In early June, during one of his stand-up comedy routines in Nashville, Tracy Morgan made some anti-gay remarks that didn’t come across as a laughing matter.  During what has been described as a rant, Morgan said he would kill his son if he learned he was gay.  The punchline, I guess, involves the visual of Tracy repeatedly punching his son to death with his fists.

I’m not surprised to learn that a funnyman is uncomfortable with gay people.  I’m not surprised when any famous, rich or connected person does something stupid.  Morgan has apologized, and he is still feeling the backlash of his night in Nashville.  My perspective of the whole thing is that Tracy, as a black comedian, let loose some deep feelings on homophobia that has ravaged the black community.  Homophobia puts people at risk for HIV infection.

Think about it.  Some young black kid hears violent remarks from friends and family for years.  When he comes out to himself, privately, and then begins to have sexual relationships, that homophobia that keeps him closeted tinges each sexual encounter with shame.  A sexual encounter that is shameful is more likely to be one that is unprotected- how can you ask a partner to put on a condom if, in the back of your mind, you’re worried that if your dad found out you were even gay, he might kill your ass?

Is Tracy Morgan is spokesperson for the black community?  Absolutely not.  Did some of the sentiments behind his words shed some light on why HIV/AIDS has been such a terror in the black community? 


Positively Yours,