Robin Roberts comes out


“Good Morning America” anchor and long-time television journalist Robin Roberts publicly acknowledged her sexuality for the first time in a Facebook post on Sunday.

Roberts, 53, has been very open about her health battles, but has not previously confirmed publicly that she is in a same-sex relationship. 

Show Me the Money

marriage-equalityLast Friday was National Coming Out Day. Shout out to those who took it as an opportunity to publicly express their sexuality and those who didn’t. Either way, you deserve a big hug and an even bigger ice cream cone. Of course, even with the government shutdown, politics influences how we view the day. So, it wasn’t surprising that last week the same-sex marriage issue that many states are addressing got tied to coming out. Clearly, there are what might be regarded as “problems” with the process of coming out and same-sex marriage. Now, I won’t spend anytime here unpacking any of the issues as I see them. Instead, I’d like to take a moment to promote yet another modest proposal.

Fraught, conservative institution or not, we can all agree that marriage can be an expensive endeavor. From dresses to flowers to delicious cake to chicken or beef or veggie, jumping the broom in any traditional capacity costs many a ducket. In a way, that’s what the fight for same-sex marriage is for: access to several rituals which includes registering a place setting you’ll never use. In essence, that’s the transaction. I put on a big party and feed you, you cry over me and buy me steak knives. Which brings me to my point.

Coming Out: African Boi

A Journey of Self-Acceptance: Being gay and African

“Where you from”, he asked. “Baltimore”. I replied. He chuckled softly in disbelief and asked a second time. Unable to keep the charades going any longer, I decided to come clean and disclose the origin of my accent. As the conversation progressed, I slowly came to the realization that the “Operation Find a Boyfriend” was becoming a failed mission. The moment he asked how far away I lived was the sign and the constant rubbing of my back was the signal. The downward spiral of our conversation was all too familiar: boy meets boy, boy likes boy, boy hears more, boy flees scene. Unable to keep the conversation going any longer, I bade my farewell and exited the bar to my humble abode. Just a few years ago, the prospect of being in a gay establishment, especially a bar or club, was unfathomable.

WWE Superstar Darren Young Comes Out

WWE pro wrestler Darren Young casually came out to a TMZ camerman during an impromptu interview at LAX.

During a conversation about whether or not there could ever be a gay pro wrestler, Young shocked the cameraman by responding “Absolutely. Look at me. I’m a WWE Superstar and to be honest with you, I’ll tell you right now, I’m gay. And I’m happy. I’m very happy.”

Young is possibly the first active WWE wrestler to come out.

Coming Out Stories: On Frank Ocean

I’ve spent the last week treading in the liquid of a queer-flavored ambivalence, trying to determine why the Anderson Cooper and Frank Ocean coming out announcements mean less to me than other people. I have seen enough episodes of Coming Out Stories and foolishly subjected myself and my partner to the awkward anti-climax of telling my father about my sexuality to know that helping folks who somehow don’t know how to use context clues with declarations of same-gender-lovingness is supposed to make one feel liberated, free, authentic. I know that my role is to stuff this blog entry full of words, symbolic pats on the back of Anderson, of Frank. Each paragraph should serve as a swell of applause for their bravery, I suppose. But there are enough of those posts already. And I try not to be disingenuous. So, I have spent the last week avoiding being pummeled by all of the congratulatory remarks for several reasons: 1. I needed to put words to my own feelings of ambivalence with as little outside influence as possible, 2. I read two responses to Frank Ocean’s apparent coming out and knew that something was terribly awry, and 3. Although I had treated both “announcements” similarly–that is, I made snarky remarks via Twitter and Facebook–I was also told that Frank Ocean’s coming out was more important than Anderson Cooper’s.


Two-for-One Monday

Instead of giving you a long-winded blog wherein I attempt to make sense of (read: hate on) some nugget of pop culture, I thought I just comment on two issues that have stuck with me since I last wrote.

On Useless Knowledge and Occupy Wall Street

As a kid, I used to collect useless knowledge. You know, stuff like, If you tap the 57 on a Heinz bottle it’ll make the ketchup come out faster. (You’re welcome.) Now, I’m sure the invention of Google has made this kind of knowledge a little easier to come by and a lot less impressive–even when coming from the mouth of a 12-year-old. But I must share one more: Wall Street is called Wall Street because the Dutch built a wall to keep the indigenous folks from “invading.” Perhaps this account is disputed, but even if this factoid is not entirely true, I think it’s important to think about it in terms of the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations.

Ladies First (and Only)?

It wasn’t until I sat down to write this that I realized I’d have to confess to watching Single Ladies–more than once. It’s true. Admittedly, I watched the first episode because I think Dionne Stacey Dash is fine. And although I find the acting in some ways utterly intolerable, somehow I’ve seen enough episodes since to still be able to follow the story line. Saying I watch because I want to support Lisa[waaaaaybeyondhershelflife]Raye for miraculously still finding work–even in a recession–is pretty unconvincing. Perhaps I should just blame baseball season. Apparently, I’m not alone. Viewership of Single Ladies has been consistent, and Vh1, which has been steadily rebranding itself as a grown and sexy, older sibling counterpart to BET’s blazing hip-hop and R&B, will more than likely renew the (two-thirds) black version of Sex and the City for another season.

It Gets Better…When You're Rich and/or Famous

Note: I was so concerned about the rapture on May 21, that I failed to post last Monday. Now I realize that when they said “rapture” all they really meant was that Oprah was ending her show and Chicago’s mayor is no longer named Daley. You can totally interpret such events as the end of the world. Anyway, I finished what should have been last week’s blog and posted it here.)

True story: Although the maternal side of my family knew, I didn’t tell my biological father that I was gay until (quite literally) the day of my sister’s wedding nearly year ago, just before he was about to walk her down the aisle.  What began as an incredibly awkward moment involving me in drag a dress and makeup and weird conversation before the wedding, resulted in an embrace and my father’s loving (for him) utterance of “We deuces,” to let me know that we were still cool by the time we were taking post-nuptial photos; he even took the time to tell my girlfriend she was welcome to visit anytime.  It was a tremendous relief.  Sure, I probably should have done it much sooner, but procrastination is a tough drug to kick.  Besides, I had never hidden anything from my dad or ever talked to him about relationships, so the idea of me sitting him down and telling him that he could add dating women to the list of things he and I had in common seemed really forced and inauthentic.  Although it has always felt as if coming out was a ritual reserved for privileged white folks and Logo series, once I figured out that my dad inquiring, “So you cut your hair again, hunh?” wasn’t a euphemism for “Are you gay?”  I knew I had to say something.