May 27, 2011 at 10:11 pm EDT | by Michael Key
Black Pride opening reception

The Black Pride Board of Directors honored Ron Collins and Khadijah Tribble with the Welmore Cooke Award at the annual D.C. Black Pride opening reception at the Hamilton Crowne Plaza Hotel on Friday.

(Washington Blade photos by Michael Key)

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Michael Key has worked as a photojournalist for the Washington Blade since 2009 and is currently serving as the photo editor. He has worked on Capitol Hill, in the White House, on the campaign trail and in cities along the East Coast taking iconic photos documenting the extension of marriage benefits to same-sex couples, the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," and other events of interest to the LGBT community. Follow Michael

  • Gay black men numbers are shrinking in DC and the white gay male dominance has taken over. Capital Pride is mostly for white gays and lesbians. Getting old, being black, and gay can get depressing at times. As a gay black man approaching 51 and not living as a openly gay man, I can remember the first gay Black Prides back in the early 90’s. Black and Puerto Rican men would travel to D.C. from all over the United States by the thousands. On Memorial Day weekend in Washington, D.C., you would see gay black men every where you traveled in the District. There were many places black gay men could hang out and socialize like the Court House downtown, TRACKS, the Edge, the book stores near North Capital Street, S.E., the Circle Bar, Knobs Hill, Bachelor’s Mill, and the Delta Elite. Today in 2010, many of these establishments no longer exist. You see, the gay community is D.C. is very segregated and with gentrification taking place in Washington with more affluent white gays moving into the District in large numbers, black gays seem to be disappearing. The Black Gay prides within the last several years has become small with less gay black men coming to D.C. for this event. As I sit back and reflect on the early 90’s, I use to have so much fun back during those times. Many of the men I once knew are dead from AIDS, gotten older, or have moved away from Washington. On Memorial Day Monday, there was always a big picnic in Rock Creek Park for black gay men, but this too has disappeared.

    As I sit here in my home listening to WHUR on this Sunday night, tears are flowing down my face remembering the good old times I shared with other attractive masculine gay black men that were openly gay or on the down low. At the age of 51 being black and gay, I no longer feel welcome in my native Washington because many of the white gay males have or is taking over and most are racist towards black gay men and many don’t find us attractive.

    In closing, getting old is very depressing for many gay black men like myself. In this life style, the focus is on looks, tight gym bodies, and being young without a care in the world. I look forward to my death because I no longer will have to deal with the loneliness, white gay racism, and being alone. RIP Melvin Lindsey.

    • What you’ve said is so true. It’s really sad.
      So many our age (48-100) have been jaded in the loving department.
      I’ve always known there is more to this life than sex, I’ve lost some good people male and female, because of no love and just sexxxx. That’s a reason I’ve been by myself, until recently.
      But before this, I felt he was a older player.
      He demanded and took me to Washington D.C. for the Memorial Day weekend. He was dissappointed because it changed so much, and not for the better.
      It did feel good to see us…men and women of color …over 50, enjoying ourselves, for what it was worth.
      You know we make the best out of any situation. We are warriors.
      I felt a little out of place, didnt know anyone but him, but his people made me feel at ease. I felt bad for them because they were single and still……….(fill in the blank)
      I’ve never had this experience before, and yes i’m over 50.
      It was nice to meet new people with the interest of making sure the next person was ok. Strange to me that the gay women there seem to be more loving towards me than the guys. Moving along, my man told me something that I never put any thought to. He said MEN are hunters. I started to feel I was GAME. If so this HUNTER got captured by this GAME. LOL
      All I know is that I DO LOVE THIS MAN. Words aren’t enough. I’m blessed that I was awarded to share myself in a loving way with someone who truly deserves a good man. Especially in 2011.
      I wish I were able to help those brothers and sisters that felt or feel like myself. This isn’t easy, and they say nothing last forever, but lets do our best to make sure that it does, as long as its not harmful to our mental, physical, financal, spritual and mental health.
      Listen, communicate more, share and give, the outcome will be rewarding.
      Don’t you ever give up your faith and being true to yourself first and those around you.
      Miracles still exist.
      Peace Much Love with Blessings

    • last piece of chicken Precious stole

      what a bitter and myopic perspective

      you revel in the ‘glory days’ (1990’s)…what did you or did you not contribute towards this bleak present times you now boo-whoo-woo about?

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