I've been a member of the African-American networking and entertainment site blackplanet.com for about 6 months now and I've probably logged on less than 10 times.I'd heard about the extreme level of homophobia displayed by members in online forums, but none of the stories
I'd heard could have possibly prepared me for experiencing first hand the harsh and hateful language used by my straight brothers and sisters.
Tim Hardaway's recent outburst had everyone from the NBA comissioner to the average Joe commenting on whether or not his statements were appropriate.
There's not enough space on this page to list all of the derogatory, undeducated, stereotypical, and misguided comments made about the gay community on this site. But their were 3 points about the gay community that the majority seemed to all agree on:
1)Being gay is a choice. So therefore we're asking to be insulted, treated like second class citizens, and bashed or even killed.
I can't speak for anyone else but I never chose to be gay, but I did choose not to live a lie. I'm still waiting for someone straight to tell me the day, time, and what the weather was like the day they chose to be straight. I'm not holding my breath.
2)Gays shouldn't compare the civil rights movement to the gay rights movement.
Now this is a touchy subject. There's undeniably similarities as well as differences, but many straight folks fail to realize Black gays sat in at lunch counters in protest, marched from Selma to Montgomery, and lost their lives fighting for freedom too.
3)Gays can't control their sexual desires. What if they hit on me?
This stereotypical bullshit is the oldest and most laughable form of "gay panic". FYI: we have standards and we don't hop on the first thing we see. Don't flatter yourself.
I found myself getting so upset after reading these comments I had to respond, but instead of posting a public comment I decided to write a few brothers personally who's perception of our community was way off in left field. I've posted one conversation below just as it transpired. This blackplanet member seems to suffer from a common problem on this site, poor grammar and serious spelling errors.
I just read many of the comments that you left regarding the Tim Hardaway controversy and something in my spirit directed me to respond to you personally.
In 2007 you would think that Tim Hardaway, a Black man, would be sensitive to the oppression experienced by another minority in this country since he has first hand knowledge of what it feels like to be discriminated against.
Your comments come from a place of ignorance that's rooted in stereotypes and hyper-masculinity.
You are entitled to feel however you choose about homosexuality, but you should never condone hatred towards any of God's people. I assume you're a christian, when people participate in hate speech they usually follow it up with a scripture.
I challenge you to have a conversation with a Black gay man and learn about his struggles and triumphs. Don't allow fear and stereotypes to shape your view of a group of people that you have yet to dialogue with.
I really dont care for your struggles and triumphs, a challenge is a waiste of time and pointless, I can care less for a gay man and his lifestyle, you may call it as hate and ignorance, if thats what you see hey Im all for that,and if you could read and pay attention, I never condoned hatred, I stated in another forum I agree with what hardaway said but I dont agree with hatred, so read my forum again. As far as the scriptures goes, you know what God said about homosexuality, but yet you want to go against what he said so you can suit your little gay lifestyle come on man, who are you fooling.
I know you guys are wondering why in the hell I'm attempting to change the minds of people who are apart of this particular online community? You're not alone because I've asked myself that question a million times. The only explanation I can give is that hopefully by me presenting my life as an out Black SGL man and not someone on the down low or a person meeting their stereotypical expectations of gay life, I will plant a seed that will at least cause them to question their homophobia.
One can only wish.
Read how nasty it gets at blackplanet.com