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Eventually this would lead to people teasing me, but it never escalated further than that. I would never claim that I was bullied; I had a quite a big frame and I think people were intimated by my size. Still, it was a very lonely time for me. As I slowly came to terms with my sexuality, I started going to gay bars and clubs. I have always admired gay men who are confident in themselves. I definitely find a lot of black men, like myself, to be more reserved about their sexuality, in comparison to gay, white males.

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I question where this confidence stems from: Does it come from within? From family support? Or from the media?

The media openly embraces white homosexuals and their lifestyles unlike homosexuality in the black community. I wonder as a young boy, if I would have seen a black, gay man on screen that I could relate to, if this would have led me down a path of acceptance, rather than rejecting my true self. It sounds ridiculous, but because I longed to have a network and support system I played up to this.

I was tired of being an outsider and I craved validation. In a way, I even felt proud of myself because I was finally seeking approval from other gay men, rather than trying to fool people into believing I was straight.

No one should have to act in a way that is unnatural — regardless of race or sexuality. We need to stop pigeonholing — not all gay men are effeminate, not all black men are masculine. There are no rules.

'Growing up, it felt like I was too gay to be black and too black to be gay'

This website uses cookies to improve user experience. To find out how to change your settings, go to our Cookie Policy. Ditch the Label My experience as a gay, black man. These were clubs where people of colour got to enter through the front door.

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They were also the only places where you can find Black, White and Other all in one place simply enjoying life. The post goes on to say that Noir has been created to help break down some of the division that currently exists in the gay community.

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Coming to Noir requires an open mind and an open heart. Noir is not the place for that type of language. It is OUR place where all are welcome. Signout Register Sign in. Sexuality home Agenda Fast lane Mardi Gras. Smartphones don't need to be a source of family conflict. Previous Next Show Grid. Previous Next Hide Grid.

By Michaela Morgan.