Meanwhile, the AIDS Industrial Complex has been built on black pain. And when you’re white, you are born into a system that wants you to succeed.
The inequitable distribution of resources, and the starving of black organizations, has been absolutely criminal. When someone is white they are almost always perceived as more credible than someone black. How does it manifest between gay men, and in the HIV advocacy arena?
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They were uncomfortable with me discussing race in the context of sexuality. Or they get off on seeing their white skin next to black skin. I’m tempted to compare it to my being a redhead and being pursued by men who were only interested in that. In the HIV community in particular, I hope we become more courageous in having conversations around sex, around power, desire, and race. We’re both very involved in the cause of HIV criminalization, and perhaps the most visible case thus far has been that of Michael Johnson, also known for his screen name, “Tiger Mandingo.” He’s a young black gay man who has been in jail for years for not disclosing his status to his sex partners (he was recently granted a new trial), but most every article about him has some hot photo of him without his shirt on.
I suppose having to think about race too much gets in the way of their fetishizing black penises. Reducing a black man to “I want your big black cock.” That must get old. But that doesn’t begin to compare when the trait is race, not hair. If I was getting something in the transaction, it didn’t bother me. The thrill of the taboo is everywhere in our sexual DNA, right? So much of the public narrative surrounding Michael has been shaped by salacious headlines and descriptions of his sex life with no interest in his humanity.