It looks like Tyler the Creator finally came out of the closet.
Perhaps some forgive him now for using the word ‘faggot’ since it turns out he was one of us all along. Maybe he simply was overcompensating in his heterosexual behavior so as not to raise suspicion. I can understand that instinct in a closeted or questioning person as a defense mechanism. I can even understand the use of language as provocation for conversation, and that his antics and wild lyrics seem to stir up so much buzz and controversy that it is a feat and art form in itself.
Here’s where I draw the line. One of the first things Tyler discusses when announcing his attraction for men is that he likes white boys. Not only that, but he doesn’t find black men attractive: “I don’t like Black dudes at all. I’m into White guys.”
This bullshit hurts. Again I find another black man so entrapped in white supremacy that he can’t find beauty in his own people. I find a black man whose creativity and energy paved a new aesthetic for black men, empowering thousands of black youths to develop their own rebellious black swagger only to see the same man tell these people they don’t have what it takes to appeal to him. I loved him because I thought he was proud of his blackness. I thought he wore that whiteface makeup for fun.
I’m tired of writing the same article, about how the way (gay men especially) talk about preference and how it puts the value of one person against another based off of prejudices. Hell, it’s been written about time and time again. But I’ll keep writing it because I won’t let people keep telling me I’m lesser than any goddamn body. You’re black, Tyler. Your friend Frank Ocean is black. So many of your young fans are gay and black.
We’re not ugly, we’re fucking beautiful. Damn whatever convinced you otherwise. I’m sorry you can’t see it in us, you probably don’t see it in yourself, but it’s true. I hope you make room for yourself to chill out and figure some things out. In the meantime, I don’t want you anyway.
Nicholas Goodly is a graduate poetry student at Columbia University. He is the current art editor of Columbia Journal Online and writing editor of WUSSY MAG.