Big Brothas Network
Big Brothas Network was created to celebrate the larger men of color in the LGBT community and those who admire them. We intend to promote a positive self-image within our own community and the mainstream population.
Our goal is to embrace our differences, to inspire self-love, and increase camaraderie through education and positive, brotherly interactions. We intend to accomplish these goals through the BBN magazine, local and national events and networking forums.
The LGBT Community faces a number of unique challenges because of their sexual orientation. Multiple studies have demonstrated that the following emotional/social issues are common among members of the LGBT community:
High HIV/AIDS/STD rates
Higher rates of depression
Higher suicide rates
Greater exposure to discrimination and violence
Greater rates of homelessness/physical abuse in LGBT teens
High rates of drug/alcohol abuse
Larger men of color in the LGBT community are the focal point of three forms of discrimination:
Discrimination due to size
As with all men of color, African-Americans and Latinos are often the victim of stereotypes, discrimination, and stigmas that can affect their perceptions of themselves and the way that they are treated in society. A “me against the world” mentality can easily be developed, and in some cases, taught to explain why white society seeks to subjugate minority groups.
African-American and Latino member s of the LGBT community face cultural and religious bias in their own communities that contribute to feelings of isolation and depression and the high rates of homelessness in African-American and Latino gay teens. Because these cultures teach that homosexuality is wrong, and in many cases, a sin, many find it difficult to accept themselves and embrace their sexuality, leading to denial of their true selves, isolation from friends and family, and self-deprecation.
Like most segments of society, the LGBT community also stigmatizes overweight and obese members. In addition to the health risks that accompany being overweight, one can easily feel excluded from a culture that emphasizes physical appearance and fitness.
It’s easy to see how an LGBT man of size and color can feel lonely and ostracized. They are rejected by the majority for being of color, in their own cultural and religious groups for being gay, and even in the LGBT community simply for being too big. It is important that these men find a safe place where they can congregate, commiserate, and embrace others who share their similarities, differences, and dreams.
Through our efforts, we hope to create and strengthen individuals to form a strong community that boasts physically and emotionally health.