If You Don’t See Me Smilin’….

Today I was at Jimbo’s with my two co-workers, orderding a mess of brugers, fries and greasy goodness for lunch. I already looked fierce in my organge bathing suit on Sunday at Black Pride, now it’s Tuesday and she’s back to eating!


Anyhow, we, three fine ass Black gay men, were perched on stools, waiting for our food to come out the grease. I looked out the window onto 125th Street, and I see this brotha, with a busted ass perm, all combed back, looking like who done did it?, as the old people say. My coworker made a comment, and I was co-signing, like, yeah, that’s a mess. I don’t do men with perms, and he’s not even cute. For me, it’s not on some “I only date butch men” shit, but I just like natural hair. As far as I’m concerned, Prince is the only brotha that can keep his perm, the rest of y’all gotta let that shit go!

In any case, this fool comes al up in Jimbo’s, talking all this shit, indirectly of course, about how we betta stop lookin’ at him, cuz he don’t do that homo shit, etc.

Now, my first reaction was to turn around and cuss him the fuck out. But, then I thought about all the crazy shit that’s been happening and choose in that moment to take a deep breath, and let it go – as long as he don’t put his hands on me, I’m cool.

He left, just as ugly as when he came in. And I thought to myself, “If you really only knew what we were talkin’ about.”

Years ago, a straight black male college buddy of mine named Hector and I were talking. THis was my freshman year, and to date myself, the gays in the military debate was all the rage (To clarify, I NEVER made gays and lesbians going into the service my political project. I NEVER gave a fuck!). Hector was saying that he had had a conversation with several other hetero Black male students who were like, “Man I wouldn’t want no faggots starin’ at me in the shower and shit.”

Hector’s response was, “Man, why do y’all always think gay men are tryin’ to get with you rusty ass! He may be staring at you cuz he think you a ugly muthafucka!”

I wish this fool woulda heard that. I wish I didn’t have to fear being bashed (or worse) to say it to him. Sometimes I feel like taking it there, and sometimes I don’t. Today I didn’t feel like it.

So, I just saw some more dumb ass shit about an LA Nation of Islam mosque chose, out of all the damn things to be done in Los Angeles, to protest Noah’s Ark. Now, I have not seen the show. It is still in production in LA for MTV’s LOGO Channel. So, I cannot speak to the politics of the show, but it’s the principle of the thang! It’s just like as much as I am not so keen on gay marriage, I hate the fucking homophobes who are against it for completely different (and disgusting) reasons. So, now that I have cussed you all out, READ THE GODDAM STORY…Full Story

By the way, the title of this entry comes from my favorite Ziggy Marley & the Melody Makers song (actually sung by Stephen Marley) called Rebel In Disguise. The lyrics go, “If you didn’t see me smilin’/It ain’t got nothin’ to do with you…”

6 thoughts on “If You Don’t See Me Smilin’….

  1. hey there…just dropping by,

    i wanted to say…there is much progress that is needed within our communities with regards to understanding and acceptance of groups that differ from our own…but when it comes to intimidation and any other action that would attempt to suppress a desire, words, or actions of such a group…it is imperative for that groups’ survival that they “bite” back just as hard to such injustices…now as you said you could have easily ripped this fella one…but i can tell you and im sure you know of countless stories of brothers who have backed down out of fears of being bashed, verbally or physically….and its a shame…

    i honestly think that when oppresed people and/or those who are labeled as “the other” stand up and get right back in the face of those who prefer to see their destruction, then we will have made progress… and of course…people are doing this all across the country…not trying to say that folks aren’t defending themselves…the ideal is for that straight brother or woman or the legislatures attempting to passing anti-gay legislation, to have in mind that if they are going to bring their hate…then they should bring their boxing gloves as well…

    take care and stay strong…

  2. *hug* Honey, seeing trifling shit like that here in Harlem (especially up in Jimbo’s, which seems like the epicenter of ‘trifling’ most days) really makes me wonder, sometimes. I love you and I’m glad you’re here with us.

    That battle was not yours: it was between him, that hairdon’t and whatever remains beneath that perm … honey, a battle royale!

    On one hand, though, my heart goes out to him: he and the other Jimbo stalwarts will be the first to go in terms of gentrification. On the other hand, I don’t want anyone fucking with me and making me have to look around for shit to protect myself with, either, when all I wanna do is enjoy my greasy-ass burger and fries. (They are so good!)

  3. You have an interesting writing style. I love reading about NY and all it has to offer, thanks for sharing! Good luck with your big break!!


  4. Kenyon

    Thanks for stopping by my new blog! I didn’t know you were blogging as well… Posted your weblog link on my page.

    By the way, as you might know, a friend of mine – Eddie Garzon – was beaten to death in Queens weeks before the Twin Towers came down and I have done some organizing around his death. Unfortunately his killers are still out there. As the anniversaries of the day he was attacked and the day he passed away get closer (he spent some days in a coma) I have been thinking about blogging about my experience in organizing community as well as attempts to gather media attention to the case.

  5. interesting situation, though very common. small minds abound, but I have to side with p. alonzo on this one … we have to bark louder.

    I’ve been guilty myself of turning the other cheek and letting shit slide, out of fear of, I admit, being bashed (just don’t touch the face, anywhere but the face.)

    … but things are crucial now and SGL brothers and sisters being taken out, killed, driven by rhetoric from on high … black church leaders.

    The time has passed for letting even the slightest of ‘slights’ go unanswered.

    Bark back and bark loudest!

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