For Gay Pride Month, Billboard asked numerous pop culture luminaries to write ‘love letters’ to the LGBTQ community. Below, up-and-coming rapper Cakes Da Killa shares his. Read more Pride Month love letters here.
For me there weren’t any black gay superheroes for little black gay boys growing up in the suburbs of Teaneck, NJ. Without any mentors a journey into adulthood can sometimes be very painful and confusing as an “other.” The mental solitude and internal dialogues could be very damaging without having an ear to scream into. Growing up is already chaotic enough but being gay, a male and black can make the process overwhelming at times.
During my childhood in the 90s many communities treated gay men like lepers. The tone of the few conversations about homosexuals painted a picture of a group of boogiemen that children should stay far away from or bad things would happen.
You might have had a gay relative who still was invited to the holiday festivities but that surely wasn’t the time or place to discuss alternative lifestyles. Feeling this impending isolation as a child made me very happy to have someone like Migo in my life. Migo was my grandmother’s best friend and was the most fabulous gay man I’ve ever met. On days he would visit I would ease drop as they reminisced on the glamorous nightclubs and parties they attended between glasses of wine. He brought so much excitement to my dull suburban routine and sparked my desire to see what the world was really like outside of my fish tank.
Migo made being gay look empowering and I never associated our lifestyle with weakness or being a victim after meeting him. In my eyes we were fashionable, we were loud, we were creative and we were beautiful. With his tall slender frame, deep brown skin, black waves greased to perfection and a handsome face Migo became my sort of unofficial fairy godmother, though neither one of us knew it.
Migo was eccentric and sometimes effeminate but that didn’t make him any less of a powerful, captivating man. He unknowingly instilled in me the confidence to be myself no matter what the situation and during pride we should honor those whose shoulders we stand on as fruits of their labor and courage. I wasn’t able to share with Migo his impact on my life because he passed away so I advise everyone to take the time to thank their superheroes while you have the chance because without them life would be a little less technicolor.