first, let me say i’d totally wear kanye’s entire outfit. top to bottom. those friendship bracelets are hawt and his loafers are giving me chills. no doubt, part of his ensemble’s appeal is that, from the neck down, i could have mistaken him for a woman (broad shoulders aside). even his tattoos aren’t give aways.
“kanye looks like a girl” was my first thought, and i didn’t mean it in a flattering way. i’m grappling with this and why it immediately came to mind. it seems i was regurgitating values based on heteronormitivity, as well as, a myopic and destructive view of black masculinity.
considering myself an “ally” (term used by my mentor faye williams) to the gay and lesbian struggle, which for the record is just as much my struggle as homophobia is facilitated by the same hegemonic order that feeds off sexism, racism, classism, insertyourownism, doesn’t mean i don’t struggle with heterosexism. i’m a product of this society and still have a lot to learn. “even my conditioning has been conditioned.”
while combating the demon known as status quo/normative values, i realized how young people are challenging the gender norms present in our style of dress. living in dc, i see young brothers daily wearing bright colors, skinny jeans, long dreads and even lady gaga t-shirts (yep, spotted him yesterday at urban outfitters). all this seems to be inspired by lil wayne, whose musical genre, hip hop, is ironically known as the hotbed of homophobia. in fact, let me remind you of his line”long hair, don’t care…”
i know brothers around my age (i’ll leave you guessing) who have a problem with this trend in male fashion, prompting one to accuse male-skinny-jean wearers of having yeast infections. very funny. not really. you see, we’re deathly afraid of people/places/things that push us past our comfort zones and challenge the way we’ve been taught to categorize the world.