I recently discovered that the term “masc” (masculine) – within the black LGBT community- is by far the most highly used and weighted adjective that’s communicated when seeking to establish new connects and relationship building. I understand in recent times the manner in which mass media has erroneously portrayed the community at large as cartoonish figures and semi-drag caricatures, might lead a man to communicate he is indeed not attracted to a “Power Ranger” figure. But in my line of thinking, I would also expect any man that I’m engaging with to fully comprehend that as a gay man, there is some level of masculinity which is inadvertently and organically embraced which that doesn’t necessarily need to be voiced. This term “masc” intrigued me, so I decided to dig deeper. As a journalist, I utilized a bit of due-diligence and proposed a few questions on social media. I also observed and experimented on a few dating websites. Ironically I found, as weighted as this term may be, there is no definitive, proven or substantial definition! Fundamentally, the term “masc ”in our community is most closely used to describe a gay man that possess the characteristics of the lowest class straight men dwelling in the ghetto’s and slums of our most urban areas. Masc gay men are expected to be able to successfully navigate in and out of the most impoverished area without any notice of indifference or eyebrows raised. Their mannerisms and culture should be in unison with that of those labeled poorest of our society. Their presence should be intimidating, and they should resemble possessing some sort of “street credibility.” Their dialect, tone and verbiage used should reflect a keen understanding and usage of broken English; and above all, their style of dress should represent the low quality, street corner, sluggish rags that’s oftentimes sold in the boutique stores of their urban strip malls.
My calling and intent is not to judge anyone on their personal sexual fetish. What caused me concern was the idea that the black gay community has systematically embraced a mindset that poor and poverty stricken is the rubric for masculinity. This mindset is detrimental to our growth as a community, because not only do we alienate and leave several demographics of our men wondering if they are viewed as men- while also feeling a hint of emasculation- but we also embrace a culture and climate of poverty and ratcheetness. Let’s be clear. Many of our men will never be able to successfully navigate in and out of impoverished areas, because that environment is simply foreign to them. They don’t live in poverty and poverty was never an option for them. Many men never desired for their mannerism and culture to be that of the poor, because they’ve never wished to sit at the dinner table with a baseball hat turned back while eating Salmon with their hands. Successful men work hard for their presence not to be physically intimidating because everybody knows physical intimidation only closes doors. Nobody feels safe when Chief Keef walks thru the door. Instead, successful men embrace intimidating and conquering with their mind, intellect and charm. Gaining street cred has never been a goal of any man with options, because most times street credibility requires you to live a life of crime and rack up felonies…Lil Dirk has street cred, but from what I hear, his inner-most circle of friends are being murdered almost monthly. Real men are educated. Therefore the dialect, tone and usage of broken English is not a part of their nomenclature. Broken English and slang would not be deemed an effective means of communication in meetings and interviews; and that’s where they make money and broker deals. Dress and presentation is also important to real men. They exhaust due-diligence to ensure their clothes fit properly; they’re cleaned, bathed, perfumed and over all well groomed.
Most men interpret and manifest masculinity thru the ability to be a provider, upwardly mobile and enterprising. Enterprising is not selling 50 cents single cigarettes on the street corners. With this in mind, many of the men in our community, wake up every morning and report to jobs and corporate America to earn a livable wage. They also tend to require a bit of an disposable income just for those habits they may have, like legally buying a pack of cigarettes whenever and wherever they want! Yeah, they enjoy Prada, but they can afford it. I’ve learned they conduct myself as cultured men at all times because navigating thru the travails of their day-to-day life, they have no other option. Are they not defined as masculine men in our community because the do not sag their jeans, sport unkempt dreds, and drink Dmitri while bobbing to “throw that ass in a circle”? Are they not masculine because they speak in complete sentences, using Standard English and perfect tone? Is their masculinity card taken because they rather act civilized and mitigate conflict by utilizing conflict resolution skills versus “using dem hands” for the slightest offense? Or maybe because they lack that tough, roughened skin- that makes everyone aware they are no stranger to the prison system and poverty- we should just emasculate them and decline them the opportunity of maybe making us happy and excellent partners.
I’m not sure if I would want to be labeled “masc” by those standards. But I do know I’m a man…and I’m masculine! I’m a confident black, professional, gay man that might also be called a black yuppie. My concern is not for me and a lack of dating options, because currently my inbox is giving “Eschella Codella!” My concern is that we as bloggers, promoters, host and even laity complain about the lack of quality in our community, but we have to realize that we are the ones responsible for the mechanization of that wheel. We all want to be desired, and most attractive. If you set the rubric of excellence at poverty, well in turn you’re going to have a rise in a return product of poverty. Frankly, you can’t expect those whom have embraced poverty to produce an environment of grown man, upward mobility. A man whose goal is to replicate poverty will never be able to come to a club/event in high society style, pay a cover and buy drinks. If the promoter can’t make money or negotiate then they have little to work with. A man conditioned to replicate poverty will never be able to embrace conflict resolution. Instead, he and his friends will continue to maul, brawl and bash every person he feels offended or threatned by, and at the slightest ignition. A crowd that values intimidation will always be unwanted and bared from the finer venues and neighborhoods; because once again, no one feels safe walking past Chief Keef and his friends at night. An impoverished community do not value and appreciate chandeliers, nice wines, décor and other details. They only wish to twerk it hard all night while lusting after the local pocket change strippers. I remember a time when the men of our community had swag and would swag out in Gaultier! I believe this is where the term flyy derived from…Now days, we lust after and worship men who go to the clubs and outtings in sweat pants and tee shirts…But hey, that how we now define masculinity, yet we wonder where all the good men, clubs, venues, experiences and options are that used to exist….In the words of Nina Simone….Isn’t it a pity…lmao….Deo