An Open Letter to Roland Martin About Gay Slurs

CNN political analyst Roland Martin (Jason Kempin/Getty Images)
CNN political analyst Roland Martin (Jason Kempin/Getty Images)

In a blog entry at GLAAD, Morgan State University student Samantha Master blasts CNN political analyst Roland Martin for what she considers to be his homophobic Twitter rant about British soccer player David Beckham's H&M-underwear commercial that aired during the Super Bowl. She says that homophobic and transphobic verbiage is not funny. Ever.


I am not a gay man, thus I have never had my manhood checked, demeaned, or questioned in spaces reserved for hyper-masculine bravado. I will never understand how it feels to be consistently otherized for not being a “real bruh”, as if masculinity is rigid and absolute, and anyone who deviates from your concept of masculinity somehow deserves to be forcibly expelled from the fraternity of manhood. This realization aside, I come to you as an ally of gay men, especially Black gay men who have had their own tumultuous past with heterosexism, homophobia, hyper-masculinity, and hatred, and I am tired of your sh[—].

Sit down, grab some tea, and let’s discuss a few things. First, there is no such thing as a “real bruh.” Neither manhood nor masculinity are defined by someone’s desire, or lack thereof, to buy David Beckham’s underwear from H&M, watch sports, and/or climb the top of Mt. Everest. This thinking, undoubtedly enforced and reinforced by some skewed ideology rooted in Black hyper-masculinity, is literally killing the very Black men you proclaim to care about. Men, especially young, Black men, are being murdered or taking their own lives because sentiments, like the ones you expressed on Twitter, have ostracized and expelled them from their own families and communities. The prevailing thought is that because they aren’t “real bruhs,” they are somehow less valuable than their peers, and aren’t worth saving. Consider, for example, Carl J. Walker-Hoover, an eleven year-old boy who committed suicide because of anti-gay bullying. His being construed as effeminate, or not a “real bruh” contributed to his demise, and he is not an isolated case. In What Becomes of the Brokenhearted, your late fraternity brother E. Lynn Harris spoke of how his experiences being otherized as a, “ … Black, gay man who was living in a world that had a problem with both,” led him to attempt suicide. So, when Kenyon Farrow, Joey Gaskins, and others called you out on how your words were damaging and homophobic, they were spot-on.

Read Samantha Master's entire blog entry at GLAAD.

Samantha Master is a black-queer-feminist activist, educator and member of the Black Youth Project 100. Follow her on Twitter.