Now this is one of those blog posts that I have to think about before publishing. I talk to myself about it, I question myself about it, and hopefully I click publish in the end.
I overthink posts like this because I know what I am going to discuss can be as sensitive for you the reader as myself the writer. And deep down I don’t want the amazing non black queer people I know to think that this is about them… unless it is.
With that being said I need to unfollow the National Gay and Lesbian Taskforce on Facebook.
And no this has nothing to do with something that they have done/said so don’t waste any time trying to come up with witty hashtags
Quite the contrary actually.
So unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last 3 1/2 years1 race relations in America have reemerged as a hot topic.2 Mostly due to the media coverage and social media coverage (#blacktwitter) of police brutality where black people seem to be the target. Couple that with the recent homegrown terrorist attacks leaving people murdered and churches burned and yeah… Bush might not be the only one who does not like black people.
So the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force during this period has made several posts seemingly in solidarity with us and by US I do mean Black Kristi and her other black sisters and brothers. Kudos to them.
I don’t know why I was surprised… AM surprised…. no was surprised but the response by an overwhelmingly vocal section of the followers and likers of their page was that YES being gay is a civil rights matter! OF COURSE gay people deserve civil rights! But BLACK civil rights being impeded is not only none of their business, but shouldn’t be any of the Taskforce’s business either.
Now out of one side of their mouths, they are OUTRAGED that churches, SPECIFICALLY, black churches and black religious leaders3 are not standing arm and arm with them, taking up the rainbow flag… but that ratty old Confederate flag is a non issue hair flip. Even worse it is an old non-issue that black people need to get over.
Now this is one of those occurrences where what I want to say, I won’t say, how I want to say it. And this is partly due to the same wonderful non people of color folks I know, partly to to the status I hold in a LGBTQ organization down here and even because of my professional career in a publicly traded company. 4
I will say just these two things.
As a black lesbian who has put her time, money, and energy into several organizations specifically those working with LGBTQ young people, I am mad… no not mad…disgusted.
So let me get this right…. because I need understanding. My life and liberty is only important because of who I screw? If I went back to dating men, my right to life liberty and pursuit of happiness would no longer be important to the same gays that want me to send money to fight the good fight on Capitol Hill? I would become one of “them” dealing with “their” problems that “they” need to get over.
I have said before in a post called Gay is NOT the New Black… We are still the new/old Blacks, this is why some black people that I know will not support LGBT issues.
And let me say this too… because it needs to be said.
How are you going to tell people that black people should identify with gay people and champion gay marriage because 60 years ago interracial marriage was illegal? As quiet as its kept, a hundred years before that for black people to be married to ANYONE was illegal because we were chattel and property and had no rights at all. Why isn’t that on instagram?
Hmm it probably isn’t as sexy a marketing plan to sell especially since white gays benefited from slaveryas much as their straight counterparts
Moving right along…
I just wish that outrage wasn’t only courageous when it’s helpful to one agenda over the other. I wish black lives mattered as much as gay marriage and I’m going to end there.
This is actually the first time I have spoken a blog to my phone and let it transcribe. I’m not sure how much of what I’m saying right now you’ll end up reading because the tendency to edit oneself is stronger the day after. But here’s hoping…
- Yes it has been 3 1/2 years since Trayvon Martin’s murder… and while some would say don’t forget about Sean Bell (and the countless others), we all have to collectively agree that fateful night in February of 2012 was the tipping point. ↩
- Not to say race isn’t always an important issue in America, but let’s be honest it hasn’t had this much airtime since Rodney King… or OJ Simpson… I can’t remember which one is the most recent. ↩
- I hope I don’t have to say some… but…. SOME ↩
- You can call it self-censorship. I call it I have a mortgage and I like taking trips. ↩