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Do you 'Cee' what I see?: An Ahistorical Collision Between Hip-Hop,"Manhood," Silence and Sexuality

By Cleo Manago, CEO and founder of the Black Men's Xchange (BMX) | 9/16/2013, 12:13 p.m.
By now you may have heard about the recent scandal surrounding Mister Cee, a well-known hip-hop DJ in New York ...
Mister Cee

The lack of understanding and engagement of this experience and journey leads to a perpetual state of confusion and disorientation about and among SGL Black males. This institutionalized invisibility also contributes to this population's unique and perpetual inability to manage and resolve its still disproportionate HIV incidence problem.

My advice to same-gender-loving (SGL), bisexual and experimenting Black males is to focus on healing and compassion for each other and organizing and building a more functional and constructive community. Concretely, there is very little space provided in America, even in Black communities, which compels Black males in particular, including DJ Mister Cee, to feel safe presenting all that they personally are to society.

My advice to society at-large, especially the Black community, is to affirm creation of breathing room for the diversity that has always existed among humanity. This must include room for the spectrum of gender expression that has always been with us, that is often contorted and abusively contained within desperately patriarchal social mind prisons.

We can do better than we have; and we must if we are ever to acquire a just and constructively free society that, among other things, discontinues the creation of DJ Mister Cee-like scandals. The real scandal is not Mister Cee's public outing, but the overall public perception of the diversity around Black male sexuality issues. Do you 'Cee' what I see? I'm hoping that one day we will see more compassion, understanding and decency from all parties involved.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Cleo Manago.

Cleo Manago is founder and CEO of the Black Men's Xchange (BMX) (http://www.bmxnational.org/), the nation's oldest and largest community-based movement devoted to promoting healthy self-concept and behavior among diverse males of African-descent.