Why are so many people of color afraid to speak on the issues that are in the forefront of the news broadcasts, blogs, social media and barber shop conversations on the subject of President Barack Obama’s mention of Gay Rights, The Stonewall Rebellion and the Civil Rights Movement in his 2013 Inaugural Address to the nation and world as something all equal to one another?
Now I am going to mention a few points here that many wish they had the courage to say but have cowered because of the great risk of being misunderstood or even worse, the loss of their job, harassment or being marginalized for not going with what is popular.
Now before you gear up to come at me because you think that I am coming with some anti-Gay diatribe – RELAX – that’s the last thing on my mind at this point. What’s ON my mind and what I am somewhat perplexed about, is how the Civil Rights Movement is viewed by many as equal to the Gay Rights Movement.
To go even further, I am really confused when I see a Gay brother or Lesbian sister of color fight harder for LGBT rights more so than they ever did for Civil Rights!
Now, allow me to mention this again, I am NOT taking a swing at those in the LGBT community in any form or fashion whatsoever, and I am not going to tolerate anyone trying to twist around my words because of the fact that I am not afraid to speak on ANY issue on the planet and have never hesitated to do so in any scenario.
I do believe at the end of the day, most who subscribe to this blog and enjoy my expressions will appreciate me for being brutally honest from the bottom of my heart.
Now! Let me make my points…….
Many Black folks are pissed because of the mention of the Civil Rights as an equal fight as the Gay Rights movement. Many are pissed, but once again, they have refrained from expressing their true feelings.
Let me tell you how I feel…….
I believe that EVERYONE under the law should be treated equally to go after life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness no matter what their lifestyle preferences and no matter who they choose to go to bed with!
That being said, the fight for equality I understand goes a whole lot deeper for the LGBT community in ways that most heterosexual individuals in the country often overlook and take for granted. I am a married man who is heterosexual and maybe am guilty of taking for granted that if I pass away, my wife will take complete ownership of everything that I own with no fight with insurance companies or the government.
It’s a given.
But it’s NOT a given for those in the LGBT community and I am stating this so that anyone from the LGBT community will understand that I am aware of this difference in the legalities and civil treatment.
But my focus in this writing is to those of color in the LGBT community who fight so hard for the rights of the aforementioned community and then turn around and suffer racism from those to whom they fought with arm and arm to win the victories that will allow the LGBT community to enjoy the equality that the laws in some states deny.
You know, I’m going to tell you what many others won’t, and maybe you’ve heard this statement before – “I can’t go in the closet with my Blackness but there is no way of telling that someone is Gay by the way that they look!”
Now to my non – Black LGBT brothers and sisters who don’t understand that statement, it means that you can move undetected and anonymously as a part of the LGBT community as a non Black individual but you damn sure can’t move under the radar as one who is a person of color and of African descent for the most part!
First things first, while I am not saying that one who is a Gay or Lesbian person of color should stop pressing for their full equal rights under the law, they should always be on fire for the obvious fight against racism that will be an issue – hopefully not – until the day God calls them home!
But I have to say that YES…….I DO smell a rat! Just like so many Black women joined and backed those in the Feminist movement in the 1970’s and got nothing in return for all of their fighting as Black women, let’s hope the same doesn’t happen for those Blacks who fight HARD for LGBT rights because in the end if they don’t, it would be a sad day for many who have pushed SOME to a better life while leaving many others behind!
While I am not attempting to cause a rift between many in the LGBT community, I am pointing out something that I’ve witnessed for many years in my life in my discussions with those who were Gay and Lesbian.
While it’s all good when you are on the dance floor at the Gay club and enjoying the feeling of having a haven of unity to which one can be themselves without having to worry about the ignorant and potentially violent chastisements of those who disagree with ones lifestyle, things will change greatly when it’s time to go home late at night and that Black man or Woman is harassed by the police merely because of the color of their skin or watched as a criminal as they travel in a law abiding fashion quietly through a neighborhood where they are viewed as an outsider and a threat.
There is no one way to “look” Gay, but this twisted world is still hung up on race and THAT my friend is something that you cannot get away from.
It bothers me not what you do behind closed doors, because Gays and Lesbians of ALL colors have fought hard in the civil rights movement and I have no problem returning the favor to fight for LGBT rights under the law as a human being who has the right to live as one pleases.
But PLEASE don’t forget that our struggle still goes on with GREAT resistance to the point where when we as Black people walk out of our door everyday we don’t even know if today will be our last day on this earth from the self hate against ourselves and the ingrained brand of in house hate that has always been on the menu for us in that restaurant that is America.
It’s a tough slice of the bigger issue to digest, but I couldn’t sit back and be silent on it as that young under aged homeless Gay Black boy digging through the garbage cans for a little relief from his hunger is looked down on by the Gay affluent White man who chuckles to himself in a condescending manner as he pulls off from the red light in his drop top Mercedes Sedan.
Gay? Yes. But while they both might identify as being Gay but there is so much to this world that must be rectified that you couldn’t find to individuals that have more differences than those two in my example.
So before you as a person of color protest your heart out for your LGBT rights, understand that long after the protests are over you must carry the double burden of living as a Gay or lesbian person of color and by the time your detractors realize that you are a part of a much maligned and excluded community on top of your Blackness, your fight will often be fought alone while those who had the benefit of your support most often will hardly lift a finger in the same manner that you did for them in what you thought was a common cause.
Why is it that so many years after the Stonewall Riots those Gay men of color were still in their own underground culture where they had no one to turn to except their own as featured in the classic cult favorite of a documentary Paris Is Burning? While the majority of their Caucasian counterparts enjoyed a more mainstream success in business and flourished, many of those as Black men, straight, Gay and everything in between were still struggling as though they were forgotten for the most part.
Sure, some got through the cracks but far too many were lost by the wayside and forgotten.
So while you fight the good fight against those who want to deny you the full spectrum of your desired existence, understand that you will often fight alone with those who look like you against the poverty, joblessness, disease, racism, homelessness, discrimination, drug epidemic, crime, redlining and racial profiling just to name a few.
Ultimately, if we all truly viewed each other as God’s children then we wouldn’t have to concern ourselves with any of these divisions at all but since that is NOT the case then we must take ourselves out of or comfort zones to face these issues square in the eye and voice them loud and clear so that our world will truly understand our plight and can move to take action if they so desire.
So as you can see, this article was not about bashing a lifestyle that may be different from mine, but merely to zero in on a dilemma that goes often overlooked on the darker side of the rainbow. But then again, how can ANY Gay Black man feel as though I am bashing him when in fact we have so much more in common than not.
We feel the same pain and we know the same characters back in the neighborhood and we usually laugh AND cry at the same things. So how can I bash someone who is so close to my heart? Sure, I don’t get down with men sexually but I love everyone regardless as to what they do to get their groove on. That’s none of my business and that is not my concern but I had just had to boldly share a thought that was on my mind!
I spoke in an intelligent manner and I expect the comments and feedback to be presented in the same spirit. Intelligent dialogue is how we learn and grow as a human race, and I am ready to expand my consciousness so I await your words.
Peace & Righteous Love Always,
Your Fearless Brother,