What about your friends?
Gemmel Moore. Allow me to speak his name once more. Gemmel Moore. Now before I say anything more. First, I'd like to express my sincere condolences to him and his family. Second, fuck you okay? Here's why. On July 27th the man whose name I speak up died of something that is far too common in the gay black community: Drug overdoses. When I first heard the news of this man's passing, I like many started to mourn his life.
However, as I read and researched this man's narrative, my thinking began to change. For one, Mr. Moore is not a victim. Not in the traditional sense. He is a victim of becoming trapped by a horrible addiction but even if you look at that there lies something that we all have though not at times easy to ask for or access: help and the power of choice.
We all have choice. It's up to us to use it. In the case of Mr. Moore he made the choices that he felt were right at the time. However, this piece is not about him. He is the subject but not the theme. The more I sat and thought about this young man's life. There was one glaring question that kept coming into my head: where were his friends?
I ask again. Where the fuck were his friends? Anyone? Here's why I ask. If you have a man who you know or at one point and time knew that he was in the throes of addiction and you stood around and watched him slowly, through his choices of life, kill himself and did nothing. You sir/madam have blood on your hands.
Now some of you may say, “He was grown, you can't tell a grown person what to do!” That is partly true. No, you can't force a person to live the way you think that they should. However, you can do or say something that may cause them to think about the choices they make.
I know why you didn't stop him. You bought the “He grown” logic or you enjoyed the fruits of his “labor.” For those of you that are new to this game called life, Mr. Moore did what many of us have done, thought of doing or secretly wanted to do. He was a sex worker. To be honest, the fact that he chose to lie on his back as a means to make money is a moot point.
The issue at hand is that you watched someone you claim to love die. If not, he would still be here. So while you were shopping with the money that he gave you (yes, mama I'm speaking to you) or gagging over his many “sexperiences”. You are to blame and you're just as guilty as the needle in his arm.
In these days and times of police brutality, homophobia and constant racism, friends, mentors and people who have a fuck to give are needed now more than ever. When I say friends, I'm not talking the guy you lusted over, fucked, realized there was no attraction and then became friends. I'm speaking of that person you can call at 3:00 am and cry with. Unfortunately, Gemmel Moore didn't have access to that kind of friend or mentor.
Instead, he had people around him who used him physically, financially and emotionally – and now after death for sympathy—because they couldn't see past what they wanted. So go ahead, cry. Mourn for him. You have reason to. Whenever I hear about situations like this, these true but classic lines from the group TLC come to mind:
What about your friends, will they stand their ground,
Will they let you down again?
What about your friends, are they gonna be lowdown,
Will they ever be around,
Or will they turn their backs on you?