Pride Spotlight: Marcus
YAS, June is PRIDE month! 🏳 🌈 It is the time when the community comes together to commemorate the Stonewall Riots and celebrate our LGBTQ+ brothers, sisters, and everyone in between. We kiki'd with kween Marcus of ((305)) DC to get the tea behind all the glitter and rainbows.
What does "pride" mean to you?
For me, pride is the target desire. The highest of acceptance of self and one’s own worth. Be proud. I’m proud I am able to embrace who I am fully.
What was your experience like growing up? Did you have any LGBTQ+ role models?
When I was a child I didn’t know what LGBTQ was, “gay" wasn’t a thing . . . gay wasn’t something I knew or cared about. I wasn’t exposed to a gay lifestyle but I knew I was different, I knew I was attracted to the same sex. I kept it hidden as best I could but I felt my truth wasn’t acceptable to those around me. I didn’t see openly gay men of color in that aspect. There weren’t openly black gay men in my life or openly gay men of color representation on television. I didn’t have gay teachers at school or black gay men in church or my family that I could connect with and mentor me because being gay was frowned upon. You couldn’t just be black, male and gay -- HELL NO! Are you crazy?!
Describe your coming out experience.
My coming out experience was a process. My coming out experience was complicated. My coming out experience was scary af! My coming out experience was not on purpose. My coming experience took so long. My coming out experience was humiliating. My coming out experience was shameful. My coming out experience was uncomfortable. My coming out experience felt like and out-of-body experience. My coming out experience felt ungodly. My coming out experience was not an ideal situation. However, my coming out experience was mine and one of the most liberating experiences in my life and for that I am proud.
Do you have any LGBTQ+ icons that you look up to?
As I reached middle school and high school I loved music and started training as a dancer. I was inspired by Missy Elliott, Janet Jackson, Aaliyah, as well as groups like TLC and Destiny’s Child. Alvin Ailey was one of the first openly gay black male icons I can remember learning about as I ventured into the classical training of dance and at the time Karamo Brown became the first out gay black man on reality TV. I commend the iconic and legendary people that came before me that paved the way for me and the children to have the opportunity to just be as much a we can be.
What is your must-do pride month activity?
A must-do activity is BRUNCH of course! A time to fellowship, a seat at the table with libations and food is a chance to see my friends and people that I grew up with and met over the years and a chance to meet new people with similar experiences or a lifestyle completely different but this one thing connects us. Love is a highlight. To be around people that just know and you don’t have to say anything is a must-do pride month activity.
What is your favorite queer show/podcast/movie/book?
Currently, my favorite “queer show” would have to be POSE. It’s needed. It’s about time, the world must know. Shoutout to Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk and Steven Canals.
Do you have any advice for people who are coming out or coming to terms with who they are?
My advice for the people who are coming out or coming into terms with who they are is to not allow anyone to define you. Acceptance is the first step. F**k them! Who every they are. You are worthy. Don’t give anyone the satisfaction of that type of control to allow you to feel or think less of yourself. It takes bravery to be you. Don’t be afraid of any human. Choose faith over fear.
Finally, leave us with some Pride inspo!
I rarely expose this side of myself although I live in my truth every day. I don’t find it hard now to be proud of who I am but getting here was a struggle. This message isn’t about me or for myself but for those that have not yet found their power struggling with the ideals that keep them closeted and alone with their thoughts. You are not alone. Choose you. I support you. I’ll stand with you. We stand with you.