Hey everyone! I hope things are going well in your lives, and that you are all working towards your dreams. Usually on Mondays I come with factual articles regarding some fact about HIV/IDS or regarding living with HIV/AIDS. Today however, I wanted to talk about something that has been on my heart a lot lately. This article is about my opinion, and doesn’t reflect the beliefs of BGH as a whole, but solely reflects on me and what I believe. I am not an employee of BGH so the words I am writing are my responsibility and mine alone. Now that the disclaimer is out of the way I wanted to connect to things that I believe run hand in hand, Homophobia, and HIV/AIDS rates in the black community. For this post I will, focus on the causes of and effects on on black women.
What is Homophobia?
Homophobia is a general dislike of or prejudice against people that are homosexual. These days, no one should be homophobic, and I know that’s a long stretch but there are a lot of women in our community that take things too far. I know plenty of women that will classify a man as gay simply by the way he talks or what he likes to do for fun. We pass this destructive idea of hypermasculinity down to our sons, and my personal belief is that it is affecting the HIV/AIDS rates of our sisters in our community.
Why do you think homophobia affects the rates of HIV/AIDS
Well I will preface this by saying it does have a lot to do with men (and if this was black men health I’d be telling them about themselves as well), but our interactions with them play a major role, especially generationally. Now, we can’t help what men learn from their fathers, but we can help what we are teaching our sons. And we should be teaching them more that we love them and that they can be loved no matter how they are, LGBTQ+ or not. But I see many women saying things like “my son better not turn out gay” as if there is something wrong with it. This mentality can and often will cause a young man who is gay to be “in the closet” or on the “DL”, and leave him feeling that he has to hide who he is. This secrecy and wanting to hide their orientation can lead to unknown HIV infections because they may not seek the care that they normally would if they felt the freedom of being “out”. Not to mention that, there are STILL women who believe it that is HIV/AIDS is a disease for homosexuals, adding more reasons why men may not want to seek the care necessary. This affects women as well because many men are bisexual also, which means they like women as well as men. So the fear of seeking treatment can lead men who don’t know they have HIV/AIDS to infect women as well unknowingly.
The fact is that young people between the ages of 18-25 are the most at risk for contracting HIV/AIDS, and so they are the most in need of help, sexual education from their parents, and acceptance from the communities around them. A child that feels free to express who they are whether LGBTQ+ or not, is more likely to become an adult that listens to what their parents have to say in regards to sex and sexual health. They are also be more willing to express things they have been through, during which time the parents can assist in getting preventative care, medical treatments, and sometimes even therapy as necessary (in cases or molestation and rape). Don’t get me wrong here, someone ages 18-25 is not a child, but (specifically at the lower end of the age range) they still need a lot of help and guidance from their parents up to and often through their early 20s, especially in our community.
To sum this all up, I believe we need to be more accepting of our children and love them no matter who they are. Accepting them as they are opens up the relationship between the two of you, and can help you protect them, and therefore our entire community. Once again I’d like to say that these are the thoughts of my own and don’t necessarily reflect the views and beliefs of BGH. However I’d love to hear your beliefs and views as well down below. Leave me a comment and let me know what you think!