I had fun thinking about and creating the "points of wisdom" for LADS, the fictional QPOC, Black Gay community organization in Los Angeles that Malcolm Martin Campbell runs in my latest novel Play It Forward on Bold Strokes Books.
After re-reading the novel, I thought about my friends and students and thought... these steps to becoming a smart, culturally-empowered, and sexually-empowered young man could work for anyone. At least... something for us to think about within our QPOC, Black LGBT, Latino LGBT, Asian American Pacific Islander LGBT communities. What do you think? I'll write more about each "point of wisdom" in the coming month.
Here's the LADS rules to becoming smart, cultured, and sexually empowered QPOCs, an excerpt from page 17 of Play It Forward:
1. LADS will learn to make smart and sexually-empowered decisions for their lives and health.
2. LADS have the right to say no. No one is entitled to sex or a hook up, no matter what they gave to or bought for you.
3. LADS respect that ‘No Means No,’ and never force, coerce, pressure someone into sex against their will.
4. LADS have a right to ask and know his sexual health status, the right to insist on condoms at all times, and the responsibility to know and disclose your health status. (That doesn’t mean you’re dirty if you request or disclose this.)
5. Just because he’s a top (and you are), or just because he’s a bottom (and you are) doesn’t mean you two can’t have a meaningful and long-term sexual or romantic relationship.
6. LADS don’t have to give him your online passwords, account numbers, or a run-down of your schedule when you’re not with him. Possession does not equal love – it might equal crazy.
7. Being smart, culturally-empowered and sexually-empowered LADS means knowing who you are, but refusing to be confined by that knowledge.
8. LADS respect each other – sometimes we’re the only supporters we have.
9. LADS support the brotherhood, and aren’t complicit in in tearing down the brotherhood by sleeping with, or getting involved with, men who are involved with someone else.
10. Love yourself. Remember your Black, LGBT, and Black LGBT history and elders by building upon their legacy of struggle and excellence.
Here's my website, FrederickLSmith. Bring me to your campus, bookclub -- I'll Skype or FaceTime in, panel, or QPOC/LGBT organization!