Opinions: black masculinity, the gay agenda, and celebs — it’s complicated

Devan Shepard

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The blogs have been abuzz lately with a video Alicia Keys did concerning taking her son to get his nails done. Here is a break down of the whole situation.

Now this has started a big debate about what is appropriate for boys to wear. There are many comments and YouTube videos being made about how Hollywood is trying to feminize the black man, and how this is just the gay agenda that is being pushed on to these little kids. So, yes it is a very big topic that is being discussed on the internet right now.

I am going to be honest. I disagreed with Alicia Keys putting this out there for the world to see because I believe the climate we are in, people have lost the ability to have a respectful conversation. I said the same thing when the actress Gabrielle Union and NBA player Dwayne Wade publicly came out supporting their son by taking him to a gay pride parade. While I supported their decision, I think it is best to shield kids from public scrutiny and bullying, which unfortunately followed after supporting their son. The world is very different now, and it seems kindness or even seeing each other’s point of view has gone out the door. Social media has changed how we not only talk to each other, but also how we see each other. Almost every time there is an LGBT related topic, the comments are filled with responses such as “the alphabet community strikes again,” or “next thing you know, they will try and legalize pedophilia.”

I just think if you are a parent in the public eye and you have a young child, it is best to shield them because the scrutiny can be vicious.

Having said all of that, I actually do see where Alicia Keys is coming from. In her video, she talks about how we let other’s judgments and stereotypes stop us from being ourselves. I really felt that on a personal level. I have always liked the performing arts growing up. I envied the kids who were on the dance team and who did plays. I wanted to do those things when I was a little kid, but I was always shut down. Everything that I wanted to do was too girly, or it was only something white boys do. I especially wanted to join the cheer-leading team at my high school, but I was shut down again, however this time it was more painful because no one seemed to understand why I would want to be a cheerleader. They thought that guys who were cheerleaders were punks, sissies, and fags. That really affected my self-esteem and it has taken me some time to rebuild my esteem. I do think we put too much emphasis on stereotypes, and sometimes, within reason, we should let kids, especially teens, embrace themselves.

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