By Kevin Tarver
To be a Black gay male, born and raised here in the South, words cannot explain the journey it took for me to get to place of self-love and self-acceptance. I began my journey at age 19, and now, at age 29, I’m now able to fully walk in my truth unapologetically.
No one ever told me that my gender, race, sexuality, and Southern roots would intersect in complex ways however, it forced me to learn more about myself as a human being. Because of these intersections, it is easy to become lost and feel ostracized, and for a long time, I felt like an outcast among outcasts.
My blackness is subject to racism. My sexuality is subject to discrimination and phobias. My Southern heritage keeps me aware of both, due to societal attitudes. The more I’ve grown, the more aware I’ve become, I use this awareness as a means of outreach and activism.
You see, my existence is not for the comfort of others, and I no longer have anything to prove to anyone. I am me, and that’s the most beautiful thing I can be.
Kevin L. Tarver is a freelance writer, gay activist, and content creator for BamaBoiBlues.com. Established on July 15th, 2010, BamaBoiBlues.com documents many experiences that often go undiscussed within Gay Culture, especially within the African American Gay Community.