Sexual Courage

Sexual Courage: The Enduring Legacy of Emmett Till and The War of Terror

An excerpt from Conjuring Black Funk: Notes on Culture, Sexuality and Spirituality by Dr. Herukhuti (Vintage Entity Press, 2007)

I exercised sexual courage when I decided to own my love of other men while in a deeply fulfilling relationship with a woman and did so openly with her knowledge. I feel I exercised sexual courage by finally acknowledging my desire to sexually venture outside our relationship. If I was going to own my sexuality, I couldn’t possess her sexuality. I, therefore, had to offer my jealousy and insecurities about her venturing outside of the relationship as down payments on my sexual liberation.

I’ve exercised sexual courage when I’ve decided to be honest about my sexual desires for someone despite feeling unworthy of his or her potential sexual attraction to me. I’ve exercised sexual courage when I’ve done something sexual that felt natural and good to me even though it was not the norm or what’s expected in the straight community or the gay community or the Black community or the (fill in the blank) community.

Acting with sexual courage hasn’t been all fun and games. It has meant serious work on my part. It has meant dealing with the social and personal consequences of the principled actions that I’ve taken. My actions are not taken in the absence of fears of the consequences but in the face of my fear because I wanna be free. I wanna be who I am wholly. I wanna love me and I truly want to be in relationship with others in peace, passion, and pleasure.

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