“I don’t have any problem with the gay people. Oh, no no no on, no homo. Stay Black my friends.”
I am so sorry to see Billy participating in this. In just a few words he attempted to make crude comedy using homophobia as a prop. First off, how about not referring to them as “the gay people?” Yes, leaving out that one word might humanize them too much and that cannot possibly be good for comedy. Then there is the fact that he is so comfortable that he has to say “no homo.” Damn how I hate that term. Heaven forbid as a straight man he be perceived as gay in anyway, because that would mean he was not performing masculinity suitably — and we simply cannot have that.
And finally, what ticks me off the most is the last line. He tells the viewer to “stay Black” and this sends the message that real Black people aren’t gay. One does not suddenly stop being Black, simply because one is a member of the LGBT community, and that bullshit train of thought needs to stop right now!! Don’t Black people have enough to deal with, without excluding members of our community, because some falsely believe it gives them a small amount of power. I understand that this is a catch phrase that he uses in the other Most Interesting Black Men in the World bits, but I believe in this situation it takes on a whole new connotation.
Billy Dee may not have the same kind of celebrity power that he had back in the day, but he is still a public figure and he should not use any of his fame to promote hatred of fellow Black people. Who the hell does he think made him famous in the first damn place? In the seventies Billy Dee epitomized what it was to Black and male. In fact when many still think of cool Black masculinity Billy Dee is still at the top of the list. There was never any fear that Williams would have been even remotely perceived as being gay considering that his entire career has been spent building up the idea that he is Black male heterosexual sex symbol and so the addition of “no homo” is not only not necessary, it adds an extra element of heterosexism.
I am doing the countdown to the people that will tell me that I am making a big deal out of nothing and that it was just a harmless little spoof but if we don’t support our own community and make not mistake about it Black LGBT members are our community, then who the hell will? I fully intend to “stay Black”, and that for me means supporting the humanity of all Black people.