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If White Gay Leaders Exclude Blacks From Their Plans, Should They Expect Their Support?

whiteblackhands

We’ve identified the white gay personalities behind California’s same-sex marriage push. We’ve passed along the message of black gays feeling excluded from the struggle for equality. And now Blacklight publisher Sidney Brinkley, who’s written much about the intersection of race and sexuality (and is no stranger to controversy), has a word for the white-centric movement — whatever that is, but which Brinkley includes folks like Robin McGhee, Cleve Jones, and Geoff Kors. Writes Brinkley:

While the White Gay movement embraces Martin Luther King, I turn towards another hero of that era: Malcolm X. I’m talking Malcolm the firebrand who spoke the brutal truth to, and about, White power. There’s a group of White Gay men and Lesbians sitting atop the Gay movement—in San Francisco, Washington, New York and L.A.—all cut from the same cloth and of like-mind.

Geoff KorsThey include Geoff Kors, executive director of EQCA; Lorri Jean, CEO of the L.A. LGBT Center; Joe Solomanese, executive director of HRC; to name three, who need to be placed on notice.The message is simple: I’m not here to serve the White agenda. The next time White Gays come forward with a plan, any plan, to do anything, I’m asking, “How many Blacks were in the room when these plans were made?”

I don’t mean who was the first Black crony they informed “after” the White people met. I mean how many Black Lesbians and/or Gay men were in the room—or on the conference call—when they made the plans?

If the final answer is “none,” then those same White Lesbians and Gay men should be prepared to execute that plan without Blacks as well. That means no money, no votes and no Black Gays to parade before the cameras to give the patently false impression that this is an inclusive movement.

No more: “This is the agenda. Follow it.”
No more: “We’re having a march. Show up.”

By:           editor editor
On:           Jun 29, 2009
Tagged: , ,

  • 96 Comments
    • ben
      ben

      Oh Lord…here we go.

      Jun 29, 2009 at 5:02 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cam
      Cam

      I thought this whole prop 8 backlash was about NOT waiting for an invitation from these groups. The black gay groups, if they feel excuded then jump out and do your thing, run ads, get out into the community, fuck waiting for an invitation from people you are saying you don’t like. If you don’t like the way GLAAD or Equality
      CA. is handling something, show them you can do it better. Why would you want an invitataion to a group you are saying you don’t like?

      Jun 29, 2009 at 5:16 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • galefan2004
      galefan2004

      Like Malcom X this chick certainly loves playing the victim card. There is a reason the country remembers MLK Jr. and not Malcom X. MLK Jr. did work to get things accomplished. Malcom X went out of his way to blame the white community when nothing happened. In the end, I think its almost dangerous to try to be Malcom x in an equality movement unless you plan on boring our haters to death with your own hate speech.

      Jun 29, 2009 at 5:25 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TANK
      TANK

      If the final answer is “none,” then those same White Lesbians and Gay men should be prepared to execute that plan without Blacks as well.

      So how can they prepare? Or are they…hmmmmmmmm.

      Jun 29, 2009 at 5:31 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • J. Clarence
      J. Clarence

      @galefan2004: The country remembers MLK when he was in the South protesting Jim Crow down there, we do not remember the same MLK who after the Civil Rights Act of 1964 passed went north to Chicago and faced protest from the same Whites who were apparently with him in the South.

      Say what you want about Malcom X, but he was a civil rights activist with a sharp tongue and did accomplish things within the African-American community. We are all bred to like MLK, because he seems like the non-confrontational type, but sometimes its that confrontation that is necessary to point out the obvious.

      I do think queer-people of color need to be a bit more confrontational within the queer community and stir the pot.

      And Cam, Black gay groups do all of things, the fact that you are under the impression that they don’t is partly the point Brinkley is trying to make.

      Jun 29, 2009 at 5:53 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Wolf
      Wolf

      Like no one remembers that Gays amd Lesbains in the 60’s were the staunchest of supporters for Civil Rights

      Jun 29, 2009 at 6:10 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Brian Miller
      Brian Miller

      I am not a member of a “White Gay” (WTF is up with the capitalization) group.

      I’m a member of several GAY groups, and I work on behalf of the rights of all LGBT people, regardless of race.

      The constant efforts to inject racial politics into the LGBT movement are a deliberate attempt to sabotage progress. And whether or not the morons trying to racialize the debate know it or not, plenty of “White Gays” (sic) find the “gay leadership” just as dismissive and out of touch as they do — they just work around them rather than trying to stoke racial hatred and division.

      Jun 29, 2009 at 6:12 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Brian Miller
      Brian Miller

      PS, the stuff about the “White agenda” is batshit-crazy wingnuttery on par with the Dominionist rants about the “gay agenda” or hard-right fringe rants about the “Jewish agenda.”

      Jun 29, 2009 at 6:14 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Tom in Lazybrook
      Tom in Lazybrook

      I went through the links of those groups. They appear to be upset because we are focusing on Prop 8 repeal. And that some people are white and male and make six figures a year. And to threaten those groups if they don’t let them lead it. To Ms. Brinkley’s threats, I ask the following: Threaten us with what? Not work on Prop 8 repeal unless you get to lecture us with your agenda?

      Ms. Brinkley, what would you do with that ‘seat at the table’. Work to get Prop 8 repealed? From your weblink, it certainly doesn’t look like that

      No, you aren’t getting any board seats or a seat at the table if you don’t share the goals of the groups meeting (or actively wish to work against those goals). Thats called hijacking. The purpose of that meeting was to talk about how to get Prop 8 repealed. Not about anything else.

      There are two ways of getting a seat at the table. Here they are:

      1) Join an organization that you share the goals of, raise money for that organization, volunteer for that organization, bring new members into that organization. Work for the goals of that organization to help those goals to fruition. Do not join that organization if your motivation is to use the money and organization that you didn’t build or raise for your own agenda. Once one has invested time and effort into the organization, then one may appropriately suggest new ideas to the group for discussion (and possible refusal if there isn’t consensus).

      Or if that seems a bit too passive and time consuming, then

      2) Form your own organization. Find funding for it, find members, build the organization. If it provides value to the larger community, you will find volunteers, funding, and support. (Here’s a hint Ms. Brinkley..lecturing/insulting people or implying that they are somehow racist because they are willing to support one objective harder than they appear to support your agenda is probably not the best way to get funding support, or membership from a community). If the organization builds enough support then it will be included in the big policy decisions so long as it is willing to work towards a common goal. A goal isn’t common just because you think I should be supporting it. It doesn’t work that way.

      Jun 29, 2009 at 6:16 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • CM
      CM

      Wow something you guys posted that I actually liked. It’s THE TRUTH. Might as well add latinos to that too. We’re not quite white either and are often an after thought as the Black Community is as well.

      All I have to say is:

      “PREACH!”

      P.S. Screw EQCA, support The COURAGE CAMPAIGN’s Repeal of Prop 8 Efforts. They have a game plan that will win.

      Jun 29, 2009 at 6:52 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • g
      g

      Gay Duke University Official Molested Black Adopted Son, Pimped son to Cop

      Jun 29, 2009 at 6:54 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • dgz
      dgz

      @CM:
      tell that to the head of glaad. he’s latino, btw.

      or dan choi, for that matter.

      while deliberate exclusion (if it occurred) is awful, ya don’t get a seat at HRC’s table (for example) by working for a completely separate organization.

      Jun 29, 2009 at 7:09 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Aaron
      Aaron

      What does this even mean??
      Sorry, but it just sounds like a load of horse shit.

      Jun 29, 2009 at 7:11 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Michael
      Michael

      @g: really?

      Jun 29, 2009 at 7:15 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • shelby84
      shelby84

      Dude… I’m saying this as a black man, I’m so damn tired of this website talking about race. Please stop. Just stop the noise. It’s so frustrating… It’s not helping!

      Jun 29, 2009 at 7:22 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • g
      g

      @Michael: Really!

      Jun 29, 2009 at 7:25 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DuttyBarb
      DuttyBarb

      @G

      Ive just watched that and im really pissed off. Of course Queerty will never post about a gay man adopting a child for God’s sake so he can abuse and pimp him out.

      I’m disgusted here. If the guy were straight, i will hear nothing but self righteous crap from u all.

      This is why sexual deviants should not get access to kids

      Jun 29, 2009 at 7:28 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Michael
      Michael

      @DuttyBarb: Now I’ll be wondering if gay parents with a black adopted kid are doing the same thing. How could he do that?

      Jun 29, 2009 at 7:31 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mitch
      Mitch

      Right on schedule, Queerty’s daily black people bashing! God forbid a day where queerty’s editors can’t race-bait the mouth-breathing masses ein bisschen.

      Jun 29, 2009 at 7:55 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Movement Guy
      Movement Guy

      I’ve worked at three national LGBT organizations in my career. All of them had really issues with diversity. In fairness, they have all been making efforts to address the lack of diversity.

      And it’s just not people of color who are being ignored, it’s a lot of other sub-minorities who feel ignored by the major LGBT, whether sex radicals, gender-queer, transgender, etc.

      Jun 29, 2009 at 8:01 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • An Other Greek
      An Other Greek

      I think it’s a legitimate concern.

      I think it is helpful to IDENTIFY the white gay agenda and how it DIFFERS from the Black gay agenda though. The way it is phrased, it is about representation only, which in itself, is a legitimate issue, just not as powerful without the content.

      I have witnessed, repeatedly, racism in the white gay community, and I have, repeatedly, posted about that here. These issues need to be confronted and dealt with. I believe we are -beginning- to do so.

      I’m glad that Queerty is publishing what seems to include the Black point of view. There have been complaints by many posters about the site’s perceived anti-Black focus on homophobia within the Black community. (imho, the examination of Black homophobia is a legitimate concern…)

      Let the dialogue ensue.

      Besides, the further inclusion of Blacks in leadership positions can only help further lessen the homophobia in that community, a goal we must all share.

      ——————————————————————

      Jun 29, 2009 at 8:12 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mike L.
      Mike L.

      Was Malcom X an X-Man? I love the X-Men!

      Make sure you are heard, don’t sit back and wait for some people to include you, you have to shove yourself into the mix and if they don’t let up, keep on shoving.

      It’s important to here from our LGBT brothers and sisters from all backgrownd, especially from groups like the black LGBT community and the Latino LGBT community since we hear a lot from Black christians that they didn’t choose teh color of their skin and for us not to use MLK, and gay rights as a civil roghts thing for that same reason. We need African-Americans and people of other races to declare that they chose to be gay as much as they chose to be black, brown, yellow etc to make those christians of color’s point irrelevant (since some people are blind to the fact that white people didn’t choose the color of their skin either to point out they didn’t choose to be gay either).

      Also African-Americans seen to have a harder time being out since a lot of their culture is connected in the church.

      Just like I read one time from a black blogger; most will forgive you for drug, murder, etc but not for being gay (b/c of their deep relation with the church).

      We need our black brothers and sisters out too! Just as we need those of latino, asian and anyother race out there as spokes people not just on parades.

      Sorry if I may have unintentionally insulted someone. I’m latino, but I am not able to be aware of the things that might be hurtful to people of other races as much as I am aware of those things that can hurt me b/c of my own life experience.

      Jun 29, 2009 at 8:37 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • RainaWeather
      RainaWeather

      I’m black, gay, out, LOUD and I LOVE Malcolm X and Martin Luther King equally. I agree and disagree with this post. Ideally, it shouldn’t matter who is in what group because everybody should support everyone’s rights. In the real world, however, people are petty and spiteful and they are more likely to support you if they see familiar faces. That’s reality.

      Jun 29, 2009 at 8:55 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • InExile
      InExile

      @DuttyBarb: Sorry honey, as you know the child abuse sector is reserved for religious straights! They always preach, and then they get caught! You have right wing hacks to be proud of, Larry Craig, Ted Haddard, David Vitter, oh and the latest Senator Stanford, you must be so proud. And that is only a short list of the latest ones caught of coarse!

      Jun 29, 2009 at 8:57 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • j
      j

      Notice how black people can point the finger and accuse whites of excluding them from organisations, but if a white person where to complain that black people are, for some reason not being proactive in mainstream organisations they would be percieved as racist? I’ve been involved with several black organisations and the idea that a black person would be excluded from a leadership position if they had the skills is rediculous. Black under representation is a problem but I think its more about alienation than willful exclusion. Why would the oppressed ever wish to become the oppressor?

      Jun 29, 2009 at 8:58 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • The Gay Numbers
      The Gay Numbers

      @RainaWeather: In the real world, when people are not including you in on the planning, theyare not thinkgin about you when it comes to either the nature of the laws created or the benefits from said laws. While I don’t agree with the tone of the article, I agree with what it is saying. Black civil rights was not about being saintly, above the fray or above human. It was bout the kind of mential toughness of Malcolm X. Something that white gay leaders can actually learn from. That you can use both the carrot and the stick, and not just the carrot, when you are fighting for a moment like this. They would know the value of this if they were to include, not just black, but also Latino, asian and other voices who have been there. This is the tragedy of the divisions- it means we don’t obtain the wisdom of those who have been through it and are suceeding. I, for example, can discuss and understand soft homophobia, because I have been through soft racism. It gives me an insight that a white counter part can not understand who is coming to discrimination through homophobia. We are used to in the homophobic sense- the hard core homophobe, but increasingly the issue will become soft homophobia. “I am your friend so long as you are the model gay” etc. I am not a bigot against homosexuals, I just don’t think thyey should marry or fight in the military or whatever. These things have been seen before. Having other groups around might actually provide the white gays a wya to combat them by undrstanding what it happening rather than just falling for the soft bigotry.

      Jun 29, 2009 at 9:08 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • The Gay Numbers
      The Gay Numbers

      RE CLASS

      By the way, I would say not only do we need more diversity regarding race, but also class. The groups most impacted by a lack of equality are those from the lower economic brackets. They are the ones most hurt by not having healthcare benefits of the partner, of a lack of marriage rights, of laws that do not protect them from losting their job due to their sexual orientation, of not being able to leave areas with a high level of hate crimes and on and on. Wealthy gays do themselves no favor by leaving this reality out of sight, and out of mind.

      Jun 29, 2009 at 9:12 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • a. mcewen
      a. mcewen

      Some of you don’t want to talk about race. You claim that interjecting race into this thing impedes progress. Rather than getting defensive, you really do need to listen. I agree with the statements. If this is a movement for all lgbts, then all lgbts need to be listened to and acknowledged. That’s what it’s about.

      For the record, lgbts of color have been doing a lot for lgbts equality but you never hear about it. And THAT my friends is the point. A good point is an article I read in the American Prospect that says lgbts of color are taking the lead in the lgbt equality struggle in Washington, D.C.: http://www.prospect.org/cs/articles?article=where_blacks_lead_the_fight_for_gay_rights

      A good example of how limited we are is that Advocate cover story “Is Gay the New Black?”

      It was a dumb question because gay is black, just as it is white, Asian, and all other ethnicities. There is no separation and as long as we do not talk about the issues of how sexual orientation crosses over into ethnic identities, we will continue to have discussions like these and we will continue to have the mindsets that created that stupid Advocate article.

      The fact of the matter is if we are to survive, lgbts need to change the dynamic of what exactly is the image of lgbts in this country. Rather than the forced homogenization that I see so much of, I want to see an embracing of diversity and not just black folks. Latinos, Asians, elderly, etc.

      Jun 29, 2009 at 9:22 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • C-Teller
      C-Teller

      @g:

      wow.

      Jun 29, 2009 at 9:58 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • The Gay Numbers
      The Gay Numbers

      @a. mcewen: I don’t believe it is accidental that you see the attitudes that you see here. I believe it’s the product of what one of my friends once told me. He said that for some white gays the goal is not equality for all, but that they want to regain the privilege that comes with being white that they lose by also being gay. I am not yet ready to accept his statement as absolutely a factor, but when people are repeatedly presented with how they are excluding others from their ranks, and they choose to say “well but you should help” there is indeed a sense of entitlement involved. Why should anyone help whom you are not planning to help never crosses their minds. It’s not complicated. Everyone is self interested. If you exlude black gays, then they are going to want to know whether this movement is for all of us, or just for those doing the excluding. Once gay is accepted, does that mean they will go back to ignore people of color or low income gays because they got what they needed to be a part of the white entitled establishment? I don’t have an answer to let. But I can see why someone would not trust the dynamic as truly something for all of us rather than just some.

      Jun 29, 2009 at 10:05 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TANK
      TANK

      I wonder what g’s intent with that is. Is it to somehow argue that gay people are unfit to parent? If so, I could flood this comments section with horror stories of heterosexual parents (adoptive, foster, and biological) who’ve done things to their children on a magnitude ten times worse and it’s by far more common.

      Jun 29, 2009 at 10:07 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TANK
      TANK

      It’s funny that in a post about someone demanding lgbt people of color get a voice in the activist community (there are, in fact, lgbt activists of color….), we see such stunning homophobia on display…

      You know, there might be reasons for this that aren’t JUST “white man’s burden”.

      Jun 29, 2009 at 10:09 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • paulinsd
      paulinsd

      well then, lets just get this done without the blacks then they can benefit like they always do…They yell and scream and claim racism, yet enjoy the fruits of our labor with out any of the work. I guess its like civil rights welfare, we’ll work, foot the bill and they sit back and collect the monthly checks…

      Jun 29, 2009 at 10:12 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mike L.
      Mike L.

      Look, minorities are an increasing voting power in America.
      We need leaders of different racial backgrounds talking to Americna communities with background they identify with most to make sure we get them educated about us, and stop the stereotypes that they see or hear about all day.

      In spanish speaking tv I often see gays being portrayed as a bunch of colorful fems which pisses me off(it’s kind our blackface) as if we were just some charicatures to be made fun off b/c our feelings are irrelevant.

      And the black community is very tied to church and machoism like the latino community for the most part.

      All races have some similarities as to why they beleive that they believe about ut, but they also have differences as to why they believe that too, so we need reps form those races doing their part for our rights

      We need -insert race- gays standing up for gay rights and educating those of their race about why we need to have equal rights for all by breaking those stereotypes they may have about us.

      Also if we would let the religious right wallow in their own filth some if not all the time by taking the high road and answering with disapproval and countering with the facts, people will begin listening to us and start distancing themselves fromt them.

      We are all ambassadors to our cause, just remember that when you are out. People will make judgements about the whole of the gay people based on a sole person.

      We need to have a leaders we can all look up to, like the black community looks to MLK, and others. Do we really have someone as uniting as others have had with their own movements.

      I’ve never heard of a group of GLBT people of the Latino community hosting an openhouse in my city to educate about the gay community and about the need for respect, equal rights, tolerance, and destroying stereotypes. Same with other minority communities in my city. We need PR people!

      Jun 29, 2009 at 10:15 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TANK
      TANK

      @paulinsd:

      Okay, this is gross. Fuck you.

      Jun 29, 2009 at 10:19 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • C-Teller
      C-Teller

      @The Gay Numbers:

      What you’re saying pretty much hits the nail on the head and lots of underprivileged gays I know see it too. Notice how the talk about race, class and the image of the gay community wasn’t relevant until they felt they could use gay poc & lower class people for instance.

      However we still all benefit from the big federal gains no matter how gross the intentions are. I’m not saying the gay poc/lower class/transgender communities should put their issues on hold for them tho, do whatever you can do. Things like a fully inclusive ENDA need to pass to help everyone.

      Jun 29, 2009 at 10:19 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • The Gay Numbers
      The Gay Numbers

      @Mike L.: Thank you for having some common sense. The reason why i feel there is a sense of entitlement is exactly the reality that there are too many saying things like ‘why should we have to advertise or include them in order for them to help?” I can not imagine during Prop 8, for example, anyone saying “Let’s not advertise in any white community or any show that we know that a majority of whites watch.” Such a statement would be considered poor strategy, and yet here, when the same such comment sense is advocated with regard to race and I once again add class, what one gets is exactly that vitriol. If the goal is to persuade, it seems stupid. if the goal is to feel entitled, then it would seem offensive to say that its a part of reality that you got to include everyone.

      Jun 29, 2009 at 10:21 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mike L.
      Mike L.

      Also I think that one thing that will always set us back is the fact that there are so many gays that are racist towards others. They can’t look past the color of their skin, or the faith they have to move forward and fight for one uniting goal: EQUAL RIGHTS!

      One of the reasons I believe that the Black civil rights movement was so successful was b/c they have more things in common than we do. Those that were directly affect were all black or related to them (either by marriage or blood), most were of the same religious belive (Jesus) where as we are of all races, faiths, backgrounds etc, Many of us just can’t get past some shit to support our one cause. It makes it even harder to be united for some.

      Jun 29, 2009 at 10:23 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • C-Teller
      C-Teller

      @C-Teller:

      This should say:

      “Notice how the talk about race, class and the image of the gay community wasn’t relevant until they felt they could use gay poc & lower class people to push their agenda?”

      Jun 29, 2009 at 10:23 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mike L.
      Mike L.

      That’s our biggest challenge I think

      Uniting all of us without some being all biggots to other gays for enough time to things done.

      And gays that are upset that Obama (a black man) beat Hillary (a white woman) get the f over it and stop with those damn daddy issues that make you praise women over men over almost everything except the bedroom. Cuz I know some are pissed that a man beat Hil, and that he’s black as a kicker.

      Be HAPPY that neither McCain or Palin are in office damn it otherwise you would have more to pissed at.

      Jun 29, 2009 at 10:28 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mike L.
      Mike L.

      Soy latino by the way!!! Yay! Viva Los Estados Unidos Americanos!

      Jun 29, 2009 at 10:30 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • C-Teller
      C-Teller

      @Mike L.:

      “One of the reasons I believe that the Black civil rights movement was so successful was b/c they have more things in common than we do. Those that were directly affect were all black or related to them (either by marriage or blood), most were of the same religious belive (Jesus) where as we are of all races, faiths, backgrounds etc, Many of us just can’t get past some shit to support our one cause. It makes it even harder to be united for some.”

      do you have any idea what you’re talking about? A large amount of black people at the time wanted to keep the status quo, other groups felt there were different ways to go about black empowerment and hated MLK.

      Everyone didn’t just come together magically under Martin Luther King. His group was mature and good at organizing and rallying. He was also good at making AAs struggles look serious, something I think the gay community really lacks (along with the stuff in the sentence before this one.)

      Jun 29, 2009 at 10:32 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mike L.
      Mike L.

      C-Teller you have a great point, yeah I didn’t get too much into the civil rights stuff in school so I didn’t know they had their own struggles with power or who would carry the best msg for their people.

      I just wonder who will be our leader(s) that will guide us to the right path. Not those “leaders” that host their meetings in private and make decissions with out others in the loop or baing able to chime in.

      Jun 29, 2009 at 10:39 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Rob
      Rob

      First, I would like to say thank you Queerty for addressing more issues concerning LGBT people of color on your site as of late. I was all but ready to hang it up on this site because I felt at times some of the race bait was a bit much, but things have really turned a corner, so thank you for that.

      As for the topic at hand, it all comes back to what is the “face” of being gay, and that’s something that Queerty touched on a few weeks back. The gay elite is mainly white and male. That’s just the way it is, so whatever. However, there is a problem when that rich white gay male power structure begins to paint themselves as what is aspired to be within the community to the point of exclusion of all others. There is a reason that you can count the non-whites in any given issue of Out with one hand. What this does is give those of us LGBT people of color the idea that we’re not wanted or desirable within these circles or with those groups, so we go and create our own coalitions and organizations that are cut off from the main groups. This is ultimately damaging because two blocks within the same community that could be very powerful are essentially fighting their own battles.

      Who’s at fault? I blame the gay media which is the most responsible for this, starting with Queer as Folk (which I think maybe included 3 nonwhite guest stars in its entire run). It’s nobody’s FAULT so to speak, but we’ve created a hierarchy within the community which is damaging, unfair, unrealistic, and which will impede any type of progress that we make.

      Jun 29, 2009 at 10:51 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Anthony in Nashville
      Anthony in Nashville

      As a black gay man I understand what the article is saying but being bitter is not productive.

      Since the focus of the article seems to be marriage, I think it should be noted that there are many LGBTs of all races who feel gay marriage should not be the primary goal right now. I think gays with money decided that was what they wanted, and they used their connections and money to make that the primary issue.

      If you are more concerned with employment protections, HIV, immigration, or another issue, there are organizations devoted to those causes. You’ve got to decide what your primary interests are and determine what your level of participation is going to be.

      Instead of arguing against the White Gay Agenda, we need to organize our own community. Do we have a Black Gay Agenda? There seemed to be one in the early 90s headed by Essex Hemphill and Joseph Beam, but we’ve become fractured and disorganized since their deaths. I think a major problem is that we don’t know what we want, and are too scared to do agitate on our behalf. Look at how many people are still waiting on/begging Keith Boykin to “lead” us, instead of trying to step up ourselves.

      We know that the “mainstream” LGBT community, just like the “mainstream” society at large, is not able to effectively address issues of particular interest to black gays. Some of it is blatant neglect/disrespect, some of it is benign ignorance or lack of understanding because they don’t have the proper perspective to understand the issue. We have to do the work ourselves and not expect others to do the work or cater to us. The National Black Justice Coalition is the only national group focused on black LGBTs that I’m aware of, and they seem to be having problems.

      Jun 29, 2009 at 11:07 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Brian Miller
      Brian Miller

      I have witnessed, repeatedly, racism in the white gay community, and I have, repeatedly, posted about that here.

      There is no “white gay community.”

      There are lots of gay people, of different races and other backgrounds, who have flaws.

      Yes, there are racists like that jackass drag queen in blackface down in Atlanta, and Jasmyne Cannick (yes, she’s a racist too).

      There’s also anti-semitism. Shall Jewish queer folks decry the “Gentile Gay Community agenda?”

      I’ve encountered classism. Should blue-collar gays condemn “the Bourgeois Gay community?”

      There’s also ageism. What about the “Young Gay community” and its “agenda?”

      Let’s not forget the severe body dysmorphia promoted by popular gay male culture and even this blog. Shouldn’t the “Athletic Gay community” be challenged?

      How about the urban/suburban/rural divides?

      Or the coast versus heartland gay community divides?

      Or the east coast versus the west coast?

      What about the polyamourous versus the monogamous versus the trick-turners?

      You can subdivide all you want, and it all means fuck-all.

      The reality is, a large number of LGBT people are not receiving their 14th amendment rights under the Constitution to equal protection under the law. Whether YOU want to get married or sponsor a partner for immigration or adopt a child or collect Social Security is really immaterial.

      If you’re someone who believes in the basic tenets of this country, you support those goals. If, on the other hand, you buy into the culture of victimhood, you wheedle about how it’s less important than your latest entitlement program du jour due to what some nameless, faceless “community of others” did to you.

      Beware… for most people who would attempt to play in the Oppression Olympics wouldn’t even qualify for the semi-finals, let alone make gold.

      It’s up to you to decide whether you’re part of the solution, or just someone who is creating new problems.

      Jun 29, 2009 at 11:25 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • RainaWeather
      RainaWeather

      @The Gay Numbers: I know what you mean, I’ve definitely experienced both soft homophobia and soft racism. My personal favorite line is, “You’re like the coolest Black person I know.” And it really did prepare me for the more subtle homophobia.

      Jun 29, 2009 at 11:37 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • The Gay Numbers
      The Gay Numbers

      @C-Teller: I agree that we all gain. That’s a different issue. The issue here is whether do people perceive of that gain or not when they are being excluded? That exclusion brings up hurt in other ways, pain causes people to ignore what may otherwise be beneficial to them. That’s not different for black gays than I imagine it is for white gays. The problem with white gays is that they place an emphasis on white while pretending they are not doing so, which also is too similar to what white straights do regarding race.

      Jun 29, 2009 at 11:38 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Brian Miller
      Brian Miller

      @The Gay Numbers: The problem with white gays is that they place an emphasis on white while pretending they are not doing so

      Says who?

      I’ve been involved in any number of gay events and organizations in several major US cities, and not once has a single individual been turned away or excluded on account of his or her race.

      There’s a difference between “being excluded” and “deciding not to participate.” Individuals like Jasmyne Cannick and Sidney Brinkley are in the latter category — seeing racist bogeymen where there are none, and making their fears of segregation a reality through complete disengagement with anybody who doesn’t fit into their tidy little “black/white” racial dichotomy.

      Jun 29, 2009 at 11:45 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • The Gay Numbers
      The Gay Numbers

      @RainaWeather: For me, I read the post at John Avarosis site (not that he’s very good on race, but that is another discussion for another day) about political homophobia. I have said that it does not matter whether President Obama is homophobic or not. Just like it didnot matte for Jim Crow whether most whites were racist or not. It is whether through his inaction he continues the bigotry through the laws that now exist. Of course, some are just happy (as are the Clintonites) to just hear pretty words of support. I am a more expensive trick than that. To me, that’s just a subtle form of bigotry.

      I call this sublet form of bigotry the “You should be happy we even aknowledge you exist” type of homophobia (and racism when it occurs)

      My response: Yeah, why is that? Why the fuck shouldn’t you treat an equal like he or she exists, and once more, give them what they are due by being born in this country? Once you don’t think them for the cracker crumbs then, of course, you are being “uppidity.”

      It is not surprising they believe this. There are a plenty of gay people willing to tell them “thank you, thank you for aknowlege, hmmm, that’s best meal I ever had that bread crumb you threw me.” THis is the political lesson that they could learn from people of color who have already been through this. They would kn ow how to respond to it rather than just ignore it or talk in uneffective terms about it.

      Jun 29, 2009 at 11:52 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • The Gay Numbers
      The Gay Numbers

      @Brian Miller: There is also a difference between saying one is excluded verbally (which would get you into a lot law suits) and making it clear someone is not wanted in a de facto manner.

      Case and point- Prop 8. I know of several black gay activist who wrote stories after because of their frustration during the lead up to Prop 8’s passage in which they were ignored although they desperately tried to reach out to the main organization. finally, in desperate one black lesbian made up her own signs and walked around the neighborhoods of harlem with a few friends to try to get out the word against Prop 8. There are too many stories like this. did they say you aren’t wanted? No. They simply conveyed it through unwillingess to really listen. I have personal stories from 2004 of having to deal with similar here in NYC. So you can peddle what you are selling to so eone who has not been through it.

      Jun 29, 2009 at 11:56 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • The Gay Numbers
      The Gay Numbers

      @Brian Miller: by the way, I like how you choose to use Jasmine, but she’s an idiot. The people who say the same things are people like Pam at Pam’s House of Blend, whom I respect immensely. And Rod, who i respect less, but still think its on the up and up. I see my experiences repeated over and over again. I read about the experience of the people of color activists in CA repeated over and over again. When you see it this much- it is not just something I am making up. It’s something that’s wide spread enough to be a problem.

      Jun 29, 2009 at 11:58 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • AlwaysGay
      AlwaysGay

      *ROLL EYES* This tirade like all the other ones like it are really meant to beat up on white gay people, degrade the gay civil rights movement and redirect attention to black issues. Notice how at the end of the article Sidney notes all the issues we should focus on, they are all black issues like high crime and public education not gay issues. It took about 50 years from the time Susan B. Anthony voted to the time women were allowed to vote legally. It’s been about 40 years since a gay couple challenged the law to gain legal recognition of their marriage. The reason marriage and every other gay right are an issue now is because heterosexual politicians have blocked them. There is a log jam of gay rights legislation on the national, state and local levels. The Employment Non-Discrimination Act has been stalled for more than 30 years by Congress.

      The feeling of exclusion is largely black gay people’s doing. Practically every gay event, organization and resource is located in a city. Cities have large populations of non-white people which means non-white gays have easy access to these resources compared to the majority of white gay people who live outside of cities. Last year a black gay activist was invited to speak at an event in Las Vegas (where he lives). When the black gay activist walked in the room and saw that the audience was mostly white he left and never spoke at the event. (Mind you a Latino gay and a Native American gay were also speakers and a good portion of the audience was Latino) The event was open to the public, it happened that the vast majority of those that showed up were white. In Atlanta two years ago there was a gay parenting seminar and only three black people showed up, the rest of the audience was white. This in a city with the largest black gay pride event in the country. There was a question and answer period after the seminar and all three black people asked questions about racism instead of gay parenting. After Prop 8 passed in California there were many protest marches throughout California, usually in cities, and out of the thousands of people who attended each I could count on my hands the number of blacks marching. The fact is non-white gays are much less likely to participate in gay activities than white gay people are.

      g: The University of Colorado Health Sciences Center found 98% of boys were molested by heterosexuals and 99.6% of girls were molested by heterosexuals. In a University of Chicago study heterosexual molesters were found to be violent toward their victim(s) while gay molesters were not.

      Jun 30, 2009 at 12:00 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Tom in Lazybrook
      Tom in Lazybrook

      @Movement Guy:

      You were upset that the Transgendered, Sex Radicals, etc. are not being included. Can you please expand upon your complaints?

      Are you upset that organizations largely funded and staffed by the ‘traditional/mainstream’ Gays don’t embrace your agenda as strongly as you would?

      What would be your resolution to not feeling included? Do you want board seats? Control of the agenda and the budgets of these groups?

      Just curious. Also, what are the objectives of the ‘sex radicals’ anyway.

      Jun 30, 2009 at 12:12 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Brian Miller
      Brian Miller

      @The Gay Numbers: I know of several black gay activist who wrote stories after because of their frustration during the lead up to Prop 8’s passage in which they were ignored although they desperately tried to reach out to the main organization.

      I know several activists who tell similar stories who were white, Asian, Libertarian and a number of other various categories too. It speaks to the ineffectiveness of the centrally-managed, closed processes rather than any sort of general racism.

      They’re just as elitist and closed to the so-called “White Gays” as they are to anybody else. The mistake is making the decision to rant about a “White Agenda” rather than seek common ground with people who ARE willing to work with you.

      California seems to uniquely suffer from this problem… moreso than most major eastern cities, where diversity is taken for granted. Then again, Philadelphia and Baltimore aren’t “A List” cities.

      I read about the experience of the people of color activists in CA repeated over and over again.

      Don’t extrapolate from California to the entire country. California is a uniquely fucked-up place that’s awfully pretentious about how cool and leading edge and progressive it is, but when given the opportunity to prove it, typically fails. Further, California’s minority community leaders have a tendency to self-segregate and then express shock when that self-segregation results in their isolation from the broader community they separated themselves from (and I’m not just talking gay stuff here).

      I personally don’t subscribe to segregationism. I don’t buy it for Zionism (something that gets me in trouble with a lot of the family), for gay ghettos, nor for racial stuff. We’re all human beings, and efforts to try and separate us based on something as superficial as skin color is in direct contravention to King’s dream that people be “judged not by the color of their skin but the content of their character.”

      Pam Spaulding also is a bit curious to be claiming exclusion — I struggle to think of another woman who has more political influence and “bully pulpit” than her in gay politics. Again, maybe it’s a symptom of regional cultures — while California is faux-progressive and superficial, North Carolina is a historically “Jim Crow” state.

      Jun 30, 2009 at 12:16 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • RainaWeather
      RainaWeather

      @Brian Miller: Somehow, I knew you’d reference MLK. It’s the ultimate I’m-Not-A-Bigot tactic. Second only to having black/gay friends.

      Jun 30, 2009 at 12:48 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Brian Miller
      Brian Miller

      Yeah, because refusing to group people into racial categories and talk about “the Black Agenda” and “the White Agenda” makes one a raging bigot.

      Damn, when did self-segregation and fomenting racial stereotypes become “progressive?” How fucked up has this country become?

      Jun 30, 2009 at 12:59 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • An Other Greek
      An Other Greek

      “It’s up to you to decide whether you’re part of the solution, or just someone who is creating new problems.”

      New? To whom? You?

      I have witnessed racism with white gays, particularly when in their comfort zone. Way too many times. Please.

      Why deny it. It exists as caricature as well as realpolitic. Let’s deal with it.

      Most of the other concerns you mentioned, in order to trivialize, are actually real, as well. But don’t confuse things.

      Thee doth protest a lot, but why?

      ——————————————————————-

      Jun 30, 2009 at 1:17 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • The Gay Numbers
      The Gay Numbers

      @Brian Miller: MLK did not believe what you describe. You show your complete ignorance. Being able to see differences is not the dirty word that you seem to think it is. It has a value to it that you will never understand. What make you a softcore bigot is the pretense that if blacks are not a part of your organization it has nothing to do with your own actions in the matter. It’s all on them for not going where they are made to feel uncomfortable. This is why gays flock to gay ghettos- because they too like to feel uncomfortable about who they are.

      Jun 30, 2009 at 1:18 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Brian Miller
      Brian Miller

      @The Gay Numbers:

      Sorry, you’re wrong.

      If you assign an “agenda” to someone based on the color of his skin, you’re judging him by the color of his skin and not the content of his character.

      Black people are an active part of every gay organization I’m a member of… then again, we focus on gay rights as a human rights issue, rather than trying to ascribe motives to people based solely on skin color.

      And finally, self-segregation is the opposite of diversity. Gay people who crowd into the Castro seek homogeneity, not diversity. Ditto for those who insist that they cannot work with people who are different from them when it comes to race or any other characteristic.

      Tossing around vapid PCisms like “bigot” isn’t really going to be a conversation-stopper, because I reject the notion that one’s blackness, or Jewishness, or gayness, or what-have-you automatically assigns him/her an “agenda.” And I don’t see any serious, mainstream grassroots organizations that suffer from a dearth of involvement from all parts of the community.

      The organizations you’re complaining about in California exclude most people who want to get involved, since it’s a clique of connected folks mostly from LA and SF. They’re hardly reflective of the LGBT community and poor evidence of “endemic racism.”

      Jun 30, 2009 at 1:30 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Brian Miller
      Brian Miller

      @An Other Greek: I have witnessed racism with white gays, particularly when in their comfort zone. Way too many times. Please.
      Why deny it

      Who is denying that racism exists? I certainly didn’t.

      I’m challenging the absurd notion that there’s a “White Gay agenda” and a “Black Gay agenda.” THAT was the original thesis.

      In addition, if individuals who see “agenda” conspiracies urge their fellow travelers not to get involved and to avoid grassroots involvement, then a lack of representation becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

      It’s a bit like urging gay people to cease voting and then complaining that the gay community has no political clout in elections — and blaming it exclusively on homophobia.

      There are plenty of grassroots groups who are advancing LGBT issues across the board for everyone. Refusing to join in coalition with fellow LGBT people based on the color of their skin is NOT progressive, period. Opposing such divisiveness is a progressive position.

      Jun 30, 2009 at 1:34 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • An Other Greek
      An Other Greek

      I agree with most of your last post.

      But I think the writer of the blogpost was not suggesting self-inflicted exclusion or passivity. I think the suggestion was withdrawal and reorganization…

      ————————————————————-

      Jun 30, 2009 at 2:14 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • The Gay Numbers
      The Gay Numbers

      @Brian Miller: The interesting part is you think I have an agenda. My only agenda is to see the gay civil rights movement suceed for everyone. Yours is to pretend there are no problems within groups that are mostly gay white men as having any problems with diversity. That it’s all the gay people of color, and indeed, low income gay people’s fault that these groups are not more inclusive. This is the heart of how de facto discrimination in straight white communities happened. “Me a bigot?” No, I am nice to all people of color. Except the intertia in which on a consistent basis people of color are ignored as are low income people. I don’t give a shit about your organization. We are discussing general trends. If you can’t do that without personal attribution then you will never undrstand the overall thesis. Look what you did with CA, for example. Rather than admitting that maybe this is a bigger trend than you would like to believ,e you say “yes, well that’s the exception.” And there in lies the problem. If you have to pretend that it’s the exception, that says more about your issues with race, than mine. I don’t have any with race other than i don’t feel the need to pretend that racial issues exist when trying to create a larger coalition. And as for your organization not having any racial problem- yeah- I am not buying that based on your representng the organization here.

      Jun 30, 2009 at 2:34 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • The Gay Numbers
      The Gay Numbers

      @Brian Miller: By way, I have an example of a friend who works in a super diverse school in which they were doing a program on minority business owners, but the all white selection commit never thought to hire any minority busines owners to act as professors. This is the mindset that I see with you. That you think that you are avoiding the issue by pretending its not there. ALl you are doing is pointing out how messed up you on the issue.

      Jun 30, 2009 at 2:36 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jeffrey
      Jeffrey

      Brian Miller has written some excellent posts on this thread.
      The only thing I could add is that gaining rights for GLBT people of all colors, classes and categories is the goal of every organization. No matter who is doing the work, the benefits are going to be enjoyed by all. Nobody is asking for job protection or marriage rights or hate crime legislation just for the “WHITE GAYS”. What nonsense.
      People of color already have laws that protect them from discrimination and make them equal citizens. That does not eliminate racism, unfortunately, but it does make life a hell of lot better in so many ways. GLBT citizens have no such protections at the federal level and that is what we ALL are fighting for. Let’s try to keep our eyes on that prize.

      Jun 30, 2009 at 2:55 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • The Gay Numbers
      The Gay Numbers

      @Jeffrey: If you think exluding others is good work then you are as clueless as he is and as dangerous to your own cause.

      Jun 30, 2009 at 8:32 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jason
      jason

      I think it is exceptionally important for the gay rights movement to be free of racism in how it presents itself to the public. Of course, it would help if more blacks were friendly to the gay rights cause.

      Jun 30, 2009 at 8:49 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jaroslaw
      Jaroslaw

      The Gay Numbers – I’ve read a lot of your posts and agreed with almost all of them. I also agree that race cannot be ignored. But from all the mountains of reading I’ve read about the prop 8 campaign, LOTS of people were ignored, lots of good ideas went unheeded, lots of outreach wasn’t conducted.

      Not to mention huge numbers of Whites are unhappy with HRC and all the other mainstream groups “run by Whites.” What does that say?

      Brian Miller seems very reasonable to me and while you may have legitimate issues on some minor points, he hardly sounds like a White supremacist and/or a person with a “White agenda” to me.

      I’ve gone to many events & groups where all members were my own race. Guess what? we still have lots and lots of disagreements. Politics is played and manipulation is the order of the day. That seems to be a human tendency of all organizations.

      I have also been to many Gay events and I’ve never seen where anyone of any race was “not wanted” or disrespected. Equal opportunity (while I acknowledge it doesn’t always exist) does not mean equal results.

      It is most unfortunate racial discussions end up this way – I agree with another poster that it seems to be injected to sabotage the goal of Gay equality.

      Jun 30, 2009 at 9:55 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cam
      Cam

      @a. mcewen: you said “Some of you don’t want to talk about race. You claim that interjecting race into this thing impedes progress. Rather than getting defensive, you really do need to listen. I agree with the statements. If this is a movement for all lgbts, then all lgbts need to be listened to and acknowledged. That’s what it’s about.

      For the record, lgbts of color have been doing a lot for lgbts equality but you never hear about it. And THAT my friends is the point. A good point is an article I read in the American Prospect that says lgbts of color are taking the lead in the lgbt equality struggle in Washington, D.C.: ”
      ________________________________________________________________

      Gee, that could be because DC is a majority black city. It’s a numbers game, if you are running an organization locally in DC chances are you will have black leadership and high black membership. It’s the same with the Mayor of DC, our Congressional Rep and our city council.

      Jun 30, 2009 at 10:21 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Daniel
      Daniel

      The reality is that the white gay community cannot do certain things for the black gay community.

      The black gay community HAS TO COME OUT OF THE CLOSET. Whites cannot do that for them. Until more black gays come out and deal with their families and friends more truthfully and openly then the black gay community will continue to suffer more than the white gay community. The HIV/AIDS prevalence among the black gay community is a direct result of more black gays NOT COMING OUT. Just like heteros, gays more often than not have sex with people of the same race. When so many black gays are closeted, they are not getting STD prevention education and in a closed circle this means the fast spread of STDs like HIV/AIDS.

      It is everyone’s responsibility to help get the message out about safe sex, yet there are some things that people have to do for themselves. Coming out of the closet is one of them. There are some great black-run gay organizations that attempt to educate and empower in the USA and the black gay and allied community needs to support them by simply showing up to their functions and learning about them (volunteering is often more important than providing money to organizations).

      Black LGBT people need to be out and proud for each other and to provide examples for straight LGBT black people. White people cannot do that for them. Is it scary to be out and proud? It can be but the more people in the black community who are the easier it becomes for others. It should be of great concern to all that many black gay and bi males have grown so accustom to living double lives that it is costing them their lives along with others. The white community can help by getting the word out that LGBT people belong to all races, nationalities, and ethnicities. And should encourage everyone to come out and live authentically.

      Jun 30, 2009 at 12:48 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jaroslaw
      Jaroslaw

      The Gay Numbers – you’ve really piqued my curiousity – that friend of yours who works in a super diverse school district that the all White selection committee didn’t pick any minority business owners to act as professors? What was the official explanation for that?

      You know, we can trade stories too. I worked for twenty years with an all Black group, I was the only White there. But nothing will be gained, except to feed resentment and one-upmanship so I won’t.

      Jun 30, 2009 at 1:11 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • The Gay Numbers
      The Gay Numbers

      @Jaroslaw: I don’t have a problem admitting there are a lot of groups excluded. hence if you have read my comments , I mention one other one- that of economic classes. The point is not that others are not excluded. It is to point out there is a problem of exclusion in the gay community.

      Jun 30, 2009 at 1:22 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • The Gay Numbers
      The Gay Numbers

      @Daniel: No one is asking the white gay community to do anything for the black gay community. it is saying provide the resources that comes from fundraising. the reality is also that money and resources aer denied to the people of color and low income gay communities who are queer. I have a friend who focuses on this issue, from AIDs to any number of other programs, the disparities are incredible. WE should not pretend otherwise.

      Jun 30, 2009 at 1:24 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • The Gay Numbers
      The Gay Numbers

      @Jaroslaw: it came down to myopic thinking. They thought they could discuss the subject, and were looking for the most “qualified.” My friend says it was ironic because it is a bit bizare to think one is qualified to discuss people of color entrepreneurs without having any people of color wo were actual entrepreuneurs to shape the program. I am not making excuses for black exclusiveness either. I am saying that we can not solve any problem by pretennd there isn’t one, which is what several posters here did. “Race problem, what race problem?” is not a license to finding a soution.

      Jun 30, 2009 at 1:27 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • drunker
      drunker

      So where was the official black gay response to the gay exorcism story a few days ago?

      Jun 30, 2009 at 1:32 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • JPie612
      JPie612

      @Daniel: Please sir don’t do us no favors, we’s just too ascared right now to escape from the underground closet. I can’t believe Queerty re-posted you man. I’m really laughing at all the blatant racism in these comments. Paulinsd was particularly funny. You are all proving the point that racism plays a part in the gay movement. Let’s stop pointing fingers at one another and acknowledge a few things, shall we? 1. The gay movement has alienated several different groups with their narrowly focused agenda, that includes races, cultures and socio-economic classes. 2. Black people do need to come out of the closet but they don’t need to be pushed out. Because of the structure of the Black and Latino counter-public, it IS harder for a lot of Blacks/Latinos to come out of the closet. There aren’t as many resources or support systems. If we expect someone to risk losing their family, friends, etc. we need to be ready to back them up. We will not make progress until we recognize that there are other things in play than them just being LGBT. 3. Wake up! You live in the US. Race/Class/Age/Gender will play a part in every step you take. The original post author was right; there should have been a discussion of where the gay rights movement was going to put their energy behind. Honestly, and I don’t care if people don’t like me for this, Marriage is not the priority and pursuing that predominately alienates the rest of the young, middle-lower income, LGBT people of color or otherwise. I’m glad this dialogue is up however, it will show a neutral reader exactly how much racism still exists in our country and how far we still have to go. It seems at the end of the day, the only color that matters is green.

      Jun 30, 2009 at 1:57 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jaroslaw
      Jaroslaw

      #73 – I know that unfair things happen, but was your friend in on the decision making? It seems amazing that one would WANT minority business owners in that project. Was there any fallout? IE NO ONE else besides your friend found it odd that minority business owners were found to be “less” qualified?

      Getting back to the point at hand, Queerty loaded the question by assuming “White leaders” excluded “Blacks” and I don’t think that is happening. Which is a completely different point to pretend there is no race problem whatsoever. I mean just a few days ago there was a huge discussion about why there is no single Gay spokesperson. So one could hardly say ALL or MOST White leaders excluded anyone….

      Jun 30, 2009 at 2:04 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jaroslaw
      Jaroslaw

      Sorry, mean to say in my second sentence “it seems amazing that minority business owners were not included in the project”

      Jun 30, 2009 at 2:05 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • The Gay Numbers
      The Gay Numbers

      @Jaroslaw: Yes, my friend told them they screwed up, and their response was similar to here. White people do not like to be told about their racial issues. Thus, although even with a given situation like this where you would want minority input, they felt like my friend was being “belligerent” (one of the foremost scholars in his field in the world) because he said that they were constructing the program wrong. Even when it comes to things about race, that’s how deep the sense of entitlement to do whatever one wants when one is white comes into play. If you want to understand a similar dynamic, think about how many straight people think they know what it means to be gay because they have watched Will and Grace and know all the cliches. It’s not different regarding race.

      Jun 30, 2009 at 3:49 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • eagledancer4444
      eagledancer4444

      Having worked on a national level, I thought I’d add a couple of observations:

      A) In the “early” days of HIV/AIDS, in an attempt to do outreach to its diverse populations, the state of California took the materials developed for the White Gay community and translated them into 19 different languages. Not having people from the various communities involved in the planning, this well meant outreach didn’t take into consideration the fact that one is fluent in, say, Laotian, doesn’t mean one is LITERATE in the same language. Also, the way in which one publicly discusses issues of sexuality differs in other languages and cultures, so a direct translation from English doesn’t always work.

      B) I was often told, usually in an exasperated manner, “Well, we TRIED to do outreach to THOSE PEOPLE. We publicized our meetings in the major urban newspaper, and no one from that group showed up. It just shows how little they care about such things. If they really thought this was important, they’d be here, but they aren’t, so they obviously don’t care.”

      One of the things I tried to teach my college students–People tend to use the arguments that would convince themselves, rather than the arguments that will convince people who are on an opposing side.

      There are fundamental marketing issues to be considered about how to do appropriate outreach to various members of the GLBTQTS communities. What would attract your attention in a major urban newspaper, or a website that primarily features White Gay shaved and “ripped” young males as eyecandy, might not be what gets the attention of others who need to be informed of issues that impact lives in the more generalized community. Just so, the best way back home to publicize something is to post it on the wall of the trading post on the reservation. Works well back home, but it wouldn’t go over so well for most of the readers of Queerty.

      Jun 30, 2009 at 3:50 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • strumpetwindsock
      strumpetwindsock

      @eagledancer4444:
      Off topic a bit, but there was something you wrote in another thread that made me want to point out an upcoming podcast to you:

      http://www.cbc.ca/ideas/podcast.html

      It’s the “aboriginals and new canadians” one which will be up on the site for one month after July 13. It was broadcast on the radio last week.
      In a nutshell, John Ralston Saul’s thesis is that the foundation of our political culture is more native than european. Part of that, he says, is seen in how new immigrants integrate into our society.

      Anyway, excuse the interruption.

      Jun 30, 2009 at 4:16 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Rob
      Rob [Different person #1 using similar name]

      @Daniel: Um, plenty of black LGBT people are out. I’m one and in NYC alone, there is a VAST network of out black LGBT people doing all kinds of things. We have our own magazines/blogs/shows/etc. (check out thebleumag.com and swervmag.com, both run by OUT gay black men) that came from the lack of OUR representation in the mainstream gay community. The “well gay people aren’t out” excuse doesn’t really fly anymore when you’ve got blogs like rod2.0 or Living Out Loud with Darian or Pam’s House Blend or out black LGBT people like RuPaul, Keith Boykin, etc., etc. You don’t know about these networks or these people because they’re mostly ignored by the mainstream gay media, who tends to throw out the weak excuse of “not out” to justify their treatment of out black LGBTs. I mean, look at the shameful way the cast of Noah’s Arc was treated at the GLAAD awards last year. Your argument is trash, and people like you make it while you write “whites/latins only” on your craigslist ads, ignore POCs at the bars, exclude us from organizations, etc., etc. I have plenty of LGBT friends of all colors, and thank god they aren’t as misguided as you.

      And as a sociologist, let me relieve you of your misguided idea that closeted blacks are the reason for the HIV/AIDS crisis within the community. For many, many years HIV/AIDS prevention messages were tailored exclusively to the white gay community, and they became the face of the disease. Organizations like ACT Up and the like recognized what an issue HIV/AIDS was and made vast strides in curbing it in that community while the black community (which had its own problems here) ignored it as a “white gay disease”. Fast-forward 20 years, and while it has curbed off in the gay population it has exploded in the black community because prevention efforts within that community are sadly still in their infancy.

      In short, you need to stop getting your information about black gays from articles about “the DL” and step into the real world.

      Jun 30, 2009 at 4:33 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Rob
      Rob [Different person #1 using similar name]

      @drunker: My guess is that if you knew where to look, you would’ve seen a host of different responses (and BTW, there is no more an “official” black gay response to this as there was an “official” white gay response to anything else). Obviously Queerty.com and Towleroad aren’t a good place to start.

      Jun 30, 2009 at 4:50 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Daniel
      Daniel

      @JP612: You obviously don’t have a clue how many black gay organizations have folded because they did not receive any support from the black gay community. Also, anyone who comes out risks losing family and friends regardless of their race so to whine about it is ridiculous and simply another excuse not to do it. There are plenty of places in the USA without any support whatsoever and yet others come out. You assume everyone is white who holds the black community responsible for their own coming out. That shows how racist you are. You don’t see Asians, Pacific Islanders, and Native Americans making excuses.

      Jul 1, 2009 at 3:12 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • The Gay Numbers
      The Gay Numbers

      @drunker: Pam’s House of Blend- written by a black lesbian out of NC wrote extensively about the issue. Her site is well known. Surprised you have never heard of it considering the hostility in your post.

      Jul 1, 2009 at 3:14 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • The Gay Numbers
      The Gay Numbers

      follow- queerty haas extensively quoted house of blend. so again surprised you did not know she was a black lesbian covering gay issues and politics. my guess, although i have no looked, is you will also find it on rod 2.0 which was recently featured in advocate as one of the top gay blogs online.

      Jul 1, 2009 at 3:16 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TANK
      TANK

      Oh tiny dancer.

      Jul 1, 2009 at 3:23 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mike K
      Mike K

      As far as I know there’s no big conspiracy preventing black people from doing anything. Do they need some sort of engraved invitation?

      Jul 1, 2009 at 8:23 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mike K
      Mike K

      No more: “This is the agenda. Follow it.”
      No more: “We’re having a march. Show up.”

      What a load. So some people were working hard for your rights and they didn’t “reach out” to your lazy ass sitting at home. Boo fucking hoo pal. If we all sat around waiting for people like you nothing would ever get done.

      Jul 1, 2009 at 8:48 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • JPie612
      JPie612

      @Daniel: No one was making excuses Daniel. That’s just like saying, “People are poor because of their low moral values and poor choices” Secondly, as a black person – not that I felt I had to reveal that about myself for your validation but – I am out and have been working to provide support to Blacks, Latinos and Asians who have trouble coming out. What you’re failing to realize is that there are cultural differences and it IS arguably harder for many people of color to come out. They don’t all have the resources to support themselves if they are disowned, which happens a lot of the time. Yes, if there were more out LGBT people of color it would be easier but that’s something for the LGBT people of color to work out and not for you to criticize. Let me ask you this, what have you done today to affect change for the world? Or are your rants about what Black people aren’t doing your only input?

      Jul 1, 2009 at 9:44 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jaroslaw
      Jaroslaw

      #79 I am amazed, but not terribly surprised. But I’m thinking back to an organization that I gave many years to. I got tired of being the dissenting voice and so I quit. However, if I had built a coaltion to oppose the majority then maybe I would have gotten somewhere.

      I totally understand your analogy about straight folk watching Will & Grace but I wonder if your friend had (respectfully) requested a meeting with the all White selection committee and brought say 10 minority business owners with him to offer to participate what would have happened?

      While I agree no one likes to be told they are wrong, short sighted, prejudiced etc., I don’t think it is all discrimination. MOST people of all races take the path of least resistance. If the White selection committee had connections to pull off the program without doing the hard work of connecting to the minority culture(s) that may just make them lazy not something more.

      Or it could be something else. A certain segment of the minority community where I live complains a lot about being left out; yet when the library has programs to address them, widely publicized, we get about 8 – 10 people who show up. And God bless, they are usually the elders bringing their young grandchildren, not the group that needs to be reached.

      Jul 1, 2009 at 11:46 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Larry
      Larry

      @JPie612: A lot of these “cultural differences” you mention that make coming out more difficult for people of color aren’t differences at all. There was a time when white gay people who came out also lacked the resources to take care of themselves if (when) they were disowned by their families.

      Cleve Jones was living on the street in Castro and selling himself when Harvey Milk met him, and a lot of people at the Stonewall riots were homeless or otherwise economically insecure as well. Even today, a lot of white gay teenagers who are thrown out of their homes end up homeless.

      Jul 1, 2009 at 6:27 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • The Gay Numbers
      The Gay Numbers

      @Jaroslaw: My friend is mild mannered. It was not how he talked. It was what he said. As I said, people don’t like hearing about thier issues with race. His only mistake was pointing out that a program about minority enterpreurs should include people of color in the teaching positions.

      Jul 2, 2009 at 3:31 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • The Gay Numbers
      The Gay Numbers

      @Jaroslaw: Incidentally, his is not the only story I can tell. The reality is simply that many do not feel comfortable, even now, about race unless its presented in the President Obama, “magic negro” (white attitude about the perfect minority), kind of way. You can not discuss even concretely here the importantce, on just a practical level, of reaching out to people of color without attitude being flung. We are just taling outreach. It’s like saying outreach to any other community. Yet that idea is so radical its met with hostility. What does that tell you?

      Jul 2, 2009 at 3:35 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jaroslaw
      Jaroslaw

      93/94 – I really hear you but you don’t seem to be hearing me. I didn’t say anything about HOW your friend talked; but you already said people don’t like hearing they are wrong; and we know the selection committee was all White – what would have happened if your friend offered solutions (bringing 10 or 20 or 50 minority business owners to a meeting?) instead of simply pointing out what was wrong? (and you and I already agree since I accept your statements, that it was wrong.)

      And I have other stories also.

      However, since as I’ve already mentioned racial posts are a no-win situation, what to do ultimately? One gets the impression that the White power structure is immovable; prejudice is everywhere, discrimination is rampant – nothing can be done apparently, so I guess there is no point to talk any further about it?

      Jul 2, 2009 at 8:08 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Clem Dane
      Clem Dane

      Let’s see, a gay rights group puts ads out everywhere that they’re having a meeting to organize about X issue. They put the flyers and ads all over everywhere in newspapers, online, etc. The day of the meeting only white people show up. Then people of color say the gay rights group excludes them. Well, show up for the goddamn meetings! But, the people of color say, they didn’t get a specially engraved invitation telling them that they specifically were wanted, so they didn’t come. Scenario two: a few people of color do come to the meetings, but they are not interested in getting the gay rights message out. The white gays can handle that part. No, the gay people of color want to make sure the gay rights event devotes equal time on the podium to racism. Yes, the gay rights rally should be 50% gay rights and 50% rights for people of color. You know, kind of like the way it was at the Million Man March?

      Jul 13, 2009 at 3:13 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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