I recently watched Dwyane Wade’s interview on Showtimes All The Smoke podcast where he speaks very candidly about his youngest child coming out.
A quick disclaimer, this blog is NOT for the close minded individual, so if the topic of homosexuality makes you uncomfortable, stop reading here.
Homosexuality, such a controversial topic in several communities, especially the black and Christian communities both of which I can relate to.
When I came across Dwyane Wade’s interview on All The Smoke it made me reflect on my own coming out experience. When it comes to my sexual orientation, it isn’t what defines me, however it is a big part of who I am.
Identifying as Lesbian in the black Christian community has been both uncomfortable and unwelcoming and on the flip side, I’ve honestly never seen a higher population of closeted human beings in my life and the funny thing is, everybody knows and everybody is talking.
I shared my coming out story in a YouTube video, link here https://youtu.be/MwXfLrlwtZQ and I wrote a blog titled, “My Gayness Won’t Make You Less Christian”. Here’s the link to the blog https://talkingallthatjaz.net/2018/04/11/my-gayness-wont-make-you-less-christian/ In that blog I talk about my own unique experiences as it relates to being gay in the Christian community. (Check them out!)
100% of the parents I’ve ever spoken to, who have had children come out always tell the same story. That story, “I could see it when they were young”. We’re not talking 10 or 12 young, were talking 3 or 4 young. I’ll let you guys chew on that for a moment. The story Dwyane Wade shares is no different. He says that when his son was around 3 he noticed that he wasn’t on the boy vibe like his other sons. Now here is where it got interesting for me listening to his observation as a black man because in my opinion black men are by far some of the most homophobic individuals I’ve ever encountered. Black men/fathers absolutely shudder at the tiniest “gay like” tendencies in little boys and other black men. Not all but a big population.
“You ain’t go be no punk”. “Stop acting like a little girl.” “Man up!”. “Stop acting like a sissy”. “I’d be pissed if my kid turned out gay.” I’ve heard them all and I bet a lot of you have too. Sorry to disappoint you, those tactics won’t make the gay disappear. What it will do though, is teach them to be gay in private and suffer in silence. I speak from experience.
Dwyane Wade speaks about struggling at first, but how he chose to love his child through this very difficult process by educating himself. Not demean, not belittle, not shun, not mock, nor tear down. He says his child is stronger than he’ll ever be. Truth is, the bullying often begins at home. Fact is, we fear what we don’t understand and dismiss what doesn’t align with our belief system…but what if?
I’ve lost friends both old and new. I often encounter the what used to be friendly conversations between girls which turn into friendly reminders of their heterosexuality. I choose my comments carefully as not to make certain individuals uncomfortable. “Sis, my sexual orientation doesn’t mean I want you” (insert hard ass eye roll). Im still astounded at the number of absent minded individuals who only associate “gay” with perversion and or sex.
I can only imagine how different my life would have been if I had a Dwyane Wade. How different the countless numbers of other children’s lives would be and would have been if they too had a Dwyane Wade. I can imagine how many children could have avoided debilitating depression and even suicide.
I encourage parents out there, if you have a child that you suspect may be gay or is gay, love them beyond your limited beliefs. Ignoring it won’t make it go away. They need you. They need your love. They need your support. I applaud Dwyane Wade. I admire Zion’s courage! It’s truly inspiring and heartwarming!
I hope this blog helps someone to consider another way. I’m always open to respectful dialogue. Perhaps my story and experiences can help you navigate through your own journey with a child or a loved one. I’m here if you need me.
Here’s a link to the interview. He talks about his son around the 30 minute mark if you want to fast forward.
Until next time…🦋