NewsOne Featured Video

Peter Tatchell wrote a piece in the UK Guardian, called “Malcolm X Was Bisexual, Get Over It.” Tatchell writes that he is disappointed in the lack of recognition for gay and lesbian African Americans for Black History Month (Black History Month is in October in the UK). He writes:

Perhaps it is unintentional but Black History Month sometimes feels like Straight Black History Month. Famous Black LGBT people are not acknowledged and celebrated. Either their contribution to Black history and culture is ignored or their sexuality is airbrushed out of their biographies.

He goes on to write that one famous Black LGBT person is none other than Malcolm X:

A good example of this neglect is the denialism surrounding the bisexuality of one of the greatest modern Black liberation heroes: Malcolm X. The lack of recognition is perhaps not surprising, given that some of his family and many black activists have made strenuous efforts to deny his same-sex relationships and suppress recognition of the full spectrum of his sexuality.

As evidence to his claim, Tatchell points to a biography of Malcolm’s by Bruce Perry, “Malcolm – The Life of a Man Who Changed Black America”:

Based on interviews with Malcolm’s closest boyhood and adult friends, Perry suggests the US Black liberation leader was not as solidly heterosexual as his Nation of Islam colleagues and Black nationalist acolytes have always claimed.

He documents Malcolm’s many same-sex relations and his activities as a male sex worker, which spanned at least a 10-year period, from his mid-teens to his 20s, as I described in some detail in a previous article for the Guardian.

These allegations refer to Malcolm X’s life as Malcolm Little before he converted to Islam. Many people have criticized Perry’s book and his family has denied the reports.

Here is a criticism of Perry’s book from the Washington Post by Robert O’Meally

Several very large problems plague this “first complete biography of Malcolm X.” First is its fake scientific method, which at its worst becomes a verbal mishmash of Freudianisms, Ericksonisms, and other -isms from popular psychology: what psychologists themselves call psycho-babble. …. To buttress his thesis and his claims of various sorts, Perry presents incontrovertible evidence along withspeculative fluff and mere hearsay and gossip.

Here is another criticism of the book from the St. Petersburg Times by Sheryl James

At one point, Perry says Malcolm “had been seen wearing a dress.  Though the garment may have been a Halloween costume . . ” There is no source for this strange incident, no elaboration. The incident hangs in the air with little or no relevance.

The inclusion of a couple of Malcolm’s adolescent sexual experiences seems equally pointless. Almost all youngsters have these kinds of scenes that are embarrassing in retrospect and meaningless in the larger scope of their personalities.