Opinion

Modern Black Progress? On Gabrielle, Dwyane, and their 11-year-old son

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Gabrielle Union and Dwyane Wade posted an Instagram photo over the Thanksgiving holiday, which sparked negative and unfair comments directed towards their 11-year old son’s sense of fashion — causing the former NBA player to clap back at the insta-trolls. Wade’s son has often been the target of anti-same-gender-loving or anti-fem hate.


Published 12/02/2019 | Reading Time 2 min 28 sec

By Dr. Cleo Manago, founder of Black Men’s Xchange

I’m intrigued about where Gabrielle Union and Dwyane Wade’s guidance on parenting comes from. I believe they call themselves affirming their child’s capacity for self-acceptance. I support that, but I’m not sure about their approach.

I was well aware of my same-gender-loving (SGL) feelings and attractions from as early as 8-years old. I was clear. However, I am glad that my parents (who did not know) did not allow [White] gay or now LGBTQ/Queer culture to be my frame of reference as an impressionable Black child. This is not a good idea in U.S. society. Very little about gay/LGBTQ/Queer culture affirms Black people or being Black.

It’s certainly not a good idea to bring a child to a “gay parade.” They generally do not affirm Black people, often just the opposite, with lots of sexual stuff going on, including naked Black men at the end of a White man’s S and M chain. 

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It appears that Union and Wade need some Black guidance on this issue, and I wonder if they have any. Do they also bring their child to Juneteenth, MLK parades or Nation of Islam Saviours’ Day like events? Do they know about my work or that of the Black Men’s Xchange (BMX) that provides education on these and related matters with a Black frame of reference? If White and Black LGBTQ-ers have their way, they do not.

A perspective that may have influenced Union and Wade is the illusion of multicultural inclusion that LGBTQ promotes. They may not know that nothing is farther from the racist truth. They may not realize that what David Chappelle said about LGBTQ during his Nextflix special was true, or that U.S. media and other LGBTQ powers keep Black affirming SGL people out of the public awareness sphere.

Only seen and celebrated are Black people like the young man behind the Broadway atrocity “Slave Play,” and a litany of others steeped in White gayness and partners, i.e., Don Lemon, Billy Porter, Wanda Sykes, Michael Sam, etc. So far, there is no such thing as a demonstratively Black affirming, profiled same-gender-loving {SGL) person in the media or awareness sphere.

Hopefully, Union and Wade are not inadvertently setting their son up to one day be an anti-Black plaything for some White dude. Fascinating. Time will tell us how their young one turns out.


About Dr. Cleo Manago
Dr. Cleo Manago is a behavioral health and cultural expert, educator, popular media commentator, and founder/CEO of AmASSI Centers for Black Wellness & Culture and Chief advisor/founder of Black Men’s Xchange National (BMX), an advocacy organization committed to dismantling barriers to the well-being and protection of diverse Black males.

About Black Men’s Xchange
Founded in 1989 by noted behavioral health expert, social architect and activist Cleo Manago, Black Men’s Xchange (BMX) is a human rights, educational, anti-oppression and advocacy organization dedicated to dismantling barriers to well-being; dignity; self-respect and protection; responsive public-policy and the prevention of health threats to same gender loving (SGL), gay-identifying, non-gay identifying and bisexual males of African descent. BMX-National is the largest and oldest national Black organization serving these populations in the U.S., and was the first such organization to be located within Black communities.

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Categories: Opinion