Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Being Gay and Black - A Heavily Understated Issue?

Before I close (for the third and final time), I was reading one of the discussions centered on Alan's Wikipedia entry regarding his living family's awareness of his sexual orientation and felt I had to add something here: I remembering having dinner with Alan in this Italian restaurant and his mention of the black community's lack of acceptance of homosexuality (more so than the white community) and the additional challenges he encountered with having to deal with its (the black community) strong affliction against homosexuality. This was totally new to me... I thought it quite intriguing to be made aware that there are even differences in certain social stigmas (besides the obvious ones) present among racial groups (in the US).

What I Miss Most About Alan...

If I had to think of one thing I miss the most about Alan (at this very moment), I would say it is his laugh. (Then I'd say his smile).

Was Alan's Sexual Orientation Relevant to Share With the World?


I think that most people are looking at the issue surrounding the disclosure of his sexuality from the wrong angle. Several reasons why:

1. The assumption that this disclosure served an agenda of sorts.

People are looking too deeply into this. Perhaps this suspicion of serving a sort of agenda is cause-and-effect of the disclosure of an issue as sensitive such as sexuality in America. Did anybody stop to think that the mention of his sexuality was purely to serve the purpose of illuminating whom this person was and one of the key struggles that plagued his life? Personally, I think people need to start realizing that being gay essentially defines a very significant part of whom an individual is. Mentioning somebody's gay orientation is as relevant today as mentioning of one's Jewish heritage was during the World War 2. I can simplify this even further into several words: persecution.

Persecution is defined as follows:

  1. To oppress or harass with ill-treatment, especially because of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or beliefs.
  2. To annoy persistently; bother.
Hmmm, besides the mentioning of "sexual orientation," I think it's fair to say being gay definitely qualifies. Are gays openly accepted--legally or socially (in the United States)? Not at all. I think when the majority of people state their acceptance of gays, I think it parallels the Vatican's acceptance of non-Christians and their place in "heaven."

2. Assuming that there is an agenda, what cause would be served? Assuming the answer is "the acceptance of gays into society and their being given FULL equal rights;" What's so wrong with trying to advance this cause?

I'm digressing (as I often do when I'm not on Ritalin) here, but the point I really want to make goes as follows:

Alan was gay, and this struggle essentially defined and shaped him into the person he is today. I think most, if not all individuals who have had to deal with a constant struggle throughout their lives will attest to the fact that these struggles (for better and for worse) shaped them into the individuals they are today. Let's face it, a straight (sexual orientation), white (caucasian), middle-class student at a state university has typically had to deal with a lot less major conflict growing up than his black, gay counterpart has. I think people need to stop bickering over the wrong issues and tackle these subjects and challenges head-on. More importantly, people need to stop getting bent out of shape over ludicrous speculations that any assertions are being made or implied about those having been through those struggles.

For the record, I think Alan was better than the majority of the people I have ever met or known--including myself. Alan was one of the most altruistic, chivalrous, intelligent, generous, well-spoken, humorous, and forgiving human beings I have ever known. Ladies, you would have killed to have such a man! Alan served (and still serves) as a role model for me to live my life by.

Well, I'm out.

Alan G. Rogers?

This page is dedicated to one of my closest friends, Alan Rogers, a major in the United States Army, whose greatness and tragic death will forever stay with me. I don't really know what the purpose is other than to serve my own desire to share this man's greatness with the world. The information presented in this blog is extremely biased, and it serves to counter many of the pitfalls and controversies encountered on his Wikipedia entry. And for the record... Yes, Alan was gay. Deal with it and move on.