a nice well adjusted person.
I mean he went to teach in the Middle East. And he’s been over there for awhile, he’s like on a mission to teach people in places that lack access to education. So, it was just cool seeing somebody who was that and you know breaking all of those negative stereotypes that had been built in my head.
The other thing that came with that was seeing how my family would treat him, like he was some type of alien or something. It was weird *chuckles* like he would sit at table and he would be over here *gestures to right* and everyone would be over there *gestures to left* almost like they were forming a perimeter or something.
So, it’s a lot of Homophobia in my family. But, representation I think in different places, helped me early on. Whether it be like some forms of media or just a personal family member.
Do you feel that in addition to being Gay or Queer and being under the pressures of assumed Black Masculinity that effected you?
Umm yeah, I think people will look at me and assume, because I have a very masculine look in my opinion. I think it does play a lot into what people expect you to be and when they see you breaking out of that they get upset.
I think that being a Black male who identifies as Queer looks very different than someone who is White and Queer and I think there is something to say, that there is something different there. What society has already put on Black People in general, and then all of the sudden you have another thing that’s put on top of it. And that deals with issues of intersectionality and stuff like that.
Yeah,Hmmm...*thinks with prayer hands to face*
It’s just so much to say about this. You’re dealing with the expectations of, the wrong expectations of people really fetishizing, Black men, I think in our society everyday and I’d be remiss to say they didn’t do that to like a Gay Black man.
I think people will look at somebody's appearance and assume what they have to be and when they don’t meet that expectation they try to force it on you.
What is your experience or what does that look like for you as it relates to the LGBTQ+ Community? Is it similar to what you perceive straight Black fetishization to be or do you see differences and Nuances?
I think in a lot of ways it can be different and in a lot of ways it can be similar too.
Hmm, I think it depends on what kind of “Gay” you consider yourself to be. Whether it be Masc or Femme. That can play into what kind of fetishization come on to you I think, but I don’t think they are very different.
I think it could come down to complexion, hair, stature, etc. I think those are all things people project onto other people and I think those things can be dangerous and damaging always.
Hyper-sexualizing a person really takes their humanity away and I think it's another way to treat someone almost like cattle and another way to dehumanize them. And I mean I think fetishization really comes in where that's the only thing someone likes about you, that you're a different race. It's fine to be in an interracial relationship but if that's the only reason you're dating someone else is because they're a part of another race, I think you should love them for their personality and who they are as a person.
I think sometimes fetishizing gets in the way of that and you're not in love with the person for the right reasons. I think that affects both groups equally probably, but I don't think I've had enough experiences to give you too many in depth things about that. But even yesterday I was on Tinder and I was talking to someone who was Hispanic and he just kept telling me about how cute I was.
I think it’s weird that people just blankly say that. It made me feel weird because it's like but what about me is cute. There's a certain gaze there that I feel like the other person might not even fully understand, but I think it’s definitely done on a regular basis.
[Interviewer: So, you feel like this person was viewing you as attractive more because you are Black versus what you actually look like or your character?]
Yes! Exactly! I think when you leave those other sides out, I think that's where some fetishization will be present. I’ve even seen it in the media and a few different places personally. Have you ever seen Watchmen before?
[ Interviewer: I’ve Seen some of it.]
There is an episode it's about a character living in the 60s and the discussion is about racism. He is a Black Bisexual dude who gets into an affair with a White superhero The White man who he ends up getting into an affair with keeps putting his arm next to him and comparing skin tone and if you harp on it for too long it just feels weird.
I think it's fine to appreciate the differences of people and I think that's what life is about but that being the only thing that you appreciate about someone is not good and I think that can happen in this space.
You gave a lot of your current experiences being Queer and being Black and being a Man. So, How did you come into your current Identity?
It's really interesting when you get in tune with yourself because one thing about the straight persona to me in the black community is that it always felt like a chore. It felt like an act that you had to put on everyday for people to feel like you are fitting in.
But really I feel like it was an issue of just not accepting who I was on the inside. I feel like it made me weaker as a person in spirit.
Accepting my Queerness unlocked my Blackness and some extra activism because you feel like you know who you are and what angle you're coming from and everything you need to talk about. I feel like even in the last year-and-a-half I have really come into tune with myself.
Even my animation, you're trying to tell these stories but via a heteronormative story that you're trying to tell. It's very interesting when you get into queer stories you really feel like you're speaking from the heart.
You feel like you're speaking about things you really know about and that you really care about and your form of love is right. It should be accepted it should be respected and it shouldn't be laughed at or made fun of by anybody once you can determine that it is important for yourself.
A lot of other things come with it too. I think your sexual orientation is a part of your identity, it's a huge part of your identity and if someone is trying to take that away from you they’re trying to take a lot of yourself away from you.
For Black boys and men who are struggling with their identities and sexuality what do you want to say to them as they are coming into their own journey?
I would say for Black men I think the danger that we face is the danger of a single story and a single way of someone being portrayed, when it comes to media, and different images that we see and I think that really puts a strong grip on people.
I think it's important to remember that that's not true and there's so many different ways to exist in this world and all of them are right. People try to make it seem that there's only so many ways to be, but that's just because that’s the normal they’ve tried to create.
There is no such thing as normal. Whatever people are used to hearing is normal. You can tell people for a while that being Gay is wrong and it becomes normal to say that, but if you tell them enough that it's right then it becomes normal for it to be right.
People should just see this as another way of living, that’s all it is. You're not in my relationship with me so, fuck off *Laughs* If you have something to say. It's not anyone's business and it's not something you should ever let someone be scared of from you. You're not a monster, you are a person who deserves respect like everyone else and who you love is your choice and that's really it on that! Love is something that everyone does and everyone is involved with and it just looks different for different people.