For better or worse, my colourful voice has garnered me both popularity and notoriety as blogger. So, as I continue to experiment with various multimedia forms, this is the perfect time to use it for one of my true passions: Radio journalism.
As we kick off this new podcast series, I have decided to use a personal experience as a case study for a discussion on homophobia in the black community. This is episode one of Trini Trent Radio: The Barbershop.
As a “minority” group in wider society, black men seek acceptance in three key spaces: The barbershop, the church and the locker room. However, gay men and those suspected of being gay are often ostracised from that homosocial bonding.
Of course, my voice often attracts such backlash as a sign of my suspected sexuality. In fact, at a recent visit to a barbershop in October 2014, I experienced the pressures of homophobia as intensely as I did over decade ago when I was just teenager in Trinidad.
For an uncomfortable 20 minutes, I forced to listen to a group of men boast about their hatred of “faggots.” They even declared death for anyone who even seemed effeminate, and wished “bullers” – a Trinidadian term for gay men – would be moved to an island and beaten daily.
Now, we could pretend this was an isolated incident but those of us raised in black communities know these comments are actually very common. Homophobia and hypermasculinity continue to plague our social circles as we segregate ourselves into subgroups.
Listen to this first episode of Trini Trent Radio as I share my views on this topic. In the coming weeks, I will go even further into unraveling this issue and many others with the help of guest co-hosts who have their own views to share.
By the way, episode one of Trini Trent Radio is already on iTunes. You can also catch it on SoundCloud.