Dwayne Wade poses alongside wife Gabrielle Union, their daughter Kaavia James and Wade’s second-youngest child Zion Malachi Airamis, who can be seen resting a hand on Wade’s shoulder, showing off some long nails as well as a slightly cropped top.
Naturally the picture caused quite a stir online. Especially within the notoriously homophobic social media woke community. Causing Dwayne to issue this statement.
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Look, I’m conflicted about this. So I’m going to blog out my thoughts and take from it what you will. The woke and perpetually triggered will definitely find fault in my logic but I think the open-minded might see where I’m coming from so here goes.
First, as a non-heterosexual black male GenXer I’m actually very happy to see young gay kids living their life. And I’d be a liar if I didn’t say I wasn’t low-key jealous. This is a world E. Lynn Harris would have loved to see. See. That’s the first conflict. To be happy and jealous at the same time. It’s not the last.
The second conflict comes from wanting the kids to be free but to also protect them from exploitation of that freedom.
The third takes that deeper and asks if we’re watching acceptance of individuality or a child that needs limits.
Now I hate to even entertain this argument because it moves dangerously close to the deflection tactics many homophobes use when trying to marginalize gay characters and representation in relation to children. They pretend it’s about a general concern for children being introduced to ANY sexuality. Not just homosexuality. But we can all see from the over-sexualization of American children, especially in the black community, that isn’t a true concern. It’s just something they say that makes bigotry sound good. Similar to how caucasians won’t insult blacks. They’ll just over-zealously support policemen that kill blacks.
My concern is always going to be for the children and I can sincerely say that if I went to Thanksgiving dinner and my niece had acrylic nails and her stomach out it definitely would not be appropriate. It just wouldn’t. But all families are different. Especially in Hollyweird.
But here’s the point that inspired me to write this blog. It’s a point I hope that maybe Dwayne, Gabby, and Zion read someday with love. There’s more to being a gay black man or boy than wearing girl clothes and being sassy. And I’m sure there’s much more to Zion than that, but that’s all the Wades are showing us. And whether they like it or not,they’ve stepped up as an example of a black family’s acceptance of alternative sexuality so they have a responsibility to show images that go deeper than fashion and attitude.
That’s my only problem with this whole charade. We see Zion in gender fluid outfits with his STEPmom, at gay parades (which I personally don’t think are kid friendly and you all can feel about that how you feel), and wearing acrylic nails and sexually suggestive clothing. Those aren’t things I’m particularly interested in seeing from children no matter the sex because I think it attracts pedophiles. I also think that it makes homosexuality appear to be very shallow. I feel it’s a very surface and superficial expression of gayness. And borderline stereotypical. If he were a girl and all I saw from him were sassy walks, fashion, and parties I’d highly recommend reading a book and developing some enriching hobbies. I don’t encourage children to be shallow. If the girls in my family weren’t allowed to get acrylic till senior year then why would the boys be allowed to freshman year just cause they’re ‘walking in their truth” and telling him “no” would make you a homophobic parent? And if we’re telling girls they are more than their looks then why are we applauding little boys who are only focused on their’s? And little boys acting like a little girl is ok, but when he’s acting like a woman then we run the risk of advanced maturity. Again… these are the opinions of a non-hetero whose not raising children. I understand it’s not easy so parents always have my respect.
But I think liberals are creating this atmosphere where they put shallow, superficial, and dangerous images in our face under the guise of “empowerment” and any critique of it is seem as “hate” or “bigotry” when a lot of times it is general concerns.
How many child celebrities and rich kids do we watch in an obvious stage of trauma or showing signs they are headed that way only to be told that it’s not our business and we’re being judgmental only to be forced to experience the press junket for the book and movie about all the trauma, drug abuse, and sex abuse they were going thru at the very time their handlers were telling us they were fine? Everyone is fine until they aren’t. And everyone wants to share family pics and be family goals until the audience tells you “we don’t do that in my family.”
So while I do applaud Dwayne for giving his son the room filled with love to be the person he’s going to be I don’t think boundaries are a bad thing. In fact, boundaries can be life saving. I know it’s hard for a lot of the black fathers in this day. We’re literally dealing with the first or second generation of black fathers who are openly accepting their children’s sexuality. But make no mistake…fathers have been dealing with this for years. Do not believe the hype that men hate their gay children. The black delegation would have you believe black fathers would prefer to drown their gay children like cats and nothing could be further from the truth. You wouldn’t believe how many inbox messages I get from men asking advice on this and that in relation to handling their sons sexuality. It’s almost surreal. And they come only with love hoping not to do the wrong thing and have their kid thinking they aren’t loved. We’re in a great age, but with greatness comes responsibility.
And always remember that with publicity comes scrutiny. You can’t take all the glory then tell people to mind their business when the praise stops. To me that’s weak and there’s a sinister thread to celebrities who wanna pick and choose when you can mind their business cause the truth is the picture was posted for this exact reason. In my opinion, the Wades want this attention, so I won’t let them turn it around on the audience. I call it “strategic triggering.” It’s a tactic so many on the left use where they post something they know will trigger people cause it’s outside the norm only so they can play victim, martyr, and liberator when they “stand up” to it.
There are a lot of celebrities whose children I don’t even know what they look like. I much prefer how they’ve chosen to lead their families instead of those that shove their down our throats and tell us it isn’t our business how they live knowing the likes they get for being a “family man” are the reason they get endorsement deals.
It’s very similar to what we experienced with T.I. last week where I think celebrities could do a better job at not making their children’s sex lives and sexuality their new way of getting attention.
I know it seems odd that I don’t agree with this. But I do agree with Dwayne as a protective and strong father accepting who his son is. So that’s where the conflict is for me.
This has been my Tedtalk on other people’s lives which is all none of my business but is constantly being shoved in our faces so I feel compelled to speak on it and if I were in complete agreement they’d love for me to speak on it so I don’t feel guilty. Thanks for reading.
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