MNEK, born Uzoechi Emenike, took to Instagram to explain what it’s like being black and gay.
The British singer and songwriter, who’s written songs for Beyonce, Madonna and Kylie Minogue, believes being a minority within a minority is incredibly difficult.
He came out when he was 18 years old, and took time to explain his story on National Coming Out Day today (11 October).
He wrote: ‘I went to my first gay club… and decided amongst all the naked men and free alcohol that it was the perfect time to let the good sis [friend, Aminata Jamieson] know “I’m bi, I like boys and girls.”
‘She goes “Cool, I knew but I love you all the same bb.”‘
MNEK then revealed bisexual was not a label that fit for him, during a trip with some friends shortly after that night.
‘I was scared and unsure’
He continued: ‘I remember at the time I was just feeling very scared, and unsure – and so I’d try and drop it in conversation to normalize it with varying results.
‘I also think being black and realizing you’re gay can be very daunting.
You don’t know what to do or who to talk to, you’re dealing with being a dual-minority in a world where being one kinda minority is bad enough,’ he said.
He then explained the homophobia within the black community. People use terms like ‘Batty boy’ and ‘Chichi man’ as derogatory slang against LGBTI people.
He continued: ‘Now at 22, [I’m] about to turn 23, single, working, on music, myself. [I’m] enjoying living my truth with so much less to hide.’
His advice to people struggling to come out? Do it when it’s right for you.
He wrote: ‘Come out in your own time, at your own pace, in your own way. It’s not easy but it’s easier than you think – trust and believe me.’
MNEK concluded: ‘I’ve made better friends who love me for who I am and you will too!’
Read the full post here.