You and I were born into this cold world of sin.
The blood pumping through your veins is red, and so is mine.
You’ve faced challenges in life, and I am still facing them today.
The only thing that separates us is our sexual orientation, and our sexual orientations are separating a true brotherhood.
I am not concerned about the things you don’t approve of.
I am more intrigued to know why you can’t accept me for the person I am.
I have the right to watch fashion models come down a runway during New York Fashion week rather than a Sunday NFL football game.
I have the right to be a Beyoncé fan — although I don’t truly live for her.
I have the right not to be pressed for every girl who walks by with a juicy booty, but to find Keith Carlos amazingly attractive.
I have the right to ask, “What’s tea?” instead of, “What’s good, bruh?”
These choices do not dishonor my character; my choices have driven me to become brave.
No man in this world can criticize me for my choices because I’ve already accepted my true self.
I believe that individuality is the key to living for one’s true self.
And you have to be true to yourself before making a commitment to another.
For instance, as a sophomore, I wanted to become a member of a fraternity.
I revealed that I was gay, but that my sexuality didn’t define me.
I didn’t get in, I believe because of my sexual orientation. The hardships I’ve faced have allowed me to provide guidance to younger people.
These hardships have made me a man.
For instance, I’ve encouraged my younger cousins, who are growing up like I did, in the ‘hood, to go to college.
I wanted them to avoid becoming that stereotypical black statistic — “every black man sells drugs.”
Since I stepped foot on North Carolina Central’s campus I’ve been no one other than myself.
Now, I can’t imagine hiding my identity to contribute to any organization.
I don’t wake up every morning with “gay” being the word of the day; instead, my word is “success.”
Some people don’t believe gay people can have a commanding presence. I work just as hard as the next black man, fighting to be commanding.
Gay black men have a lot to offer.
We could start by comparing resumes, but that would just divide us even more.
For example, Langston Hughes, a gay poet, activist, novelist and playwright, was the leader of the Harlem Renaissance.
Hughes was known for his writing style, as well as his 15 books of poetry.
He published novels and nonfiction books such as “A Pictorial History of the Negro in America.” Hughes influenced many rappers, from 2Pac to Mos Def.
Not only are gay black men a part of black legacies, they’re also trendsetters.
If you haven’t heard the term “vogue,” it’s an artful dance that originated in Harlem. Gay black men created it. Madonna brought vogue into the mainstream in 1990.
Today, vogue is a worldwide form of dance.
Why can’t some people accept me for who I am?
If it’s hard to accept me because of our differences, get to know me and discover the things we both value.
You can’t judge this book by its cover.
My story is more intriguing than my appearance.
Campus Echo opinion editor Melquan Ganzy wanted to know what inspired students' first-day fashion attire.