Rest In Peach (R.I.P): Finding Love in Atlanta

Grim-Reaper-the-grim-reaper-18492117-1920-1200

There is an orgasmic appeal for a black gay mecca. Black men around the world thirst and salivate over the chance to have access to eligible, educated, and smart men. Atlanta has become a thriving metropolis for the upwardly mobile, the wayward, and random queens who would take out a pay day loan to slay bum bitches in Lenox Mall. Whether you are relocating to the city or passing through on Pride Weekend to buss a few loads, ATL is a one stop shop to get yo’ whole life! But out of all the things you can find on any corner of the infamous Peachtree St., the one thing you cannot find is a high number of beautiful black gay couples in a committed relationship. Generally, Atlanta has an overflow of black love and relationships. You can see it everywhere. Unfortunately, the black gay community in Atlanta doesn’t feel it’s good enough to share in the same splendor and benefits monogamy and commitment provides.

It was December 30, 2001…I hopped on my first flight to Atlanta. I had never been before and a college buddy of mine had invited me to come out for the annual Peach Drop for New Year’s Eve. I was in my younger years so I couldn’t tell if I was more excited to see my best friend or the eligible number of black men he described as a “mecca of greatness”. But to my disappointment, it was more of the same. More of the men I was wanting to get a break from…more of the men who was the antithesis of even a quick hook up…more of “OH HELL NAW!”. I mean, I’m a quick study. I know not to paint broad strokes of a community based on a select few. But there is something about the metaphysical realm of Atlanta that provided the clarity I needed to feel—and that was to “KEEP MY PANTS UP…and TAKE EACH STRANGER AT THEIR WORD EVEN IN A STATE KNOWN FOR SOUTHERN HOSPITALITY.”

“A New Face” some referred to me as I slid through what seemed like a mixture of pudgy and firm bodies of men who projected both lust and disregard as I slid through the crowded Bulldogs. In an environment I assumed would be an escapism from a heteronormative world, I felt a sense of cattiness and competitiveness. In a room full of grown black men, I felt more alienated than I would have been sitting in a barbershop listening to the fellas talk player stats of the Dallas Cowboys (which I emphatically despise). But I like a challenge, so I pursued what had now become prey. Mario was a party planner. He was apparently well known on the ATL scene for throwing parties under the name of “WASSUP N ATL”. Hmmm…sounded as if it was another antitheses of things I needed to stay away from, but what the hell—I was young. He seemed to have his shit together for someone who looked as if he was pushing 50, but hey, who are ME..ME to judge? “Whats up cutie?…where you from?”, Mario inquired. “Why does it matter? I’m only here through right after New Year’s Day”, I wittingly replied. And we hit it off from that moment. After a few drinks and laughs, Mario picked me up and we settled for the Waffle House. “…so why is it you don’t wanna settle down?” I asked coyly. “Man…this is Atlanta…all this ass I can choose from?…why the fuck would I do that? This is a gold mine for black tops.”, Mario replied convincingly. After pondering that thought for a few moments, I asked myself, “but how much time does a man give himself to chase having multiple options over chasing the concept of stability with one partner?” After Mario arrived at my hotel to drop me off after a newly appreciated evening in Atlanta, “so…can I come up?”, he asked. I quickly replied, “we talked enough tonight, and if I invited you up, we would only talk about things we’ve talked about all night.” He didn’t understand, but it wasn’t in my interest to continue. I guess at that time I knew that if a man doesn’t live by example, he isn’t worth learning from.

It wasn’t until years later I visited Atlanta again. I wouldn’t go back unless Robert, my best friend of all time, would accompany me. Even being 12 years older and all the wiser, I couldn’t think of a better place to spend a ratchet weekend. I was single at the time, so hey, why not see if my intuition had evolved since my last excursion. So…there was Brian. “BJ” as he initially called himself, was (allegedly) from Atlanta. He graduated from Morehouse in 2003 and had apparently just picked up his BMW from the car wash. Why he felt the need to tell me this as I was headed to the lobby was well, predictable? (You’ll see why later). “Where would you like to go to dinner?”, he asked. “Ahhh…I’m not sure; it’s my birthday weekend so where ever it is—I’d be ok with a nice ambience—even if the food isn’t all that.”, I replied. He apparently knew the perfect place for me. As we arrived and he gave the keys to the valet, “Don’t scratch my car now!”, as he started to give the most explicit details to a man who has obviously parked older 3 series BMWs before. I’m not sure why he assumed his car was any different, but I digress. He did alright with the pub. It was a great place for a first date—too bad he wasn’t on one…LMAO!
I love to sit at the bar. I’m a social guy so why not be social. Not even 10 minutes into our conversation interjects two queens he obviously knows. After a slight introduction and after one of them refers to “BJ” as Brian, it seemed like an episode of Noah’s Ark between them. THANK GOD for smartphones—otherwise, I would have to uncomfortably force myself to start talking to them. And now, he was ready to take me back to the hotel. As he went on an on about how he was so tired and not going to be available for the remainder of my stay, I could only think about how much time I had left to get it in at Bulldogs. My homie was still back at the hotel. We were texting each other about Swinging Richards as well. But OH!!..back to Brian. Ahh…he was a cool in a slightly annoying way. I think that if he didn’t focus so hard on his material possessions, he may actually start to discover who he is. I decided to make no conversation with him as well as the night ended. I figured, my silence spoke louder than words. Once he got over himself, he just may have gotten the point.

I’m not sure about what it is with examples that resonate so deeply within me. History is there for a reason. Our ancestors’ work lies available in tombs and pyramids today because of the importance to tell a story or narrative about how great they were. But what will Atlanta be remembered for? Gay prides and sex parties? A countless sea of available, eligible black gay men without the interest of commitment in sight? A city plagued with HIV higher than third world African countries? A city where opportunities are limitless but a strong neglect to pass wealth to the next generation because of the “I don’t wanna get married narrative”? But is it too late? In a time where the transfer of capital from mainstream banks to black owned banks have increased to 8,000 new applications in recent days one can only wonder…deep down, does this solidarity within our community translate to gay men as well? When will the brothers of Atlanta put aside the boyish choices and form solid, committed relationships? When will males take accountability for self and become the man needed to sustain solid relationships? Or…should we put to rest the city of Atlanta as the men who occupy a space where Martin Luther King once lived cannot fathom the responsibility of living up to his example? Only time will tell. Whether it is this generation or the next one, your community has a story to tell. So fellas of Atlanta, what will your story be? The world is watching.

Advertisements

15 thoughts on “Rest In Peach (R.I.P): Finding Love in Atlanta

  1. Funny enough…DC was like this when I first moved here almost 20 years ago…so much pretentious…so many one night standers…no monogamy…relationships were few, and the ones that were in relationships were hitting/being hit by everything but their partner…luckily I avoided all of that…now the sex, I may or may not have been a part of that…LOL…I think all major cities where their is an abundance of something tends to be “overused”…honestly I think the creation of these high tech cellphones and websites have made it more convenient to meet and hookup with people that meeting them in clubs or restaurants and striking up conversations…too easy…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great article! As a native of Atlanta and current resident, I can attest to some of your points. I will say, however, the sentiments mentioned are paramount throughout the black gay community. Atlanta may lead the way due to its large black gay population, but it certainly isn’t the only city with the issue of noncommiment, lol.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Great read.. Don’t know much about ATL and have not visited in a while, but finding a solid love connection seems to be difficult and growing alarming more prevalent in all major cities concerning black gays.. Disclaimer: I don’t feel this way myself, my opion is strictly based on the high rate of social media profiles I’ve come across where men are claiming to be single and lonely.. Sometimes it’s hard to grasp that feeling because I myself have always enjoyed my single life (when it happens).. However, The questions we must ask is “What are we really searching for?” , “What would really make us happy?”, “Are most of us looking for a Lover because it’s “THE” STANDARD to seem normal and WANTED if we have a long lasting committed relationship?” I think the truth is we get to the highest level of Loving ourselves and enjoying our own company, we’d be surprised to know that we have a high tolerance for the unhitched life.. Still companionship with the RIGHT PERSON is priceless..

    Liked by 1 person

  4. We as black gay men need to raise the bar and raise our standards. That starts with first doing the hard work and peel back the layers of why do we go out looking for love and acceptance but getting sex. In my young coming out days i confused those. I enjoy my company so i not driven (anymore) of looking for love and settling for sex. Im worth more than a nut. It starts with loving yourself. I love and even like me.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This article is very profound. I have been discussing this same topic alot lately. I really think it is time for some of us to grow and start building wealth and economic empowerment in our community. Especially the black gay community. As for me, I would love to be in a relationship for companionship, security, and to build economic empowerment. It is hard trying to save money for rainy days or emergencies because if you are single, you spend a lot of money on bills. It would be so much easier if we as brothers would come together lovingly and help each other out of debt and start building economic wealth. Do not get me wrong, I want to be in love. I refuse to jump into a relationship with someone just for the sake of being in a relationship. I’m having a hard time meeting someone who wants to settle down. It seems as if everyone is looking for the “Ultimate Lover” & are afraid of commitment. The sad part is that you spend years looking for something and then the next thing you know you are in your 40s with nothing to show. Hopefully, as the years progress, more brothers will be more opened minded to settling down.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This article makes me laugh as whenever the topic of the city of ATLANTA comes up, everything mentioned runs thru my head. Although a great progressive city, that reputation just kills it for me. There is usually a specific event when I travel there. Sporting, Friends Birthday , Anniversary Party, and I even had the pleasure of doing research at Emory one summer while in undergrad. I’m very observant, very stoic, prior military, and can really block out the foolish that comes with a city such as this, but I found on the three dates I had while there I laughed to myself at how we could have just skipped the pretense and just fucked and said good-bye. The second date I was very impressed as the lustful attraction was there and he was a very masculine bottom, and the movie was skipped and turned that into a marathon weekend… smh *moving forward*… There is a lot going on there. It does not appear that anyone is looking for a “relationship” in the sense of You & Me together, monogamously, and being that Atlanta leads the way as the black gay mecca, I’m sure other cities are or rather I know other cities are just as casual. The black gay community definitely need to do better in regard to monogamy. I have always hated the phrase, “…a man is gon’ be a man.” or “..he does what he does, but comes home to me.” What In The Absolute Hell? So he can come home to me and bring back whatever he has acquired while playing. NOPE! (…and yes I know that can happen with/in any city, but we are talking about ATL right now.) I wish it was better than what it is, but right now it is the city where you go to wildout, and shamefully it is even done during MLK Weekend! SMH!

    Well Not Me.. I don’t do Prides, Splashes, Themed Parties where I can meet people that I see on Pornhub or MyVidster for free, etc. ~oh boy… Single Life~ (You happen to know anyone I’d be glad to have a conversation with them, please exclude ATL and DC.)

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Hah, that sounded like Chicago to me. I have these conversations with my friends all the time. And each time, no answers to the burning questions. I thank God for two of my best friends’ marriages. It helps me know that I’m next.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Excellent article about our city of Atlanta…So true..Most of the brothers will read the truthful and informative points in the blog and still pretend these findings don’t exist here when they do. I sometimes wonder if this is the reason when we are out in the public and when we see some other black gay men, they seem to have an attitude and chip on their shoulder. Always standoffish and “play reserved”. I used to feel like maybe they are in rage deep within when they are alone due to the simple fact that they are starting to realize they are going to be single the rest of their lives.

    Then a lot of it is the over and over rejection by this website and that website. It’s like a lot of brothers moved here for some superficial image they seen on LOVE HIP HOP ATLANTA..

    Liked by 1 person

    • The info in this article has an impact community wise for those who have discussed these long standing issues nationwide not only just in Atlanta. I have seen both sides of Atlanta when I came out for a week visit from Los Angeles (the same issues are currently being discussed out here) I did see the casual and superficial atmosphere towards commitment and instant sexual gratification as some weird sort of competition/prize…..which I had no part of….and meeting down home guys who truly showed me the hospitality that the South is famous for; I stayed with one good pal and we attended a couple of cookouts/dinners given by some guys who appeared stable and not very social in clubbing and partying. I had a very nice time and was invited back again for future visits. I have been single for most of my life and realized that I have no problem loving and enjoying MYSELF……..even if that doesn’t attract someone to be in my life eventually who mutually shares the same values of loving self and wants commitment…..hey I know I will be OK.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. It’ll never change. It will only get worse as time progresses so those who find love and commitment, stability and loyalty are truly lucky and most importantly blessed.

    Like

  10. Great post!! I lived in ATL for 6 years off and on and I can definitely attest to being the “new face” in the crowd. People would gravitate too me bc I was the guy who wasn’t touched or been with everyone. So it seemed like a competition of who could be with me first before I get “contaminated.” People would tell me that in conversations we have, it was quite enlightening.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Great read my friend. I can relate to this as we talked about recently. I’m fairly new to Atlanta, so i’m still getting accustomed to the social scene here. I’m still hoping to meet someone who is not about being caught up in this standard way and stereotype Atlanta has bestowed on itself. So I’m still open for the possible opportunity. But who knows…lol

    Liked by 1 person

  12. This was a great read. I just moved here not too long ago. However, I think we have to think about what we are attracting and what we are putting out there. I’m on no app, but facebook seems to be the it place. Tons of guys asking me out for “drinks” or on dates. I say set your own bars and be INDEPENDENT about them! You can not say you want one thing but TOLERATE another. Communication is key and the start of a possible great relationship. If that person can not communicate efficiently and effectively, move on or give them chances to fix the issue by addressing them without confrontation. Stop falling for lie is another thing. We get caught up in so much material shit that we tend to really NOT WATCH the moves of the person. I’m dating one guy right now not multiple. His communication isn’t the best but we address those issues as they come. It’s a such thing as working with a person. If a person hasn’t been great at doing something all before moving on to the next let them know what they are doing wrong and how what they are saying isn’t adding up and why. Also, stop having sex right off the jump even when things are going good and stop putting yourself in situations that will lead to a fuck.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s