The deaths of Gemmel Moore and Timothy Dean and the near death of several black men in the West Hollywood home of Ed Buck are indicative of an artificially created, heightened demand for that mythological black male appendage below the belt.
Let’s be clear: this is not a desire for the individual black man, his personality or his looks – it’s a craving for just the appendage. And many white and brown gay men are willing to pay large sums of cash to possess it, even if only for a short period of time.
To some gay black men like me, this hunting for a distinct black male body part feels much like the African elephant being hunted to near extinction for its ivory tusk, which is ground up and used to ostensibly enhance sexual prowess. It is proof of the power of marketing on the human mind.
The marketers of the porn industry and con artists in the American media know how to market this appendage very well — creating the sexual desire for black men that poor black boys are pursued to fulfill. Most white men know that they don’t possess the natural ability to attract the desires of black men unless money is part of the equation: it’s almost a given that if you’re a gay black boy in a predominately white gay world you will be offered money for sex.
Too often, it becomes easier and much more lucrative to offer up your body than to try and get a job within the broader gay community.
If an individual Asian, Latino or white man decides to make a little money by doing a porn scene, their entire race is not identified by their individual actions. Unfortunately, however, that does not transfer to black men.
The general perception is that each individual black man must be like all black men, even though not all black men can all play sports, rap, dance or have a penis large enough to fit the commonly held mythology.
The horrible blowback from this sex marketing mindset is largely to blame for the deaths of Gemmel Morre and Timothy Dean. In the city of West Hollywood, there are scores of white gay male escorts. When the term “sex worker” is applied to them, they are basically offered a modicum of respect.
But it took the deaths of two black gay men — one a known escort — and the near death of a third black gay escort, before the known white suspect was ever taken into police custody.
This screams of racial disparities and prejudices about how black men’s lives are devalued. In this case, it is particularly ugly to see the legal power structure that promotes the belief that Gemmel Moore and Timothy Dean’s deaths were self-inflicted — accidental overdoses, according to the coroner — as if black men devalue themselves so much that they would choose to die in Ed Buck’s apartment.
I do not believe their deaths were “accidental.” I believe they died because of Ed Buck’s warped sexual fantasy about a black man’s penis.
The powerful elite that owns and operates online and offline media with an objective and mission to monetize the public’s appetites and desires knows what sells. They have also led in the messaging of what and who black gay men are.
We gay black men do not possess a metaphoric megaphone to shout to the world: WE BLACK GAY MEN ARE NOT WHAT YOU’VE BEEN TOLD.”
If we did, then I’m confident our perceived identities would not be so sexually skewed.
We black people once again have to take control of our own identity and once again, like the civil rights movement of the 60s, create a new black LGBTQ movement.
Check out LosAngelesBlackLGBTMovement.org or see the Facebook page.
Paul Scott is founder of the Los Angeles Black LGBTQ Movement.