sassysage's Blog

Sage’s Rage: Disputing the myth

Posted on: December 1, 2010

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I really tossed and turned about writing a blog on Tyler Perry’s film adaptation For Colored Girls.   I left the theatre completely speechless!  I had been told by countless others that the film was an outrage, stereotypical and degrading. So I waited, procrastinated and finally got the gumption from my best buddy to give it a try.  We entered the theatre open-minded and left feeling very troubled.  But not for the reasons that have been quoted over the blogosphere…  

 The movie was completely riveting!  I admit as a poet it was music to my eyes to hear the rhymes of creative genius Ntozake Shange spoken on screen.   But I also felt the movie deeply. The characters mirrored the lives of many women I know, including myself.  They cut to the core of the complexity of not only Black women but women of all races/ethnicities and many marginalized men.   I must say bravo to Mr. Perry for taking on a very sensitive, charged topic and not being afraid to take a chance at failing.  Unfortunately there was one issue with the film that I can’t shake.  

Janet Jackson plays the character of a high powered and financially wealthy woman who is married to the ‘perfect’ mate.   The guy is super fine, buff, sweet and charming.   Problem is they have no ‘real love’ in their relationship.  In the end we find out (spoiler alert) that her husband is gay.  She becomes HIV-positive and that’s when I say Perry please STOP the madness.   

I am sick and tired of hearing about the Down Low and how they are spreading HIV/AIDS to Black women.   I have been working as an HIV expert for over 15 years and there is NO scientific evidence to prove this rumor.  We don’t assume every man in Africa is DL, so why do we use mislogic when it comes to our African American brothas?  Perhaps we can’t bare to think about our straight men actually cheating on us with other women.  I mean, if they are gay then it’s sort of an excuse as to why they ‘needed’ to stray.  But if they just plan and simple cheat, it’s too much to bare. So we decide to deny and close our eyes to what is a major issue in the heterosexual dynamic and blame gay men.  

On this World AIDS Day, I say please put an end to gossip.  There are men out there who have sex with other men. Some are ashamed and don’t tell their wives/girlfriends. There are other men who like to sleep with both men and women. But there are plenty of men who like only women and they can also put you at risk for HIV.  So bottom line don’t worry about Down Low; spend that energy protecting yourself, communicating with your partner about your needs and get tested!  For the facts visit www.hivtest.org

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