Greek, gay and married

It started as the Kappa Alpha Psi gay wedding that wasn’t really Kappa at all. But it was a gay wedding, all right. And let’s be real – the gay part is really what had everybody so up in arms.

See, the African American community has a big problem when it comes to having conversations about sexuality – especially same-sex sexuality. And when homosexuality infiltrates some of their storied institutions, like its fraternities and sororities, that’s when you have a serious uproar.

And that’s what happened after Robert Brown and Nathanael Gay posted their wedding video on YouTube last month. Because Gay is a member of Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity; because the couple chose red and white (the fraternity’s colors) for their wedding palette and because Gay and his frat brothers were photographed throwing up the Kappa identifying “yo” symbol, many folks accused the couple of dishonoring the 101-year-old fraternity, which is headquartered here in Philly.

Gay went on the nationally syndicated Tom Joyner Morning Show this week to set the record straight: No, he said, his wedding had no affiliation with the Greek organization. Yes, he is a proud member of Kappa Alpha Psi, but he was thinking the color of love, not Kappa, when he and Brown chose the color scheme. Besides, the official Kappa colors are crimson and cream, not red and white, he said.  “My husband and I were both wearing white tuxedos,” Gay told Joyner.

Cream/white, crimson/red. Tomato/tomahto.   It doesn’t matter. What matters is how this controversy had put a damper on a beautiful display of commitment between two people who clearly love each other. And it impresses upon us once more that honest conversation, not homophobic jokes, needs to occur in the African American community before homosexuality is fully accepted, let alone embraced.

If we can’t talk about it, then you’d better believe that gays and lesbians will continue to closet themselves in a fraternity or a sorority near you.