In a piece for The Grio, writer and blogger Robert Jones, Jr. (AKA Son of Baldwin) gets Facebook trolls freaking out about the perceived “gayness” of the above photo of Michael B. Jordan and his Creed director Ryan Coogler.
In the words of Jones, the photo “portrays a kind of intimacy between the two men — the two black men — that seemingly betrays the rules of patriarchal masculinity.”
Apparently, the pic is “a lil gay.”
…and taking a photo like that is “selling your soul.”
According to Jones, Jr.:
This is nonsense, of course; a careless, cherry-picked understanding of human existence designed to give certain segments of our communities an inflated sense of self-importance. Human sexuality is much more complex than they will ever admit, and the ranges of genders and sexualities expressed in humankind pre-date any attempt at supposed sociopolitical manipulation.
But I’ve been told that it’s natural for black men, in particular, to panic about their manhood and masculinity given America’s perennial violence against us. Perhaps there’s some truth to and justification for that. But I wonder if we’re allowed to interrogate that idea a little more. What I’m interested in knowing is whose notions of manhood and masculinity we’re trying to emulate.”
He goes even deeper in the piece, which is really worth a read.