Big Black Gay Men Need Love Too

Image via Twitter @TheBigDog77

Black gay men and bigger gay men exist and love too. We should be celebrating that.

Now let’s get real for a second. When we watch a tv show or a movie with a gay man starring or just appearing on it, what does he look like? Imagine it for a second. Does he look like Chris Colfer? Ben Platt? Justin Taylor? Charlie Hunnam? Eric McCormack? Cameron Monaghan? Jack Falahee? Michael Urie?

To be fair, there are some standouts that oppose this theme. Captain Ray Holt in Brooklyn 99, Justin Suarez in Ugly Betty, Lafayette Reynolds in True Blood, Calvin Owens in Greek, Lito Rodriguez in Sense8, and a few more. But only a few. And even further, they are rarely depicted in a relationship with another Black or Brown man.

With this difference in representation when it comes to gay/bi/queer love, there’s, understandably, a call to show us all something different. And the latest man making that call lives in Philadelphia.

Philadelphia resident Tyler Hightower has found himself in a bit of an internet viral moment. Ty, as he likes to be called, recently went from 40 followers to about 1,272 in three days. The reason being, he decided to post a picture of himself and his boyfriend kissing.

“Posting this because representation matters,” Hightower wrote. “The black, gay, and happy gworls are out here! We live together and have two cats. This was our 1 year anniversary. We are at the 1 year and 8month mark and still going strong!”

Hightower decided to post this picture after seeing another black gay couple post a pic on Twitter, according to NBC News. This picture made him realize how rarely he’d seen photos of black gay love on the internet, so Hightower decided to contribute one. And it seems the photo has resonated with the internet. Three days after being posted, the tweet has received 105k likes, 12k retweets, and over 800 comments.

“The responses have been awe-inspiring,” Hightower said. “People are replying saying that the picture made their day and that they didn’t know there was love for people like them.”

According to Hightower, “classically attractive white gay men” receive the most representation. This then excludes others who don’t fit that description. So Hightower wanted to show that there are people like him and his lover “out here, working and living and falling in love.”

“Part of our identity is being fat, heavy, thick, black and gay men, and we want all people to know that no matter your size, color or religion, be yourself and live authentically, and you will find love,” Hightower said. “I’d been closeted for a very long time, and now I’ve found true happiness.”

As for the couple, Hightower, a cancer research coordinator, met his construction manager boyfriend Ahdeem Tinsley two years ago through a dating app. They started off as friends but Hightower later realized he wanted more.

“I realized this was insane: This was someone I couldn’t get enough of and who understood me on so many levels, and I didn’t want to wait any longer. I said to him, ‘You and I are dating.’”

The couple have since moved in together and adopted two cats named Buddy and Gigi. The two celebrated their anniversary the day of the photo and hope for a future of many more.

Sources: NBC News

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