There’s a new TV trope emerging, and it’s one that The Real Housewives of Atlanta‘s Brandon Deshazer thinks should be stopped.
And he would know, because he fits the new stereotype: the gay, black best friend.
On RHOA, Deshazer is never far from Kenya Moore’s side, as he acts as her assistant in addition to the gay, black best friend stereotype he’s opposing. In a long Facebook post, Deshazer explained why this new TV trope has got to go.
“I for one am sick to my stomach when I see such behavior and EVEN WORSE, the dismissal of that behavior by both the black community as well as the Black & Gay community as acceptable,” he wrote. “My knees go weak when black gay men are repeatedly feminized and represented on television and in media as nothing more than accessories to a powerful black woman. Meanwhile being ‘White & Gay’ mean running networks, educated, selling million dollar homes and anchoring political events. The Black & Gay male is nothing more than a shiny thing to pull off the shelf and dust off when most convenient. Nothing more than a funny clown who can serve some good ‘reads’…nothing more than…Nothing.” [sic]
According to Deshazer, the stereotype acts as a new way to oppress men who are black and gay. Commonly, their roles on TV seen them referred to as “queens” or “delicate” — treated as accessories rather than people, he says.
He also compares the way gay men are talked about on TV to the way race is purposefully not talked about.
“As I watched television last night, I caught a scene with a group of affluent black women sitting around discussing the sexuality of a black man who was not present. It starts out with heavy insinuation, with words like ‘delicate’ (cut to talking head with a smirk), then ‘sassy’ (another smirk), then tap dancing = gay (another smirk) then we get into rumors from around town. FUNNY RIGHT…its just ‘shade,'” [sic] he writes.
He continues, “Now lets change the cast but keep the setting. Lets imagine a group of affluent white women sitting around discussing the ethnicity of a person who is not even present. Ghetto gets dropped, Ratchet gets thrown in there (are we on the phone with the NAACP yet). Meanwhile everyone sits around and laughs. FUNNY RIGHT… its just ‘shade.'” [sic]