The Rambling Millennial: Let’s Talk About Decadence: He Went On Safari Y’all

Hey guys, just gonna chime in here again this week, and also give a shout out to my awesome homies for making the black church post(s) the most viewed to date.

We Gotta Talk About It

Well, another Decadence has gone by, the confetti has settled, the gays have departed to their respective cities, and the gay pride flags being flown by straight owned businesses have magically disappeared.

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Everything seems to be just about back to normal, including decadence being just as white as its ever been. No hate, sisters. Just factual observation. So, we’re gonna go back a bit and reference my Gayborhood post, and for good reason, where I also mention the celebration that is Southern Decadence.

The Photographer

I mentioned that post because a good friend of mine, who happens to be a fantastic photographer, read that Gayborhood post, and fiercely disagreed with parts of it. Namely the parts about the Gayborhood being shockingly white. He’d like to believe that there are plenty of black folks strutting their stuff in the Gayborhood.

So in turn, he set out to prove me wrong through his photography, telling me was on a mission to capture the “black faces of decadence”.

AFRICAN SAFARI

His mission sounds like an innocent one, a mission to promote inclusion and acceptance…however…y’all…homeboy literally went out on safari to pick us out in the wilderness, like zebra.

It may sound really harsh of me to say, but I really respect the gentleman who went on this mission. However, brother and sisters, it seems that a whole lot of us still remain oblivious to what the actual issues are.

You’re not helping, homies

My people, we don’t need you to go out and photograph the exceptions to the rule. We need you to use your influence, resources, and talents to address the issues, and the roots of these issues. And all the blindness people experience regarding both.

Y’all, decadence was just as white as its ever been, and the 80 photos you have of the black guys in the crowd won’t help our struggle. It will only reinforce, that the idea of there actually being a struggle, and that millions of black men feel disenfranchised from the gay community, is fallacy.

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My Italian Sister

I was speaking to a wonderful friend of mine during the decadence festivities, discussing, of course, how incredibly white it was. We also discussed my photographer buddy’s plan to photograph black guys, to prove that we are apart of the community — instant eye roll. Immediately pegging that he was attempting to present it as a nonissue.

It is absolutely no different than well-meaning tourists coming down to NOLA, galavanting around the French Quarter and Marigny, then taking the bus on down to the lower 9, to see where the black folks live.

Guys we don’t need your photographs and input, we need you to listen, understand, and then help.

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Maybe One Day

I was trying to figure out where I might have lost y’all at, but maybe I never had you at all. Brothers and sisters, I’m not angry all the time, nor do I “want” to see systemic racism, especially not in the gay community. I’m just here trying to find the problems and fix the game. This isn’t a witch hunt or anything of that nature. But. It’s time to tell the truth.

We need your help to bring the rest of our sisters up to speed.

If you’ve been fortunate enough to see all of the struggles that we’re speaking of, don’t run. Don’t fret from it. Tell your neighbor what you’ve discovered. Your voice is powerful, especially when speaking to folks who already respect your views and opinions.

Slightly Deeper

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The gay community is really special, for many reasons, but mainly because, unlike America, it unknowingly created a culture of systemic depravity for brown people. Like I said, it wasn’t purposely done, it was the only way they saw they could further gay rights as a whole, so brown folks were placed on the back burner. However, similar to America, today, the effects of that decision are definitely being purposely ignored. Why? Because it doesn’t effect enough of the gay majority. Sound familiar? ‘Murica.

But once again, everyone wants to partake in black culture, but not black issues. If I had a nickel for every time I heard Bitch Better Have My Money, or saw a white, gay sister wearing a shirt with Beyoncé and Nicki Minaj lyrics on it this past weekend, I’d have a shit ton of nickels.

Bring it On Home

Y’all. Once again, I’m not angry about any particular situation. Just calling out the way it all is. Hell. Even the Southern Decadence Grand Marshals are usually white, or ambiguously Latin or Hispanic.

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This will change with or without you, brothers and sisters, the revolution is now. But it could be a unified movement. We’ve gotten the right to marry and keep our jobs, now let’s turn our attention to the most marginalized of our community. We could change so many lives, by banding together and challenging the hierarchy that we’ve all had a hand in creating, knowingly or knowingly. We just have to do our homework about the system that most of us have never considered, then get to work. 

#webetterwerk #marriagequality #isnotequalityforall #wechangetheculture #blacklivesmatter

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2 thoughts on “The Rambling Millennial: Let’s Talk About Decadence: He Went On Safari Y’all

  1. Oh Safari does sound a little harsh to me… that was not the way it was meant at all. I can see and respect your view point on the city and its seemingly lack of diversity, but if one truly looks around its not as lily white as it appears. Some of this may have to do with the stigma of black and being gay causing some people to intentionally hide behind the crowd rather than embrace it. (Please don’t jump down my throat for this) You are at an advantage as you know who is typing this reply.

    I’d like to start with the current reigning Mr. Louisiana Leather 2016 is an African American gentleman (Kudos). Mambo was a Grand Marshal for Decadence a few years back and also was African American. (Man I feel like I’m walking a fine line even having this discussion as I am part of the lily white, uptown, Rex riding, private school upbringing that seems so ordinary to NOLA)

    But, Matthew, you have opened my eyes to something that I had not noticed and for that I thank you and I am making it my mission to ensure that my photography is more inclusive of EVERYONE color, creed, gender, etc…

    Now I need to stop because I don’t want to be hunted down… Safari? Man you hit me hard with that one. LOVE YOU MAN!

    Like

    • “My people, we don’t need you to (go out and photograph) [point at] the exceptions to the rule.”
      -true dat!

      The Mission here is not to “find them” and “highlight them”, because a lot of poeple will jump on that occasion to answer, “see, there is no problems, those two guys represents the community”.

      The mission is to increase poeple awarness so that in few years equality is a natural thing no one will have to point at.

      Like

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