We’ve all heard the statistics by now. With about 70 percent of black women being single and 42 percent having never been married, the idea and ideal of black-on-black marriage is, at the least, challenged.
We know the numbers, and I have no interest in reviewing that which we already know. What are the answers to this dilemma, if in fact you see it as one? We always have options and alternatives; the question at hand is, what are you willing to try? Interracial relationships? A compromise of ideals (the fixer-upper)? An open relationship or cheating? No relationship or marriage at all? Waiting to be found? Same-sex relationships?
All of this is food for thought only. So, let’s begin with the last on that list.
I talked to comedian Roz G, who is racy and well-known for her stand-up about relationships. That’s the conversation I was expecting to have during our Girlfriend FM interview when she threw me for a loop (listen here). Roz, after years of struggling with her sexuality, has come to grips with being more attracted to other women. She went on to say that she believes many women are struggling with their sexuality, but because of societal and familial pressures, they suppress it. What’s interesting to me is that once folks come out of the closet, doesn’t it seem like they want everybody to be gay?
One point that Roz made was profound. She said, “Think about it. As a woman, you spend the majority of your time with other women – talking, shopping, eating, counseling, laughing etc. The only thing you may not do together is have sex, but emotionally you’re more connected with women.” Honestly, I had to pause on that one, although not one bone in my body desires a woman in that way. I do, however, know of women who have been severely hurt in relationships with men and have been “turned out” by female friends and completely given up on men.
This may all sound very risqué, but the reality is that an innumerable amount of young people are identifying as lesbian, gay or bisexual in middle school and beyond these days. They are kissing and holding hands in school, and hanging in cliques that support a certain lifestyle. From a female perspective, not all, but many of these young ladies have challenged relationships, if any at all, with the men in their lives.
My god-daughter’s best friend is 12 years old and has just “come out of the closet,” so to speak. But simultaneously, this young woman is struggling because her parents are going through a divorce, and she’s feeling hurt, confused and abandoned. Many women, after a broken relationship, feel this way as well. I’m not suggesting this automatically makes a person change their sexual orientation. But it can definitely influence it.
So, like it or not, same-sex relationships have become an alternative to love and marriage.
I’ll stop here for now, but I want to hear what you have to say about it.
Next up is the “fixer-upper” – loving a man with potential. Is that an option for you?
Deya “Direct” Smith, along with being a producer on the Tom Joyner Morning Show and host of Girlfriend FM on the BlackAmericaWeb.com stream, is a motivational speaker, actress and activist. She can be reached at DeyaDirect@aol.com.