Successful, Black, Gay, a family’s shame…

image4Karim Ali,
Columbus, OH.

I suppose I have been pondering my Race Card (TM) entry for a few months. When I read the comments of Michael Sam’s father (Michael Sam Sr.) about his disappointment in his son for being gay, I was nearly in tears, as it reminded me of my own coming out with my family (namely my parents) and among my larger family, my fellow Black Americans. Mr. Sam (Sr.) was disappointed in his only son to attend college and whom will likely have a very positive impact on his family and society. Similarly, many of the men in my extended family have been incarcerated, fathered fatherless kids, dabbled in drug addiction, and crime. I have been fortunate to have achieved the highest level of education in my family (MBA/JD), I am a partner at a large Ohio law firm, I volunteer extensively and mentor many young black youths/young professional, but I still sense the immense disappointment and judgment from many in the Black community in general, and from my father in particular. My 6 words captures my personal struggle with being Black and gay.


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