Does For Colored Boys Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Still Not Enough: Coming of Age, Coming Out, and Coming Home sound familiar? If it does, it’s because it was inspired by Ntozake Shange’s choreopoem, “For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf,” which was adapted into film. The film was becoming popular around a time of national silence around the suicides of various gay men of color.
For Colored Boys Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Still Not Enough is a book for Black and Brown boys who have ever struggled with the process of coming out, going home or growing up. Over the course of 42 beautifully-written vignettes written by various gay men of color, the book examines sexuality, homophobia, suicide, sexual abuse, HIV/AIDS, and racism within the lives of several African American, Latino and Asian gay men.
The editor, Keith Boykin, divides the book into ten sections that group the vignettes into common themes. The vignettes alternate in terms of tone, going from at times being serious and sad, to being hilarious and honest, to also being powerful and inspiring. The first section, entitled “Growing Pains,” contains stories about growing up and being gay. By beginning with early experiences of getting picked on at school or playing with dolls, the reader is allowed to think back to times when they felt different or marginalized. The final section, entitled “Power to the People,” reminds readers that from pain comes power; that being a gay person of color is just as much about empowerment as it is about oppression.
For Colored Boys Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Still Not Enough is for anyone who has felt like they haven’t had a voice or like they don’t deserve love. It’s for anyone who is trying to find their identity in a world that can be really tough for people who look or act like them. Expect to laugh and cry at points throughout the book, but ultimately expect to be inspired.
By: Gregory Stewart
Boykin, Keith, editor. For Colored Boys Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Still Not Enough: Coming of Age, Coming Out and Coming Home. Magnus Books, 2012.