Written by Zamara Perri
For the past few months, I’ve had some of the best experiences a black lesbian could ever hope to have with several men. People like to stereotype and say that lesbians don’t like men. I like them fine. I’m just not interested in sleeping with or making a life with one. The most important thing about these men is that I don’t have to hide the fact that I am a lesbian or feel uncomfortable around them. I also don’t have to worry about them hitting on me because it is clear that I’m in a relationship and with whom.
So, yes, I’m happy to know these incredible men. They are not family but some of them come pretty damn close. Here are my six favorite men, and I believe that every black lesbian needs to have these guys in her life too!
- The Mechanic: My car has issues. It’s old and paid for and I’m cheap. My mechanic came highly recommended and is a hard working brotha who is kind, honest, respectful and flexible. He tells me what is critical and what can wait.
- The Handyman: This tall, handsome drink of water, is also respectful and a good communicator. He’s very polite and has a great attitude. My honey and I are not particularly handy people so when we need things fixed like a leaky faucet, a fan that doesn’t work, etc., the handyman is our guy.
- The roofer: This gentleman is also really cheerful, understanding and flexible. What got me is when he said, “You don’t have to pay for anything up front until you are happy and if you’re not happy, I’ll come back until you are!” I like that! He is a man that stands by his work. He took me out on our roof and showed me what he was doing and why he recommended what he did and he spoke English. And while he was up there, he cleaned our gutters. I liked dealing with him because neither my partner or me know anything about roofs. It was important to us to have someone we trusted, guiding us.
- The barber: My partner loves a nice, clean cut without being hassled for being a woman or a lesbian in a shop full of men. She has a great barber who is not only a barber, but a big brother. They met through church and remained good friends. I love this big, cuddly teddy bear of a dude. He treats everyone with respect and gets respect just from being a truly decent guy. We never feel uncomfortable being the only lesbians in a barbershop full of guys. And it’s not just about us being his friends, he makes sure everyone feels appreciated and respected when he is around.
- The co-worker: My co-worker is a handsome, alpha male type. He’s very passionate, but also very kind and sensitive. When the Supreme Court ruled to support gay marriage nationally, he was the first to let me know. He was so excited and said, “It’s about damn time.” He also gives great advice and support.
- The gay guy: Some people say that gay men and lesbians don’t really get along because they have so little in common. Mainly lesbians are interested in women and gay men are interested in men. Regardless of the theory, for some reason I’ve always had close gay male friends. When I’m with my gay friends, I can be very open and free to be myself. They understand the struggle of being an anomaly and what it means to stand out as a black homosexual in the overwhelmingly Christian black community. There are certain things that I can talk to about that my straight BFFs will never really understand. They also understand white male privilege in a way that white queers will never understand. In turns they serve as counselors, confidantes and since we tend to have a dark sense of humor, we often end up laughing hysterically.
Of course this list is not exhaustive! I’d love to hear from you! Who are the men in your life that you rely on for support and regularly cherish?