DJ Mister Cee (Djamilla Rosa Cochran/Getty Images)
DJ Mister Cee (Djamilla Rosa Cochran/Getty Images)

The recent headlines about DJ Mister Cee illustrate why we need more descriptive and inclusive language to talk about male sexuality and masculinity, Mychal Denzel Smith writes at Feministing.

My hope is that, along with becoming more accepting, this pushes, not just hip-hop but the wider culture as well, to develop a more useful and inclusive language set to discuss male sexuality.

It’s a point brought up by both Laverne Cox and Mark Anthony Neal during this HuffPost Live conversation (in which I also participated). Apart from the emotion that Cee and Hot 97 program director Ebro Darden exhibited during their on-air conversation after Cee’s resignation, the thing that stood out was their inability to articulate their thoughts and feelings around desire. At times, they fumbled through their conversation about sexuality like two a couple of twelve year olds being let out of their first sex ed class. They fell back on outdated terms and transphobic slurs, and spent more time than was needed trying to decide whether or not Cee is gay.

Our conception of masculinity has our sexual vocabulary in a chokehold. We barely have the language for the desires we think we understand. For that which has been deemed “abnormal,” we don’t even know where to begin.

In this particular instance, it starts with the recognizing, as Janet Mock said in that same HuffPost Live conversation, that trans women are women and there will be men who identify as heterosexual attracted to trans women because they are women. We can’t continue misgendering and erasing trans women’s identities.


Read Mychal Denzel Smith's entire piece at Feministing.   

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