One of the things I've been sickened about lately is kids who are being beaten because they aren't acting 'masculine enough' for the male adults in their lives.
17 month old Roy Jones is dead and 20 year old Pedro Jones has been arrested on manslaughter charges.
Why? Because he 'was trying to make him 'act like a little boy instead of a little girl'.
3 year old Ronnie Paris, Jr. died in 2005 and his then 21 year old father is now doing 30 years in a Florida prison because he didn't want his son growing up to be a 'sissy' or 'soft'.
So he forced him to slap box with him daily, smacked him upside the head and pushed him into walls until his child slipped into a coma January 22 and died six days later from swelling on both sides of his brain.
Then there's 2 year old Dre'Ona Blake, who is no longer here because her daddy beat her to death in 2008 because she wasn't progressing at potty training fast enough to his liking.
Dre'Ona's waste of DNA daddy DeAndre Blake killed transwoman Tiffany Berry in 2006 and was walking the streets of Memphis,TN for two and a half years at the time on bond. According to Berry's family, he didn't like the way Tiffany had touched him, so he killed her.
When I was growing up in the 70's and averaging a fight a week in elementary because I was perceived as not masculine enough, the last thing most boys wanted to be called growing up was a 'punk' or 'sissy'. I watched many a fight get started because of it.
But now, in an age where kids manage to get their paws on handguns, those same fistfights I had to deal with in the 70's have escalated into people getting shot and killed simply because they get pissed for you calling them a 'punk' or 'sissy'.
Homophobia and transphobia feeds into these hypermasculine attitudes,and it has got to stop. We need to have some serious ongoing discussions about gender identity and gender roles in communities of color.
We need to slay the hypermasculinity dragon in our community because it's killing our kids.