Dwayne also known as Tobias, was born and bred in Connecticut and New York in the United States. Having grown up in an environment with low tolerance towards and discrimination towards being gay, it was inevitable to experience insults, being avoided by friends and other associates upon acquisition of the knowledge of his sexual orientation.
Attributed to his experience growing up where being black nearly seemed like a felony, being gay did not help the situation as it increased discrimination and disassociation from friends. Dwayne’s experiences are similar to many others with little or no courage to speak up therefore through his forthcoming book and film both titled “Diary of a Gay Black Man”, he seeks to bring to attention the plight of a Gay Black Man in America. He leveraged his autobiography to write a script, co-direct as well as cast in the short film.
Society one too often brands gay people as pariahs and many hide it to avoid dealing with the pressures attributed to coming clean about one’s sexual orientation and to that effect Dwayne considers it very important for stories like his to be shared because they instill faith and empower gay individuals to fearlessly take charge of their lives in a world where tons of people that can relate to him seek to be understood or something they can relate to.
Dwayne goes ahead to emphasize that there is no rule book, or guide stipulating how a gay black man should operate and that it is simply nonexistent. Every individual has a story and should be able to tell or share it regardless of whether it is good or bad. The essence of sharing a story is that someone will learn from the valuable experiences shared. He, therefore, deems it important to get this message across and is grateful to be able to use his own stories to achieve the goal through Diary of a Gay Black Man.
Dating back to his childhood, Dwayne’s memories are crystal clear with him having a recollection of the issues gay black men were faced to deal with head-on. He recognized that society was instrumental in influencing the way he grew up with a broad array of childhood experiences as well as family, lifestyle, and close relationships which ultimately shaped him into what he has become today. Dwayne considers the autobiography as the first step to shedding light on the trials and tribulations of a gay black man and is confident that the film will bring the book to life.
Growing up in a strongly religious household, Dwayne struggled with his identity, often feeling as though he was living for others and not being his true authentic self. As a result of that, on top of life’s struggles, he found himself being a statistic. On coming public, the realization hit him that he was not just a black man in society but a “Gay Black man” for that matter. The aspect came with several struggles/pressures that were unimaginable. As a child, he would often journal his feelings as it was an outlet for him. He couldn’t share what he felt so he wrote it down. According to Tobias, those diaries are raw, authentic, and exemplify what it means to be a black gay man in this world.