Is Wanda Sykes Right When She Says Being Gay Is Harder Than Being Black?

“To a certain point, yes. I believe [it’s harder to be gay than black]. I’m not talking about the history of African-Americans. Today. I’m talking about at this point right now. I don’t know of organizations and groups like Focus on the Family and such anti-gay organizations who are putting so much money, millions and millions of dollars, into stopping me from being black or telling me that I can’t exercise my blackness or whatever. So it is. There’s no equality, there’s no equality for the LGBT community.”

— Lesbian comedienne Wanda Sykes (a recent Los Angeles LGBT honoree) talking to CNN’s Piers Morgan about her coming out and Weinergate among other things.

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  • christopher di spirito

    I’ll have to take her word for it. Since she’s both: black and gay, she has a unique perspective I don’t have.

  • TheRealAdam

    She’s so right. Even though the experience isn’t mine, it’s nice to hear this perspective from a black lesbian. She’s an incredibly valuable asset to our community as we fight to bridge the gap between gays and racial minorities, specifically blacks. Blacks tend to think being black is the hardest thing in the world, and that belief often goes unquestioned when it comes to discussions on gay civil rights “vs.” black civil rights. Wanda gives a different perspective, and that’s powerful. More gay people of color need to speak up so that this dialogue can take place. She’s very brave.

  • ewe

    The fact that she is being interviewed and reduced to answering questions about her sexual orientation speaks volumes. Would a black person ever be subjected to having to discuss the politics of color to someone like Piers Morgan? He wouldn’t dare even go there. This is exactly what i mean by the straight white male labeling everyone else that is different from him so as not to identify himself. Or maybe i should say it is the straight white male identifying everyone else that is different from him so as not to label himself. Either way, Piss off Piers Morgan. You just plain ol fucking suck. Period.

  • Blake White

    Perhaps being gay is indeed a lot harder than being a BLACK CELEBRITY MILLIONAIRE. As such, being an upper/middle-class straight white man is probably a lot harder than being a BLACK CELEBRITY MILLIONAIRE.

  • Damon

    Treatment of homosexuals is comparible of treatment of blacks in the 50’s, although not as bad clearly. If you examine the acceptance of both parties at present, it’s clear that homosexuality is harder, however when you look back at the struggles for acceptance from both parties, being black has been much harder.

  • Kieran

    Why question Wanda Syke’s forthright statement that in her opinion being gay is harder than being black at this point in time? How about just commending her for her courage and honesty in speaking truth to power? No doubt she’ll get a lot of negative flack over this in black and religious circles. Gays should have her back about this, but will they?

  • David Ehrenstein

    Speaking as somone who is both gay and black, she’s absolutely right. If you’re black you may be rejected by white society but you always have your family to fall back on. If you’re gay you won’t even have that.

  • James

    I have to say I disagree with her I think that as bad as it is that we can’t marry who we want gay people don’t have to sit on the back of the bus,gay people are not rejected for jobs the second a person sees there face.I think you can never say that being gay is worst because if I didn’t tell you I was gay you would not know but when you see me you see black.

  • IAbuseGays

    Well, thank God for the Oppression Olympics for clearing up which is “worse” because we all can know each others suffering like that.

    Seriously, I love Wanda. I am black and gay too. But, she and those along this thread agreeing with her are full of shit.

    You can only speak for yourself and your life experiences on this subject. No one else.

    For the record, between the two- its hard to know which is better or worse. Its comparing apples to oranges as far as how each has affected by life as far as bigotry goes.

    I am a rarity- a black professional in a mostly white world in which I operate. Race is a big problem. I am also gay. I see gay issues with people who are white and straight too. So, the issue is really, really, really complicated.

    For example- David does not in fact work in corporate America- do you David? Try working in corporate America when you are black- and then come back to say that its easy “today” That’s a joke to anyone who has been on a job interview or looked at the stats about the pay differences based on race.

  • Z

    Depends when/where. In modern America, blacks have the government enacting benefits on their behalf, whereas we have provisions in place /against/ us.

  • IAbuseGays

    @Z: <Exhibit A of racist America.

    Thanks Z for showing up to illustrate the point.

  • iDavid

    As a white guy I posed this very question to a black female friend of mine. She was quick to point out that the economic toll on blacks is horrific. It kinda took me aback because I was about the shear emotional violence gays are experiencing, and thought we were more persecuted. But all in all both are difficult roads. Economically I see it more difficult for blacks at this time, but emotionally, definitely gays as loss of family can be emotional suicide.

  • IAbuseGays

    @iDavid: There is a huge economic and emotional toll on both. Gays make less than straights. Blacks make less than whites. Gays experience higher level of depression than the average straight. Blacks do as well. Both are associated with bigotry. The bigotry differs. In that sense its apples and oranges. But the fact that it has a bad impact on both can not be disputed.

  • jason

    I think what Wanda was saying was that there are specific organizations that target the rights of those who are associated with the word “gay” whereas there are relatively few that target the rights of those who are associated with the word “black”.

  • TheRealAdam

    @iDavid: Interesting points, iDavid. They do, of course, depend on who you talk to.

  • IAbuseGays

    @jason: Racial animus went underground. No one will call me “nigger” in corporate America, but they sure hell will treat me like one. Therefore, even with your interpretation, she’s arguing a questionable. That racial bigotry is less just because its not obvious. We are not even getting into the complicated internalized pathos. Right now, I am sitting at my computer working at home, and not from away from me, I can hear rap playing with all the descriptions of bigotry internalized there.

    There will come a point soon (I know that because I already see it happening as it started to happen with race in the 80s) where the animus towards gays goes underground. It will become taboo to call you “faggot”but people will start to treat you like one anyhow. You won’t quite be able to put your finger on it. But it will be thre, and over time as you talk to enough people you will realize its not just in all of your heads as a lot black professionals once thought. Then you will look up the economid data – pay, savings etc and see that in fact you are right. That thre continues to be bigotry. Its just not spoke of aloud.

    You should not think for one second that because bigotry against gays (when it happens in full) goes underground that it will impact your life any less. It will. It will be just harder to prove.

  • jason

    There will always be bigotry. You can’t get rid of it. However, you can attack it. You can attack bigotry wherever it rears its ugly head.

  • IAbuseGays

    @jason: I agree. WHich is why I don’t like playing the Oppression Olympics game. It really is beside the point of who is suffering more because “how can you know?” is my response to all of that. The real goal should be ending bigotry against historically attacked groups like blacks and gays. Not whether blacks or gays suffer more. Why should either have to suffer at all?

  • Michael

    @James: Sorry, but you can’t be fired for being black although it’s perfectly legal in many states to fire someone for being homosexual. In most states, a gay person can be refused service in a restaurant where as it is illegal for someone to be refused service based on their skin color. The Church doesn’t tell a black person they’re going to hell, a black person’s family doesn’t reject them for being black, no one ever had to come out as “black” and society doesn’t try to convince everyone God somehow f*cked up by making you black.

  • IAbuseGays

    @Michael: No, you can’t be fired for being black. And Santa Claus is real.

    Let me tell you what actually happens. The manager will start writing up reports about the quality of your work claiming you aren’t good at your job.

    In the case of one friend, with a manager at a law firm, the manager kept claiming that my friend did not know how to write. That my friend’s job was endanger.

    To trap the bigot, my friend wrote a brief for another attorney at the firm. A white one. The manager gave rave reviews. My friend submit a brief written by someone else, a white associate. The manager hated it. In other words, the race perception was real.

    The economic data on wages illustrates is conclusive proof that you can not explain away as an anecdote like the one I just raised. Both the anecdote, and the economic data says people are indeed harmed economically for being black whether the public will admit it or not.

  • IAbuseGays

    @Michael: Oh, and you have no idea what you are talking about regarding the Christian angle. Although no longer used, because people have forgotten the justifications for why they are bigots, one of the arguments for discrimination against blacks came out of the Bible. That we were cursed by God.

  • IAbuseGays

    Lord, more racist showing up in this post so I am going to leave it at my comments thus far. I have no idea why people post under sock puppets saying racist shit, but whatever to prove that they are “less racist .”

  • Shannon1981

    I know I catch a fuckload more BS for being gay than for being black. So yes, in a nutshell: she is 1 million% right.

  • Spike

    Love it! Who wants to be a broke gay?!!?

    Brilliant and intelligent, and piss in your pants funny. She was genius in Monster In-Law . . . unfortunate she hasn’t found a venue to become a filthy rich gay, err, I mean lesbian, alike Rosie and Ellen . . .

  • IAbuseGays

    @Shannon1981: she’s right because of your personal experiences? Again, I would love for some of you to actually respond to arguments that don’t rely on personal experiences such as you explaining the statistical data. Its a fallacy to rely on personal experience alone to generalize to the public at large.

  • redball

    This is the type of conversation where people who are black and gay should be given the floor and people who are not should step aside and listen and learn. As a gay black man of Nigerian descent, I’d paraphrase TheRealAdam: It depends on which black gay person you ask.

    For example: black teens who were kicked out of the house and disowned by their families for being gay but never faced direct racial discrimination–they’d probably say that, for them, being gay is harder than being black.

    Or: black low-income gays living in the ghetto who have been directly or indirectly affected by police brutality but whose families accept or even celebrate their gayness–they’d probably say that, for them, being black is harder than being gay.

    So I can only give my personal experience. Another black gay person may have had the exact opposite experience.

    For me, being gay has been MUCH harder. I am still rejected by parts of my nuclear family and most of my extended family for being gay. But I have always felt at home with them in terms of my black identity (i.e., before i came out in 2000 or today whenever sexuality is not on their minds). For me, the rejection and bigotry from family is more damaging than even the pervasive societal discrimination. Race never made me doubt my self-worth but being gay in this family used to when I was younger and more impressionable (and their rhetoric was more forceful, and I didn’t have the words or the chutzpah or sufficient economic independence to fight back).

    I would guess that my partner had the opposite experience because he has experienced racial discrimination but he is completely accepted by his family for all of who he is.

    If you really wanted to get some kind of national consensus on this issue, you’d have to do a study and sample black gays to get an average.

  • tjr101

    I have to agree with her in this case, only because of the point in history we presently live. The hate against blacks is still very real however more inconspicuous as IAbuseGays stated earlier, whereas the hate towards gays is a lot more apparent and obvious.
    I have found that when I’m working with people, (straight men in particular) who are not aware of my sexuality there is a lot of homophobic jokes being made. There will always be bigotry because ignorant people can breed ignorant children.

  • Shannon1981

    @IAbuseGays: The thing is, something like this is subjective, as redball says. There is no right or wrong answer here. It will be about personal experience and nothing else. I grew up in the 90’s in a well educated, middle class family. I cannot say that I have experienced very much discrimination at all based on my race. Do I see racism? Yes, all the time. But have I had it specifically directed at me? No. The closest I’ve come is having a “friend” defend white people using the n bomb because blacks do it too, and not understand why it is offensive to equate black people with apes. Needless to say, she was from a family of racist rednecks, and turned out to be a raging homophobe as well and that friendship was very short lived. That’s it though. Honestly. The list of things I could tell you I’ve encountered because I am gay is pretty much endless. So there you go. For me, being gay is a lot harder than being black.

  • IAbuseGays

    @Shannon1981: Actually, the subject part is claiming that your suffering is worse than other people’s suffering and daring the speak for all from your personal experience. What’s not subject is that there is still and continues to be bigotry against people of color, which is a testable and proveable concept. The rest- where you play the Oppression Olympics is not better than what State Senator Diaz, the homophobe, recently did in an interview about how black is worse than being gay. at the end of the day- its besides the point other than as you admit- personal need. If you want things to change, you need to look beyond that.

  • Michael

    @IAbuseGays: Did you maybe catch what you wrote?

    “Although no longer used…”

    Try living in today’s world.

  • Michael

    @tjr101: Do you ever attempt to set the “straight” or do you just ignore them or laugh along? And where do you work? Most establishments would not put up with work place discrimination/sexual harassment. Sorry to ask but I’ve seen too many closeted gay men laugh along, or even crack the jokes, when some homophobic statements are made in public.

  • Michael

    @IAbuseGays: Wait, you mean some homophobic black person tells us being black is harder than being gay?

    What I’ve noticed is there are a lot of black gay people making comments and ALL of them are saying it is way harder to be gay than to be black.

    If you need any more proof then someone who is actually living it first-hand then your desperation for proof is a sign you’re avoiding reality.

  • IAbuseGays

    @Michael:(a) So because an argument has went underground (the one about the religious reasons) that means that it no longer has impact. Let me offer you a cultural lesson here: Just because people can’t remember why they do or say something doesn’t mean that the impact is not still felt. I said the actual language is no longer used. I did no say that the impact of the language does not still exist.

    To provide a non-racial, non-charged comparison of forgetting original meaning, but still keeping a practice in use- think of people who say, “shotgun” when they want to sit in the front seat of the car. If you ask most people, they could not tell you why they say that, but historically, the saying goes back to, as I remember, when stagecoaches had drivers who had to carry shotguns in the front of the stage coach. Now, this non-charged example is meant to illustrate a point about social/cultural norms. That they can continue to exist long after we forget why we originally used them.

    With blacks, the analogy works because the “blacks are cursed by Gods” because “blacks are lazy” or ‘blacks should have their abilities questions” or as Z wrote, “In modern America, blacks have the government enacting benefits on their behalf.” I doubt Z even realizes that he’s adding moral judgment there, or from where that dormant belief about moral inferiority of blacks derives. Like I said, I work in corporate America. I happen to see the mutated versions of these arguments, and am old enough to remember prior versions of the argument before it mutated into its new forms.

    The same kind of social mutation of language is happening with gay rights. We are just in the middle of the spoken become hidden so we don’t realize that yet. It does not mean that bigotry will vanish once it becomes hidden. If you don’t understand yet what I am saying, you will one day when the mutated forms of the arguments start to pop up for gay people. Instead of calling you a pedophille as bigots like to do, they will find some other way to reinforce their fears about you. It just won’t be as obvious to you when they are doing it. That can in fact make it worse because at least with the guy calling you a pedophille- you know where he stands. Whereas someone smiling at you, but thinking bigotted thoughts- its hard to know unless you test them like my lawyer friend did with his bigotted boss.

    The funny thing is from reading the comments here- and knowing some of the screen names- I know for a fact many of you do not in fact live in “today’s world.” You aren’t in a corporate job having to navigate gay and black issues a like. Wanda Sykes sure as hell does not live in average America. I like her, but she simply doesn’t.

    A quick example – amongst gays- is the assumption that blacks can not be convinced regarding gay issues. that we are somehow not capable of being reached like whites. Now, this comes as a result supposedly of polls. What they don’t say is that they spent 20-30 years trying to convince whites to change their positions. They have done little to nothing in communities of color to do the same. Yet, there is something morally inferior, again a mutated version of “blacks are morally inferior” argument, about blacks that justifies the lack of providing the same level of outreach to change minds as is done with whites. THat’s today’s world. Its happening right now including in states like MD and previously in CA.

    Your ignorance of how these arguments have formed over time does not change the fact that they are indeed arguments that repeat themselves in different permutations over time.

    (b) You notice on a gay blog that there are gay people who think, regardless of their race, that gays face more bigotry. Look at their life history. We are no more monolith than whites are. You also miss the point of my argument. You are playing he Oppression Olympics. You can’t know what you claim to know. I can provide data that rebutts what you claim anecodotally to know. All you can produce are statements that agree with you rather than data that does not.

    If you don’t know the difference as far as selection bias and also anecdote versus data, then its likely why you have no understood my arguments in the first place.

  • Shannon1981

    @IAbuseGays: I am not speaking for all. I apologize if it comes off that way. However, for ME, yes, being gay is a lot harder than being black.

  • Ray

    Obviously. On paper blacks have equal rights even if they are occasionally discriminated against. It’s as simple as that.

  • The Hu$tleman

    Well if it’s so hard being gay, then stop that foolishness.

  • IAbuseGays

    @Ray: If the world were based on what was on paper, your simple way of seeing things might actually provide some valuable insight.

    However, your argument requires bigots to be the simple-minded characters that pop culture likes to portray them as in movies rather than a mix of traits and levels of intelligence. When I say the bigotry is more sophisticated, that’s because it is.

    Take the mortgage crisis- which on paper- one would think has nothing to do with race. Yet, if one digs, one can find that subprime loans- a principle way that the mortgage crisis arose, were given in greater numbers to blacks even if those blacks had good enough credit and income for traditional mortgages. This disproportionately happened to African-Americans. In fact, the mortgage crisis has a disproportionate number of blacks who are facing foreclosure for exactly this reason. On paper, according to the law, that shouldn’t happen. In reality, it did happen.

    I gave the example of my friend working in the law firm for a reason. Its meant to combat precisely your kind of ignorance. Until my friend did what he did, he had no proof because the partner could always simply say that my friend was being overly sensitive and that he had a chip on his shoulder. Or worse yet, the dreaded “he didn’t want to work for it!” That his work was below average. Because most jobs are not exact science written up in instructions on paper that’s how the bigots manipulate the situation. They often rely on the fact that one can find a mix of reasons that does not reduce to burning crosses or lynching that nevertheless when you pull back the curtain is racism.

    That’s the world we live in. Pretending otherwise is why this game is not one you want to be playing. The mortgage crisis is just one substantive example which blows your world view out of the water. There are a lot more.

  • IAbuseGays

    @Shannon1981: As long as you admit is just for you that’s fine. However, as I said, when you start to look at the data- I just gave one example- the subprime mortgage crisis, which in part grew out of racism, that has destroyed the economic value of the black community- then the whole “this is how I feel” as a general rule does not hold water.

    The truth ultimately is this whole conversation is absurd. The truth is I could pull similar data for gays. We make less money just like blacks do. We are affected in our jobs, just like people of color are. Its divide and conquer. Use this or that. When its both.

  • IAbuseGays

    @Shannon1981: By the way- having experienced both homophobia and racism in my life, anyone who says one is better or worse than the other, really need to experience both to understand how absurd the whole one is one is now less wide spread than the other argument is. I just do not think you are representative of the the bell curve norm.

  • Shannon1981

    @IAbuseGays: I am probably not representative of the norm. Like I said, I am in the south, where racism, homophobia, and every other prejudice you can think of runs rampant, yet I’ve only experienced the one. I admit that. I come from a family that, after getting on our feet, never had the quintessential welfare moms/ghetto living/general plight associated with poor blacks. I’ve seen it, obviously, but it never touched me personally. I do not know what it is like to have my race truly negatively affect my life. I do, however, completely understand what its like to experience plenty of homophobia, because I come from a family of fundamentalist bigots and live an area where the hatred of gays is very acceptable, obvious, and deep.

  • iDavid


    I certainly see your point and it will take years to see how this all flushes out in gay culture. I think it’s important here not to make this some sort if contest as to who is the biggest victim. I’ve really worked my ass off to get out of that state of mind which never even occurred until religious dogmatic fundies got involved. I think it’s safe to say that both gays and blacks have suffered mortal soul wounds more than the other in different times in history. Gays just happen to be on the whipping post at this time in history. And as groups we are apples and oranges as to how society views different aspects of each group. Skin color and sex are very different though the pain of discrimination is the same. Different coats same hat.
    I would say from what I have witnessed, that being black and gay could trump both groups as a third segment all its own with even more colors of discrimination to deal with. Would you agree?

  • IAbuseGays

    @Shannon1981: I just gave you an example of the subprime crisis which is not about “welfare living.” Its something that happened to the black middle class that you can google right now. The problem here is your lack of experience o utside of your self. May be because I work in a profession that requires that I know about something beyond myself that has meant i realize the value of data, but I really think it behooves you to look these things up. Especially when some ignorant others along this thread will take your comments as the gospel for the state of racism in America. That’s not your fault that they do that. But you should be aware that they are in fact taking your word as the greater truth.

  • IAbuseGays

    @iDavid: I generally accept even if I don’t agree with the entirety of what you are saying. Its definitely complicated. I can’t speak of the norm of black and gay experience. I can only speak for my experiences, which were a combination of being black, gay and extremely poor (at one point homeless).

    Because I am an introspective person always asking “why did I have to go through all of this?” or “what does all of this means?” or “Can I learn something from that?” and I am by nature an outsider because of my introspective nature, I can say that I have examined these things personally a lot.

    As I am sitting here taking a break from my business by chatting with you, I can say that all of these things are additive. Some times race has affected me, some times gay and sometimes the fact I grew up dirt poor has harmed me. Each has also given me a kind of strength to see what other people don’t see.

    Here’s a very short clip my someone I love- James Baldwin discussing being black, gay and poor, that sums up where I am in my life now:

    he has a great sense of humor about it all, but what he says hits on the core reality. Like I said, I love Wanda. She’s funny. I just think she’s dead wrong here.

  • Shannon1981

    @IAbuseGays: I will simply be more mindful in the future of making sure people realize I am speaking of my experience rather than that of all black gay people. When it comes to experiencing rampant racism, I am simply an outsider looking in, and I fully admit that. I don’t know what it’s like, nor will I pretend to know.

  • IAbuseGays

    @Shannon1981: if you are curious about the general experience of the black population outside of yourself with racism, you can look up various indicators, as well as the history behind them, to understand racism is a live and well in this country. That’s why i gave you the example of the subprime in part as well as the other reasons. Its because its a great microcosm and primer on the subject that demonstrates exactly how racism occurs. I would suggest you look it up relating to African Americans (also Latinos by the way – I think were heavily hit for similar reasons).

  • Cam

    I think what Wonda is getting at too is, who had to worry about telling their family that they’re black and afraid that their family will kick them out if they find out that they are black?

    I think that is the major difference, being black although you can have issues with the greater society you at least have the support network of your families and your friends. When you’re gay and still closeted many people feel that they won’t have that if anybody knew their secret.

    AND you have groups like Focus trying to move to a place where you can be arrested for being gay.

    So her point that right here right now it’s worse is well taken.

  • iDavid

    I like that clip. Even though being gay is a tough rowe, I personally wouldn’t change a thing.

    I think the family piece is paramount. I remember Whoopi on The View saying just after Obama came into office “I feel like I can finally unpack my bags”. Like woah, what an insight into the black community’s plight to feel safe on planet earth. There are so many gays that still haven’t even “arrived” yet, they haven’t landed, still spaced out in sexual fear, much less unpacked their bags. Once I told my family I was gay at 28, they were very accepting, but I had that secret all those years, feeling alien in my own home. It can be very ungrounding.
    Such as it is growing up with a gay secret devoid of family support.

  • IAbuseGays

    @Cam: I think after all that I have said about Oppression Olympics, and you can still claim play “My road is harder than yours,” well, that’s the reason why groups eventually start to mythologize their experiences to the point where they feel nothing for others.

    They can’t imagine anyone else in the world having it harder than their lives. It becomes about them. Rather than what the experiences that they go through means as a larger part of humanity. And yes, all that matters, and will matter one day when you too are ask to care as a group about other people.

    Ultimately its about are you trying to improve the lot for all ,or just for yourself.

  • Ernest

    @David Ehrenstein:
    that’s what I’ve always said being gay if your lucky you might have a family to fall back on. But no matter your skin color your patents will love you as long ad your str8! If someone yells Faggot everyone looks and laughs, if someone yells Nigger everyone shakes their heads and calls you a racist! Clearly the black life is hard excuse is no longer valid. Try being gay but you have to OUT not hiding in that pathetic closet coming out only to play.

  • Hunter

    @David Ehrenstein:

    What unnerves me about your comment is the belief that every Black person who happens to be Gay loses the love and support of their family when they come out. It equates Blacks with being anti-Gay. Yes there are some bad apples but not every Black person is ready to lynch their Gay friends and family.

  • IAbuseGays

    I find the racial assumption that all blacks have families that support them as black. For the record, there is a lot of pathos that develops for black families related to race as well.

    If you want to claim greater victimhood, go right ahead. It obvious that need is an important part of how you deal with being gay. Why- I do not know. But, can you please stop making this assumption about how race plays out in black families?

    Its interesting how people make blanket statements to reinforce their racial beliefs.

  • iDavid

    Yep, blanket statements don’t work, this ain’t a black and white issue. ;)

  • IAbuseGays

    Anyone who has ever heard expressions like “You are trying to act white” or “Why is your hair so nappy” or “You are not as pretty as she is” (because your skin is too dark) knows the problem with claiming that there is acceptance of race.

  • Art Smith

    Considering she was a deeply in denial and closeted Lesbian for most of her life I guess being a dyke was hard for her.

    She’s a celebrity and worth A LOT of money so she does not have it that “hard” as your average GLBT person who happens to be black.

  • Ad

    Well duh… If your black, you can always find a place in Africa. Same for religions- Muslims can always go back to Arabia. But when you’re gay, there’s no country you can turn to where 98% of the populace is gay.

  • Po

    The question of whether being gay is harder than being black is kind of a ridiculous one to ask. No one has ever been gay, stripped that identity and then become black so they can compare the two(even if they could they would still be only exerincing through their personal lens). However, my main point is that being Gay AND Black is different from being either one separately because they intersect with one another changing the experiennce along with a bunch of other factors such as socioeconomic status, regon, religion, gender etc. So for someone to make a blanket statement would be a bit misguided without certain qualifiers i.e. “It is harder to be a lower class gay man than an upper class black man in America”(even this more specific statement could be up for debate.
    This shouldn’t be a detractor from Wanda though becaue I’m sure as she experienced it being gay was harder than being black and it does serve as a powerful voice for both communities tat have been disenfranchized and should be working with one another and not against

  • TheRealAdam

    @Ad: LOL.

  • IAbuseGays

    @Art Smith: Just got through discussing issue of discrimination with a friend who made a similar point about the coupling of discrimination with economic issues. The fact is that her experiences not only would not make her aware of the vast bulk of gay people, but also the experiences of being African-American as most experience it through class at this point.

    [email protected]Po: Agree completely.

  • Jamie Noir

    But is being a black gay woman harder than being a black gay man?

  • You suck

    The Hu$tleman “Well if it’s so hard being gay, then stop that foolishness.”

    Ok, but first stop your douche bagginess. You might as well start by dropping that lame ass dollar sign from your lame ass name. Punk.

  • Luxury

    This is classic “Queerty” Lol.. When Wanda said this exact same thing 2 years ago, it was perched at the top of Queerty just like it is now. Hmm, I wonder why? Is Queerty going to do this every single time she says this? This topic is pointless and only serves as reason to insult each other and ask questions that are impossible to answer simply because everyone’s experience is different. I see nothing has changed after Queerty’s “hiatus” lol.. Never change Queerty, Bait on!!! :)

  • IAbuseGays

    @Luxury:There are multiple people who said the exact same thing as you did. Regardless of what Queerty was trying to do, its funny you missed that.

  • jt

    i”m black and gay, and I disagree with Ms Sykes. Being black is much more challenging. I agree with the post above that perhaps her life is different because she’s a rich celeb. i know in my case, my blackeness is unavoidable. I’m as dark as can be, and that frightened look on a white girl’s face when I get too close or come up from behind always saddens me. If she only knew, i was looking at her shoes.

  • TheRealAdam

    @jt: I don’t get the constant references to her celebrity status. She was black and gay before she became a celebrity, so maybe she is speaking from that experience. And you really have no evidence that your dark blackness is what scared this “white girl.” It could’ve just been the fact that you’re a man…or you just startled her. Anybody could react that way.

  • TheRealAdam

    @Shannon1981: And you’re entitled to feel that way, like Wanda.

  • IAbuseGays

    @TheRealAdam: Yes, we are all entitled to believe what we want, but we should also responsible for finding out whether our believes are in agree with something called reality. To say “this is my persona experience” is okay some degree. That degree ends where it becomes “I am speaking for general experiences of society.” Which is the issue that people here are discussing. I fully expect you and others to continue to post these absurd “well because I feel it-that’s enough” posts. It doesn’t mean anything real. Its just as valuable as everyone else who argues something that can not be proven. All we can know is that both groups face bigotry- but some of you need to believe that blacks face less bigotry. I hope that somehow makes the bigotry you face in terms of homophobia easier. It does nothing to solve the actual problem.

  • IAbuseGays

    @TheRealAdam:You applaud Shannon by telling her that she’s entitled to believe her personal experience to be true even if its contra to the general weight of the evidence on the subject (again subprime- look it up) and then you attack jt by telling the poster that the personal experience can not be proven. Shannon’s experiences are no more proveable than jts. What can be proven is looking at actual outcomes in our society as far as policies where by process of evidence (again subprime) one can weigh it to make a decision. Your bias is showing.

  • blaque

    As a gay black man from the south and living in the “hood”, Wanda Sikes can speak for herself. I don’t really care for her anyway.

  • queer

    You can’t compare them like they are not intertwined, like the oppressors are not the same forces. A shame she was put in that position in the first place, and a shame her answer was so binary. How does her wealth play into this answer I wonder? Would a poor queer black person answer the same?

  • TheRealAdam

    @IAbuseGays: Last time I checked, you were ignoring me (and I was thoroughly enjoying it). Try to aim for some consistency, hmmm?

    1) My posts weren’t addressing you; 2) You’ve done enough whining and bitching in this post for all of us combined, more than likely under different monikers, and 3) I happen to like Shannon a helluva lot more than you and am actually interested in what she has to say, so STFU.

  • IAbuseGays

    @TheRealAdam: @TheRealAdam: You are on a public forum.

    You like Shannon because she confirms your issues with race. Whereas, jt, whom you attack, do not. I am being polite. YOu are like just racist rather than having issues because it takes a special kind of talent to tell a black person that racism is all just in their head.

  • RLS

    The Real Adam is a race troll. I would advise you all not to engage and let him derail what was actually a civil, interesting conversation.

  • Shannon1981

    @IAbuseGays: Wow, didn’t know this was still going. For one, we all have personal experiences that shape our views. None of these can be proven. For two, racism is definitely alive and well. I see it, though have been fortunate enough to not have it directed at me and/or affect me in the way homophobia has. But believe me, it is in nobody’s head and I am well aware of it. For three, this is a great discussion, and personal attacks of any kind will simply derail. Sometimes agreeing to disagree is our friend. For four, I’ve no desire to argue, so I am bowing out, though I will go on record saying I am fine with references to me, just since nobody trashes me. Thanks. *poof*

  • Gigi

    @Blake White: That’s not fair. She’s worked very hard to get where she is today & she know more about being black & gay than most of us who are either one or the other or neither.

  • IAbuseGays

    @Shannon1981: I note you do not speak to the fact that the person to whom I am saying these things selectively defends you who claims to experience less racism while attacking another black person who has experienced racism. Again, the problem continues to be your and his selectivity.

  • IAbuseGays

    @Shannon1981: By the way, I also note that one comment above you someone else correctly points out that RealAdam is a race troll at this site. That you are more worried about being “friendly” than about the fact that he’s got issues with race is also interesting.

  • IAbuseGays

    @RLS: You are right, and i wish I could, but I find racism frustrating. This game of selectively endorsing the person who says racism is less while attacking the person who says they have experienced racism is one of the ways in which bigots derails conversation. You can bet others have read Shannon and assumed that means that JT is now wrong in her experience. Nevermind that there is an attempt to ignore the actual data about race, but now, after having said personal experience matters, they then attack someone with experience with racism. It says a lot about the exchange.

  • Mark

    Really look at the statitics about unemployment and poverty among the black community right now – it’s terrible. It’s incredibly difficult to be an average black person in today’s society – and even more so to be black and queer!

  • Dionte

    Until they do right but us everything they touch will crumble.

  • Dave

    With race, when you walk into a room, all but the most hardened racists will at least try to avoid being offensive. If you’re gay, you can (at least try to) pass, and most of us have up until a certain point. Every barb and poisoned arrow flew straight and true into our hearts.

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