Updated: Aug 5
A big thank you to Semajay for being the next entry of Birds of a Feather! Semajay’s transparency throughout this entry literally BLEW my mind! Thank you so much for being comfortable sharing your story and contributing to our journey of self-discovery. I really appreciate your narrative and all of the previous entries written by dear friends, all of y’alls contributions mean everything to me! ~Cheyenne
Hello Beautiful people!
My name is Semajay and I am an upcoming sophomore with a major in English, interested in minoring in Creative Writing. I was born in North Carolina & currently living in Los Angeles. My uncle, Eldridge Cleaver was a Black Panther/Black activist, so I try my hardest to speak up on the injustices that we currently face as Black citizens in America. I am more than thankful to have been given this opportunity by Cheyenne, who has supported me nonstop throughout my journey in college and I love her beyond measures!
What am I doing? Where am I going? Who am I? Questions that I used to have for myself when I really didn’t understand the world. Questions that I had when no one loved or accepted me. When being myself was never truly authentic. I had questions just like everyone else. I was lost like my father was. I was blinded like my mother was. I was angry at myself like my peers were. . . all because I couldn’t figure out who I was as a person. But today I can say to you with confidence, that I am in fact, a Gay Black Male living in America. And I could not be more proud to say it. America isn’t all that great, but no matter where I am in the world. . . I will always be “that little gay Black boy”. I am more than proud to be Black, and I am just as proud of being gay. Even when I hated myself for it. Even when I received nothing but hate, and anger, and disgust, from straight Black men in America, fighting the same battle as me. Even with elderly Black women telling me that my soul will burn for an eternity in Hell. Even when I almost lost my relationship with my father. Even when I almost took my life.
But I eventually figured out who I was, or I guess I should say. . . I stopped being who everyone else wanted me to be. I started to be myself. Even in the oddest places, probably at the wrong time. But once I actually figured out who I was. . . there was no going back. I was no longer going to suppress my life because I felt like there was nothing left to lose. My mother was murdered, my father ignored me, and I was separated from my sister. So I figured, what else can I lose if everything had already been taken? I’ve always felt less than because of my race, knowing that I’ll never be truly “beautiful” in the white man’s eye. I’ve always had insecurities about some of my physical appearances. For example, my gapped teeth, or my long feet, or my acne, or being male, or even being Black. I felt less than. I felt like dirt shit.
Every single Black person in this world no matter how rich or poor is never going to win simply because they are Black. So why did I feel even less than that? Why did I have to fight my own Black brothers and sisters in school for thinking that they can punk me? WHY DOES THE BLACK COMMUNITY TREAT GAYS LIKE WHITES TREAT THE BLACKS? They say “It’s not all Black people who hate gays” and it's not all white people who hate Blacks but the numbers are off. Why am I fighting the people who should have my back? Why do I feel less than the lowest of the lowest dirt and scum on the ground? It wasn’t until my senior year in high school when I realized that this is what we’ve been taught. We’ve been taught to steal, hate, discriminate, and kill by the white man long ago when our ancestors were stripped away from their homes, and were slaves at the feet of the white man. I’ve been discriminated against by White men, Hispanic men, Asian women, and Black Americans. And although this was tough for me, it gave me nothing but strength and motivation to keep striving for a better life. It added fuel to this beautiful Leo’s spirit. I would defeat all odds if I became successful in the public’s eye as the lowest minority on the scale.
I started to surround myself with Black people who have the same mindset as me and hope that one day we can help the ones who are lost or blinded. I encourage all to be better. Better than what we were taught. Better than how you may have been before. Better than what you wanted for yourself at first. Better than what and who you are right now. Because once YOU become better, we ALL become better. Red rag or Blue rag, Muslim or Catholic, Lightskin or Darksin, Heavy or Slim, Gay or Straight, we are all one. We are unique, we are creative, we are creators, we are Black, and we are Beautiful. It’s important to spread love and positivity to all of our Black brothers and sisters. It has become way too easy to say “fuck you” to one another and has become way too difficult to say “I love you” to each other. But I truly do love you, all of you. No matter our differences. So, who am I? I am a Black Gay Male living in America. . . but that doesn’t define who I am as a person.
I am Semajay, and one day, that will say it all.