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One-On-One With Anthony

Damian Banks: Gotta Get That! Exclusive Interview – New York LGBT Artist With The Bars To Change The Game!

JustBeingAnthony

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JBA: The community is now being able to showcase our talents in music and mainstream media. I’ve interviewed a vast majority of black gay rappers and queer artists alike, and I am excited to be interviewing one of my favorite newer rappers, Damian Banks! How are you today, sir?

Aoooowww, I’m great. I’m just super honored to be on your platform!!! How are you?

JBA: I’m good love, so tell the readers a little-bit about yourself. What would be first things you would want to express to them about your music and artistry?

Everything I’ve written & created so far came from a real place! Rather it’s directly related to me or people who vent to me. I always try to make music I can empathize with because I’m a very passionate person. So if I don’t feel it, I won’t record it! More about me, I’m a 22-year-old rapper from Queens, NY & I will stop at no limit to make sure I’m at the top of my field God willing. 🙏🏾❤️

JBA: Does it seem like a lot of openly gay rappers come from New York? How do you feel about all those other amazing artists of LGBT experience in music right now? Also, do you have a few faves of your own?

New York Breeds a lot of openly Gay rappers because you have tough skin growing up in Queens, Brooklyn, The Bronx, Etc. just like you have to have tough skin to be an openly gay, trans or lesbian rapper in the music industry!!! A few of my fave rappers so far from the LGBT community are 1. @KEE_is_HomoThug 2. @PLaYBoYKeNxX_2 & 3. @godismikey. All three of them are amazing at what they do & inspire me to better my craft as an emcee & as an artist.

JBA: I love it, and I agree not only from NYC, but the whole Tri-state Philly and Jersey included!!! City living period for gay artists. It’s much harder for city living folks because that hustle is so real and so many people are hungry for that top spot! Let’s go back in time to the first moment you knew becoming a rapper was your dream career?

That’s true as well. Since I was a little boy, I’ve danced! Dancing is my first nature. I used to teach dances and have all the little girls going off at their sweet sixteens!🤣!!! I always knew I didn’t want to be anyone’s back up anything though so I would have to find my talent & it was either I can sing or rap while dancing on stage. I didn’t know which of the two I would do until I met my boyfriend a year & some change ago & got inspired by his love of Jay-Z as a rapper. Hearing him say things like “Jay-Z raised me” made me realize how much of an impact rapper can make in people’s lives. It wasn’t until then I realized that Nicki Minaj raised me!!! She’s impacted my life with her music and the way I move out in this world as well. So that’s what made me want to rap. So I can have an influence on a little boy or girl in my community and have them know they can do whatever they want. Any goal is reachable. I come from where you come from anything is ATTAINABLE. && I’m also a muthaa fuckiin’ PERFORMER at heart! I go OFF! On the stage. 🚫🧢

JBA: Do you remember the first rap lyrics you wrote and how did that song shaped you as the artist you are today?

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“I’m a young Queens N, bout them figures, Them other N’s play the back that’s why they mad? FIGURES!”

Woo Chile! I feel like the first rap lyrics I ever wrote speaks on me being so cocky on my records because I know I’m that ill. I write my shit & I even co-produced my recording coming out the sept. 30 called “Gotta Get That”!!! So if you hear me on a record popping shit, know it’s cause I earned that!

JBA: It’s one thing to be a rapper, but rapping at home alone, etc. but it’s another thing to share that talent with people and an audience. What was the reaction you remember getting after other people heard you rap?

I did a freestyle for my first performance on December 9th, 2017 at JAIA’s yearly Taize event where you set your goals for the new year & get to turn over a new leaf with a night of inspiration. A friend of mine has the freestyle on her phone. The crowd’s reaction surprised me because it was my first performance ever as an emcee. I’ve been on the stage multiple times as a dancer and have won trophy’s but I’ve never been on as in Emcee, so I was nervous as shit. The crowd was showing so much love even scored some new people who are looking for to my new music.

JBA: You’ve mentioned dance as also a huge inspiration for you. If you had a choice between becoming a rapper or a dancer which one would you consider the main pick and why?

Definitely Rap. I get to have a voice while dancing. It’s a win, win!!!

JBA: Do you plan on mixing the two in your up-and-coming career? Because we have no LGBT rap dancers right now and that could be a HUGE career move! Dance rap music would get you so much success. I mean look at Lil Mama and how she arrived on the scene as a dance rapper. Now imagine an LGBT dancer who spits that real shit also!

That’s what I’m pushing for, actually! Lil Mama is a great example of a Rapper who’s incorporated dance. And the legendary Missy Elliott.

JBA: TRUE TEA! I had a strong feeling that maybe that lane would fit you plus you go hard so you can spit anything. A lot of black gay rappers most of the time rap about the lifestyle and the beef shit. Do you feel you have to represent your sexuality as an artist or do you prefer to separate the two at some point?

Definitely not separating my sexuality from my music. How I feel, is what I write. If I’m writing about sex? That’s what all of you will get. Again, I’m a very passionate person I love to be as authentic as possible. All my music will come from personal experience or people who vent to me.

JBA: Let’s speak about your favorite artist of all times. If you had the opportunity to rap to Nicki Minaj, which song you would choose and why?

I’d do a melody of Hands Up, My Chun-Li Remix & “Gotta Get That.” I’m also not a freestyle rapper. I’ma pen to the paper rapper. Shout-out to all the freestyle rappers though that’s a rare talent few people have.

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JBA: Interesting answer. So let’s talk more about the music you have and plan to release. When can the readers and the new fans expect to get a mixtape or EP from you?

Got a lot of tracks in the works right now & I’m putting together the perfect mixtape to drop at the top of the year. For now, the first single off my mixtape is “Gotta Get That.”

JBA: Let’s speak about the new song you got coming up “Gotta Get That” What inspired you to make this song?

“Gotta Get That” #DonTouchMe Anthem. This song allows all the beautiful men and women who get harassed on the street on a casual day by men who don’t know their boundaries to have something to rap confidently without having to risk their lives by responding back to their boundary abuser. This song also was made to inspire gay men & all women to Know Your Worth and to also be about your dollar without having a person splurge on you. Independence = freedom.

JBA: As an openly gay man had you ever endured sexually harassment by men (whether down low or even a heterosexual?) You have BAWDYYY, and in the way these closeted men are today, I wouldn’t be shocked if some guys would still come onto you.

I’ve personally have received sexual harassment, and these men are Ruthless. That’s why I make music as well. I have so much in me to share that I know is missing in music right now. I can’t wait to be out here rocking albums, world tours! Endorsement deals I want it all!!!

JBA: [HOLD UP!] So did they know you were a male and mis-gendered you? Tell us about that experience and how it affected you as an openly gay male living in NYC.

Yes they know I’m a male. That doesn’t stop them from going after what they want though. A man isn’t going to do anything he doesn’t want to so when a man looks me in the face with my mustache present and continues to tell me how you’re going to blow my back out & they’ll pay for the hotel room? Yeah, I will be ready to smack the dog shit out of them fuckas. So ruthless, no manners. This whole idea that gay men are only great for sex, hair, nails & fashion is LATE & TIRED.

JBA: Right, so what would be your advice to other gay men (feminine or masculine) who are sexually harassed and bothered in the streets of NYC?

Don’t let the catcalling compromise you’re worth. If they can’t love you out in the open, then they don’t deserve you. PERIOD. If I can’t tell my best friends about you, you’re childish & you need to keep the bullshit on the playground.

JBA: FACTS ON FACTS!!! So let’s speak about your love life and the fact that your boyfriend supports you. I think a lot of “gay rappers” have a hard time at finding love. They got to deal with the groupies and all the guys who are looking for a quick come up. What made you settle down with your man?

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Well, I’ve wanted to settle down with one person since I was in high school [tbh]. The fast life is cool but having that one person by your side through all the ups and downs in life is most important to me. I can’t wait to start a family and have them come to my shows & support my passion. He’s an amazing guy as well. It was like a perfect fit when we first met.

JBA: So cute, so what attracted you to your man? 🙂(inspire us singles who still love a happy, beautiful gay love story!)

[LOL] he’s definitely a big dreamer just like me, so that’s what drew me to him. He’s also very sweet, my human teddy bear for real. Our first real conversation was about our passions, and it lit my heart up. I was so attracted to how he had his life planned out & was taking sets towards it. Unfortunately, not a lot of the dudes I spoke to were as put together in their life as him. My boyfriend and I literally started dating after spending one night with each other. 😻😊❤️

JBA: Awweeee that’s so cute!!!! (Relationship goals fr fr!) What’s a piece of advice would you give other inspiring rappers or artists who are dating or trying to deal with their career and a relationship?

CAREER first! Please don’t get so engulfed in your love life you forget about your own goals. It’s so important not to lose yourself when you enter a relationship altogether. Let’s build more Power couples & less struggling miserable couples. “Let’s push for our goals together” is an essential mindset to have in your relationship. JBA: (I agree with you!!! Teamwork makes the dream work!) Where do you see yourself in ten years?  Exactly. I grew up loving Ciara as well as Nicki Minaj. Ciara is my favorite performer ever. She inspires me when it comes to Dance & Performing. Ciara uses to say back in her evolution days “Teamwork, Makes the dream work” as a team before shows or video shoots, etc. so I grew up living on that motto as well. Ten years from now I’ll be 32, getting ready to start my family, married & at the peak of my career as a rapper. I’ll also have multiple hit records/albums & numerous sold-out tours as well God willing.

JBA: With that being said, I think we can say we’ve had one hell of an interview! 🙂

Yaaasss I agree! Thank you soooo much!!!! Can’t wait to give you my single Gotta Get That!!!!

JBA: Give the readers all of your social media links and also ways to check out your music.

IG & Twitter: @iDamianBanks Facebook: Damian Banks Snapchat: @BanksNation SoundCloud: https://soundcloud.com/i-damian-banks

JBA: Thank you for doing this exclusive interview. We have to do more soon!!!!

Thank you soooo much for having me. I hope enjoyed this interview. I am grateful to be on your platform. I’ll never stop saying it. Thank youuuuuuuuuuuu ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Check out Damian Banks latest single “Hands Up!”

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One-On-One With Anthony

Have You Listened To “HIM” Podcast? | JBA Exclusive Interview

JustBeingAnthony

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Hello you guys! First, let me say I am a stan of the podcast! After the first listen, I am completely hooked. The series only gets better with each episode. So let’s first touch on how did the podcast series originate?

Trey – hi doll, thank you so much for listening and your support Malik came to me a year ago last February and asked me to be a part of a podcast project we honestly all didn’t know each other and met for the first time in my dorm room about 1 hour before our first recording.

Erin – Hi, there! Thank you so much for listening & for your support, it means so much. I’d already been planning to move to NYC when I got out of the Navy, & was approached by Malik in Feb ‘17 about being a part of a podcast he was thinking of creating. Malik & I have known each other since 2011, but I hadn’t yet met Stevie or Trey. I was initially leery of the idea (seemed like a lot of responsibility), but I eventually agreed. I was discharged & moved to NYC in June ‘17. I met Stevie & Trey for the first time the day we recorded our first episode. And fast forward, here we are!

Stevie – Hey my love! I wanna definitely start by saying thank you for this amazing opportunity and all the love and support you give us and the show. So Malik actually reached out to me sometime last year and told me about an idea for a podcast he had and wanted me to be a part of. He told me the show would include me, Malik and two other guys Trey and Erin. I have to be completely honest and say I was very hesitant at first and told Malik I would have to think about it. Eventually, I gave in after much thought about how amazing this could potentially be; I change my mind. There were many conference calls about all he wanted to do with the show and we actually got a chance to find out what we would get into. I’ve known Malik for a while but I didn’t actually meet Trey and Erin until the first day of recording.

Malik – Around February 2017 I had an idea to create a podcast. I knew that I wanted to be a podcast that would feature myself and three other queer men of color. Immediately, I knew who I wanted those three guys to be. I reached out to Trey, Erin, and Stevie. Waiting for their responses made me a nervous wreck, just knowing that if one of them didn’t sign on this project wouldn’t see the light of day.

For my readers who may not be aware of  “HIM”, could you guys give us some fun facts about you four gentlemen?

Trey – well let’s see I’m a Philadelphia native and have been in New York for less than a year. I’m a student at FIT (Fashion Institute of Technology) and I’m a HUGE sports fan I actually watch every sport.

Erin – Lil ol’ me? Let’s see, I am a student at Fordham University, I’m a veteran of the United States Navy, I adore fantasy epic book series, & my liquor of choice is whiskey.

Stevie – Chile. I’m a hot mess and good mess all in the breath. I’m a huge music junkie can’t see my life without it. My idea of a good time is listening to music all day and writing in my journal. If the terms “life of the party” and “over the top” could have a baby it would be me. Some would call me social media popular but I don’t even think that. I’m actually regular as hell.

Malik — 29. From Virginia. Living in NYC for a little over 3 years. Full-time student. English major. I love to read.

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HIM mainly speaks about black gay culture, but the show tends to cover other topics as well. What keeps you guys going with the show? And also, what inspires all four of you to come together to do the podcast every weekend?

Trey – I think what inspires me is that the community needs voices that aren’t afraid to be transparent and honest. I think what keeps me going is the people that reach out and tell us that certain topics have touched them or the time we had someone from Nigeria write Erin to tell him that the show really moves him.

Erin – Well, the response & support (which I love & am so grateful for) keep me wanting to come back & do more & more. I was initially reluctant to lend my voice to such a public & direct platform, but it’s so important to use any medium we have to promote love, wellness & inclusion within our communities. Wanting to keep that going is what also drives me.

Stevie – The fact that I know whatever we say about the topic at hand is really touching and encouraging people is what keeps me coming back for more. I think the thing that inspires us is honestly each other cause we all have our OWN voices and each of us is learning so many things from one another that we can apply to our own lives. Which I have to say is very rare nowadays. We have such power in what we do and if I can give a helping hand to our community in any way, I’m down.

Malik – I love my team. It is truly an honor to sit across from these three young beautiful men conferring about what’s important to myself and many other queer individuals in this world each and every week. It beyond surreal that when we listen back to the podcast that it is actually me; HIM. We receive so much love on the daily from listeners who have been affected by HIM and it makes me happy and proud, yet it also scares me. The attention/love can be overwhelming.

I have so many favorite episodes from the podcast series. But I would love to know collectively, which top 5 episodes you guys would say are the most iconic?

Trey – I have to be honest while I edit the show every week I haven’t listened to an episode of the show yet, but I would say that my favorite recording sessions have been for episodes 001: “Welcome to Our Safe Space” and 010: “Shattering the Closet”.

Erin – I will lend two of mine to make it easier to select five overall. I loved episode 019 – Eat.Pray.HIM, & episode 010 – Shattering The Closet.

Stevie – I’m gonna be very cliche and say all of them… 🙂 Because they all have taught me and I’m sure the HIM family so much. Can’t wait to create more magic.

Malik — I hate to play favorites, but I’m human I do have favorite episodes. My favs are EP 13: Raw + Uncut, EP 10: Shattering The Closet, and EP 19: Eat, Pray, Him.

With groups of all collaborations from music to talk shows. There’s always some type of tension or competition. But with you guys, Y’all seem to organically authentically friends and Ya’ll blend so well. How do you guys stay grounded as a team and not get blindsided and caught up in any messy drama?

Trey – I think that we all know that each of us holds a piece of the puzzle that makes HIM perfect and while nothing is always rainbows and sunshine all the time we know that we’re better together than apart.

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Erin – An open channel of communication is the main thing. It isn’t always super peachy, but we have meetings consistently & we do conference calls & we have a group chat. We’re always talking to each other, so it quickly resolves any disagreements or spats. Plus, we genuinely enjoy each other’s company. We got lucky in that aspect, & it’s great!

Stevie – “It’s the Journey” – Tisha Campbell Voice. But I will definitely say we all have huge personalities that can be a lot to deal with at times, but we are all honestly all here with the same mindset and that’s creating something special for our community and have a VOICE that some really don’t have. Plus, we talk every day to make sure all of us are on the same page and things keep on rolling.

Malik – Chile, we are so teas but we also have a genuine love and respect for each other. We also realize that this podcast and holding this platform isn’t about us. It’s about the community that we serve and keeping that in mind will always keep us on our mark.

There are so many incredible podcasts shows online right now! Which ones do you guys consider faves outside of HIM podcast?

Trey – I love boss hood which keeps me motivated and working to become a bigger and better boss and bodega boys, I mean Desus and Mero are honestly super funny and give me a great escape from the stresses of NYC.

Erin – Ooh, is it super awful to say that I don’t listen to other podcasts much? Chalk it up to focusing on school. I love Jade + XD, though. Check them out! & I’m always looking for new recommendations.

Stevie -Ok, don’t judge me! But, I don’t listen to podcasts like that. I’m always listening to music most of the time.

Malik – Jade + XD, The Read, and The Friend Zone

What’s the main message you guys want to deliver to the listeners every week?

Trey – never be afraid, to be honest, make mistakes and just live life on your own accord, once we accept that our failures are our biggest lessons I think we will not to put so much pressure in being right all the time.

Erin – Be cognizant of the feelings of others around you. Empathy goes such a long way & it costs you nothing. We must be a community in more than a name.

Stevie – Stay true to you. Always remember that you’re never in any situations alone. And with dark times there comes light, never give up.

Malik – Be yourself. Take up space. Expand. Learn to love yourself and treat others with kinds and respect.

Where do you guys see the podcast in 5 years?

Trey – 5-years lord that seems so far away but I would love to add to the HIM. Brand from web series and original video content and doing amazing live shows all over the world.

Erin – Oh wow! I’d love to see us doing live shows. Having sponsors (lol). I’m really just biting Trey’s answer, I’d like to see HIM expand beyond podcasting if at all possible!

Stevie – 5 Years? Whew. That’s a longggg time! But I would love to see the show take over the world in the most epic way ever honestly.

Malik – I would love to see HIM on tv. A scripted series based on our lives and living in the city would be Uber-cute.

How can the readers catch all the new episodes?

Trey – honey you can find us on almost every single streaming platform but the official list is (Apple Podcasts, Spotify, SoundCloud, RadioPublic, google play music, iHeartRadio app) just search HIM. and you’ll find us.

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Erin – We’ve got this handy little super link that’ll get you to any medium you prefer to stream/listen to us on. https://linktr.ee/himpodcast

Stevie – We are everywhere bay-bay! We are worldwide, well I wouldn’t say worldwide but we are VERY close. The main way to find our content is on our amazing website https://himpodcast.com or you can use our superlink https://linktr.ee/himpodcast which has all the different platforms we are on.

What’s one piece of advice you guys would give other up and coming, gay podcast hosts? And also how important is it for you gentlemen as gay men of color to have your voices heard when it comes to the gay lifestyle and culture?

Trey – I think the biggest advice I could give is to always have a plan and be honest and believe that your voice and opinion matters.

Erin – Be true. Don’t try to do or say things you don’t align with because it may get you more exposure. Always stay true to who you are at your core. It pays off, endlessly. As for our voices being heard, as long as people take away positive things or learn things from what we discuss, it will always be super important. That’s the reason I signed up for it.

Stevie – Be ready to use your voice as true power. And know that what you are doing is going not only help you but others as well.

Malik – Be yourself. Your story is yours and yours alone. Don’t be forced to sell yourself for likes and listens. If you are having genuine conversations and your intentions are pure, then you already have it in the bag!

Could you guys tell the readers how you guys would define being gay and in color?

Trey – thank you so much. We appreciate the love, the listens, and taking the time out of your busy schedule to conduct this interview!

I define being gay and in color as being true to who you are not having to choose between being black or being gay and just living in your truth and understanding that everything is a learning experience and the more you dedicate to learning about yourself and other the better you become.

Erin – Thanks so much for even wanting to interview us! I’m floored & flattered!

I define being gay, of color & living in your truth as an ever-updating enlightenment & experience. You never stop learning & un-learning. You never stop discovering new things to love about yourself & your people. It’s beautiful & it’s a privilege.

Stevie – Thank you so much for giving us an opportunity to not only talk about how amazing our show is but how we doing some really great things for the community. We are so humbled. I define being gay & of color is being the light that will never go out and being able to be your true self. Simple as that.

Malik – Thanks love for the interview. We appreciate the love, the listens, and taking the time out of your busy schedule to conduct this interview. And know that being black and gay will be filled with its many trials and tribulations, but know that queer black life is filled with just as much beauty. Listen to yourself. Follow your heart. Preserve and stay strong.

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One-On-One With Anthony

Trade Chasing, and Exposing Down Low Men: Hell Hath No Fury Like A Gay Man Scorned!

JustBeingAnthony

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What I would call a trade chaser are those (primarily) bottoms who only go after “straight-acting” and DL guys!

– The Jerk Journal

Twitter:@XJerkXJournalX

As we all know of the dangers of exposing men who live double lives. Some of these men are trying to protect their image, lifestyle, and family. It’s safe to say building up an active, healthy relationship with a man, who isn’t open about his sexuality could be a crucial mistake.

A choice that often results in serious consequences for all parties involved. Who turns out being the victim of exposing the truth? The man who puts everything at risk for an intimate moment or would you consider the man who is living his truth but exposes the man that’s living a lie?

Sometimes gay men get caught up with the wrong guys for all the wrong reasons. A lot of guys are double-dipping on both sides of the fence and infecting both men and women. We all view exposing and down low situations different. So I brought on a guest to speak about his own experience with the down-low lifestyle. His story goes much deeper than your typical down low encounter.

The Jerk Journal has profound words for those who consider exposing these men on the low. Nobody ends up happy in this equation of lust, pleasure and sometimes pain mixed with a dangerous outcome. Is having a piece of a man equal to having a man full of secrets?

Check out our exclusive chat on Gays Speaking Out where we are trying to discover the meaning of trade chasers and why down low men end up being exposed. So dive deep into this candid, raw and unfiltered conversation between myself and The Jerk Journal.

[JBA]: We all know there is a phenomenon with black gay men and straight-identifying heterosexual men. Why do you feel like gay men have a strong desire and an urge to go after “the forbidden fruit?”

There are many reasons gay men love straight men and those factors vary depending on each guy’s desires. As you mentioned, it might have something to do with the unattainable/forbidden fruit aspect. Some gays believe they can turn a straight man gay or curious. Some gays treat them like trophies and want to say they had one. I think it might vary per person. If you’re a bottom, you may or may not find pleasure in being with someone who isn’t masculine. But in fact and (in the eyes of society) the straight man is the true essence of masculinity, especially within the black community.

[JBA]: Right, but even straight-identifying men aren’t always “masculine,” and I think gay men forget that part. Some cross-dressing straight men may appear “masculine” just like with gay men who get into drag, vice versa. Gender shouldn’t define masculinity because straight men can be just as effeminate as gay men. Nobody points that out or maybe that ruins their fantasy of the straight man, so they ignore it [lol].

It fits into the “gay fantasy.” Being gay and being intimate with the straight/masculine guy. They also connect it to not wanting to associate with other (effeminate) gay men in our community, “I don’t want to date someone who’s gay, and I want to date the not gay, straight guy.”

[JBA]: Have you ever been in a situation involving you and a DL guy?

I did once. For a while, I was….. 🤔 I do not know how else to describe it because we weren’t [dating] but I got involved with a guy who was living a double life. He had a girlfriend and some kids. He would inform me, he made up lies to get out of the house to see me from time to time.

[JBA]: I have been with a few down low men as well. The downside to it from [my experience] was it’s always filled with lies and a lot of deception. The game of playing you before they end up getting played and fearing everything including you exposing them. Those situations for me were terrible and was a complete waste of my time. I mean, I could have cuddled up with anybody, but I was entertaining somebody else’s man. It was just another lesson learned, and experience gained.

Right! I don’t think a lot of gay guys understand that there is no happy ending when dealing with a DL man. It is never something long-lasting in most cases. Enjoy the moments you have with him and leave it at that. DL guys are DL because they don’t want the neighborhood, the city, the world to know their secret. So imagine if there is a gay guy open about his sexuality. How will the DL man know he won’t get outed?! HELL HATH NO FURY LIKE A GAY MAN SCORNED.

[JBA]: There have been some terrible outings and rumored of a guy online being brutally attacked and many other worse cases by the hands of trade after outing them. These guys do not consider the dangers of exposing people. In moments of betrayal, rage, and heartbreak they act before thinking and often it creates a world of trouble for them. It’s not fair on either side. They don’t deserve it. I know of other accounts where gay guys end up murdered, attacked, assaulted by DL men out of fear of being exposed.

[JBA]: What do you think go through these scorned gay men’s minds, when they plan on exposing these down-low men?

I mean, some of these men sometimes are in some dangerous lifestyles. Why do you think they risk their own lives and others around them to expose people? I don’t know. I think it’s immature. I will give you two outcomes from exposing them. Two scenarios: Either no one believes you and something bad happens to them. Or they do In both cases, and you end up being labeled the bitter, sad F-bomb. It comes from a place of anger and hurt. “I’m so upset I want to make your life ruined, unhappy, etc.”

[JBA]: What’s been the craziest experience for you dealing with a down low man? Have that experience drove you to the point of not wanting to mess with them again? The craziest?

Not that there were many. I remember there was this one husband/father who had a double life. During intimacy, he didn’t want me to wear any lotion or fragrance because he was sure his wife would smell it and find out. He couldn’t use the soap; I had in the bathroom. So he would have to buy travel-size soaps and throw them away. He would buy a box of condoms and leave them at my house. Being afraid she would find them in his clothes or in the car. He wanted to take me to lunch but was too scared, she or someone he knew, would see him out with an unidentified young man. The one time he took me out we drove almost 45 minutes away to somewhere where nobody knew him.

[JBA]: Damn, that’s the exact definition of down low and fearing of being your true authentic self. There are so many women of color, who are HIV positive because of their partners being on the down-low. I will share something that still haunts me to this day! I met a young man, 18-years-old who lives in not too far from me. He deals with only straight-identifying men, married men, etc. He doesn’t go for the gay on gay sort of thing according to him it’s just not his thing. His wrap-sheet is long, and I mean long. These men end being married, engaged, committed individuals. He does not use protection, and he sleeps with these men as an HIV positive man, unprotected sex only, he said this from his own mouth. The moment he revealed this my soul crushed for those men more so their wives, girlfriends, fiances, baby mamas, side chicks, boy toys and everything else in between! I was so disgusted to even with myself, and I’m not the one doing the act but to know it, I felt sick, and I couldn’t get over it. He told me how he only does raw sex, STRICTLY with men in committed relationships. How do you feel about HIV-positive gay men who are affecting our black sisters, cousins, friends, neighbors but most crucial somebody’s mama and each other?

These women think of having a committed, faithful man. These men are pastors, lawyers, doctors, teachers, some of these men are fathers who should set an excellent example for their children. He messes around unprotected with a gay man and doesn’t even know he’s dealing with a black widow spider. These men are giving their sexual partners who he shares body fluids with nothing but venom. This young ass boy is luring men in and infecting innocent people. That young man is demented. These men lay with him with the urge of having this secret fantasy and exploring their sexual appetite. Don’t even know they’re laying with the enemy and then exposing that shit to their wives and girlfriends.

[Omg.] Reading that hurts my heart. For the gay guy, I think it’s wrong to be deceitful when someone’s life/health is at risk. They should always protect themselves and their family at all costs even if you are living this double life at-least be smart and safe about it.

I’ve seen guys make disclaimers about not wanting other gay men on their dating profiles. I never understood it. I mean, what’s the ratio of coming across 100% straight men who don’t deal with other men only on a gay app? Plus, why chase after straight men knowing the risks of being with one? It’s kinda like when young girls want to date the “bad guy.” You know nothing good can come from it, you learn it’s just a phase. Shit happens, and then they are the first ones to cry about it.

 

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One-On-One With Anthony

Calling All Bisexual Men Of Color: Exclusive Interview With Nhavada About Discovering His Bisexuality And Not Being Ashamed Of Living In His Truth!

JustBeingAnthony

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Well, I announced to all my followers on Instagram this year that I identify as bisexual. Apparently no one seems to even believe it exists or want to acknowledge that it is a real sexuality.

What made me even more alarmed was that some LGBT+ people also agreed with that statement, “bisexuality is not a real sexuality.” As a young black man in this society, I realize this will always be a challenge for me because of people’s ignorance or lack of education. I also feel like it’s more socially acceptable for a female to identify as bisexual and not get questioned then it is for a male. That’s not even including race.

– Nhvada

What has been the biggest struggle for you since coming out as a bisexual man of color?

The biggest struggle for me since coming out as bisexual and being a man of color has been the ignorant comments about me being “confused” or “selfish.”

What made you come out as bisexual? Also, what advice would you give other men who may feel like they are bisexual, but could be unsure how to go about revealing it?

What made me come out as a bisexual man was the urge to educate other boys and girls. I knew I had a platform to reach a younger audience of people and tell them it is okay to be different. Me coming out was bigger than me; I felt as though we needed more examples and I will be that example.

The advice I would give other men who may be unsure if they are bisexual is to let yourself be free and don’t look back! I realize it has restricted men from being too feminine. I would also say none of you guys are alone in this amazing journey of self-discovery.

I think this article will reach those individuals who may need this message the most. What has been the reaction from family and friends since coming out as bisexual vs. if you had come out as gay?

Going back to my statement that many people don’t believe in bisexuality. When my family first found out I was a bisexual man, it was very difficult for me because I was a boy. My family has now come to terms with what I identify as, but now the problem is that they want me to pick a gender to claim. My family doesn’t believe bisexuality is real. I feel like if I were to come out as gay it would be different. Because I’m still attracted to females, it confuses them into thinking I’m confused. My family seems to only acknowledge sexuality as “straight” or “Gay.”

Many people already have their minds made up about bisexuality to where it complicates the process of even trying to explain the “B” in LGBT to people. They understand that GAY means same-sex attraction. They are now just understanding that TRANS means the transition of gender (but does not define one’s sexuality.)

Let’s touch on dating and relationships and I’m sure many people are interested in this topic. When you date or try to get to know someone [male or female]. Which gender do you feel like gives you the hardest time about your bisexuality?

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This answer may surprise a couple of people, but I would honestly have to say, men. Whenever I’m trying to pursue a woman on a personal level. I may get the question “are you gay?” but that’s about it once I disclose my sexuality to her. With guys, it also feels like I have to pick. With guys, I always feel like I have to conform or put my sexuality in a box.

Most guys I have dated seem to get offensive if I am complementing a girl then if I were to complement a guy. I think they fear to lose you to the opposite gender. This also how some women feel about their man being on the DL.

Before coming out as bisexual how did you view other bisexual men? I used to admire their confidence and versatility.

When I grew on social media, I came across a social media influencer named Reece King. When looking at Reece King photos I could see myself. Reece King also identifies as bisexual. I realized then you could be masculine and feminine at the same time. My opinion about bisexual men hasn’t changed. I still believe they are powerful and amazing. Personally, I feel like we need to see more bisexual men!!

Give us the top 5 misconceptions you believe other gay men and women may have about bisexual men of color?

1. That we are confused about what we are attracted to. 2. Bisexual men are nasty and spread diseases. 3. Bisexual men don’t have standards! 4. We are trying to fit in socially with “straights” by being attracted to women. 5. We have a lot of threesomes or want to engage in open relationships.

How do you plan to support the bisexual community?

I want to be a trailblazer for bisexual colored men. It is not mainstream, I would like to be the first colored bisexual man to do this. I’ve always wanted to push the limits on everything I have been passionate about. I’m only 18-years-old and I’m trying to spread awareness about something I’m passionate and genuinely care about. Regarding the respect of colored bisexual men, I feel like it should come naturally. Once you have more colored successful bisexual men going mainstream, whoever try to disagree or discredit us will just look bitter.

You mentioned that you’re only 18 and have this much wisdom to share about a subject that often doesn’t even get touched on by mature adults is impressive. I don’t know too many 18-year-olds who care enough to even want to speak and reach others regarding this matter or any matter besides celebs, etc. I believe you are heading in the right direction and the whole community will hear more about you soon.

❤️thank you so much! “Bisexuality is just a phase.” You touched on it earlier in the interview but share more about this statement. I feel like the statement “it’s a phase” is just a pass for the person to feel comfortable. I don’t like that statement only because it’s degrading to men like myself who are bisexual. You don’t hear people going around saying “being straight is just a phase.” The “phase” word is only targeted towards the LGBT+ community. It’s definitely offensive and shouldn’t be used to describe someone’s feelings regarding to who they are attracted to. But I believe in evolving as a human being. If I choose later on only to be attracted to men than that’s my choice. I shouldn’t feel bad or ashamed. I’m human and my feelings can change!! 

Let’s say you were to settle down with somebody whether that person being a male or female. Would you allow them to restrict you from exploring your sexual desires or would you request an open relationship so you can enjoy your sexuality as a bisexual man?

Bisexual men aren’t sex toys. Just because a man decided he wants to be bisexual doesn’t mean he is into polygamous relationships. I can fulfill all my sexual desires with one person and be okay for the rest of my life. It doesn’t matter what your sexuality is that will not protect you from a partner cheating or being unfaithful. When I break up with a boy or girl, I don’t think about their approval. The person who’s dating me knows I like both genders. If someone tries to restrict me from liking both genders, then that’s insecurity within themselves.

How do you feel about bisexual men who cheat on their significant other or bisexual (down low) men who use their bisexuality as a way to step out on the low or in secret?

Being a man and identifying as something within the LGBT+ community is already socially bad in this society. The odds have been against bisexual men for years regarding their sexuality. Being DL is actually understandable, especially for colored men! The culture has belittled those who identify with anything outside of heterosexuality. It’s implanted into our brains as kids that being in the [LGBT+] community is wrong. Regarding the cheating, you can’t stop what a person wants to do sexually with another person. Straight men cheat on women all the time. But because a bisexual man does it, it’s a huge ordeal. Bisexuality is a sexuality, not a personality trait!! A cheater is just a cheater, no matter their gender or sexual orientation.

Before we close out this discussion… what would be something you hope to see happen with you bringing awareness about bisexual men of color and the bisexual community?

I honestly would love to just get a “thank you” or “you changed my life” from someone who is going through this issue. This movement is bigger than me, I and many other brothers will have to step up and make these changes.

Thank you for allowing me to interview you!

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No, Thank You for giving me this opportunity and platform.

What’s one piece of advice you want to share with other bisexual men of color?

We all share something in common. They have suppressed us into hiding our true emotions and thoughts regarding to our sexuality. You were born a King and will remain a King no matter what challenges may come in your way!!! How can people find you on social media?

My Instagram – @nhvvada | Twitter – @nhvada

 

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