Comedian Jerrod Carmichael introduced his sexual preference to the world via his latest comedy special titled Rothaniel. What captures my attention is the association with the emasculating of men because of their sexual preference. Carmichael questions his masculinity as it relates to his sexual preference. The preconceived notions of what someone of the LQBTQ is does not plague the interpretation of gender identity. It is the yes but how, or yes but why, or the this is supposed to be this way thought process that impedes the understanding of the LGBTQ community. They, like many others, simply want to experience life without explanation.

Small things plague my mind about Carmichael’s new special. Big moments capture almost every journalist’s article about the act, but what about the tiniest expressions. Carmichael discusses the love and support he garnered from black women in his family. He addressed keeping the secret of his sexuality from his audience. Additionally, he addresses how his friends responded. They found resolve in making jokes about it saying “I feel like I’ve been tricked into having a gay best friend”. Even though vulnerability is seldom on display for the world to see, Carmichael wore it like a skilled master. What speaks the loudest in Rothanial is how Carmichael paralleled his father’s infidelity with the discretion he used in revealing his sexual identity. Again, what’s subtle is the crescendo of comedic professionalism. Initially, the show is what anyone would expect from a comedy show, but by the end, it feels as though Carmichael is simply having a conversation with someone. Carmichael explains his entire experience as a gay man. He manages to eloquently describe the parts of his coming out that he does not understand. Consequently, he gives fresh air to people within the LGBTQ trying to figure out life.

Artra Nelson

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