Redux: Who is Afraid of Gender Bending Morehouse Men?
So the internet is a peculiar place. Some days you’ll find everything you need, other days you’ll search low and high and turn up empty handed. Yesterday, I was randomly reminded of an Opinion piece I published with The Grio in 2010 on gender bending and Morehouse. I tried to find the article in The Grio’s archives but I came up with nothing. I found scattered references to it with a web search but all the links were dead. When it got published at the Grio, they chose the title, “Are Morehouse Men Allowed to be Women?” I immediately hit them up because i thought the title was off for a number of reasons (not to mention we did have women students for a brief period). The title was updated but a number of the references still out there use the Grio title, not mine. Last night, in a Morehouse group on fb, I was introduced to the Du Bois Divas (presumably, these are students from Du Bois Hall a freshmen dorm).
Since seeing the video last night, it looks like the title has been changed from “Morehouse College Dubois Divas” to “The Du Bois Dance Team.” According to the description, this was a performance at 2015-2016 Mr. Freshman Pageant. The video was shared with ire in a Morehouse fb group I’m in. Brothers raised questions about damaging the brand of Morehouse, why these young folks should not attend our alma mater, and comments were laced with a host of homo and femmephobic rhetoric. I was glad to see the video and to see the four young cats work it out and turn up the crowd. Why you ask? Give my piece for 2010 a read and you’ll understand a bit more. [i uploaded a pdf so it doesn’t get washed away in url scraping].
Too often, people see folks like the ones in this video and write them off as “deviant”, “damaging” and “not-men” without knowing anything of their identification, character or constitution. The Morehouse we should be is one where diversities of gender expression, as well as sexual expression, are welcomed as long as you are doing your best to meet the crown that is placed above your head.