Blogger Michael Crawford of Bloggernista has a great interview with Donald Powell Project Director of GMAD(Gay Men of African Descent) in New York City. Donald introduces GMAD's latest campaign Wipe Out! Focused on reducing the stigma attached to SGL black men and those living with HIV/AIDS . GMAD's mission is to empower gay men of African descent through education, advocacy, health and wellness promotion and social support and has been doing so for over 20 years.
Their current campaign "Words Kill Too" started this past spring and is scheduled to run through 2009. During the interview Powell was asked about ways that Black LGBT people can speak out against anti-gay slurs in their communities and his response was right on point.
"First, we need to take a stand and make a choice not to embrace or support that which does not embrace or support us. It is important that we, like all Black peoples, utilize our dollar, our voice, and our vote to speak out against oppression in all its forms (racism, homophobia, sexism, xenophobia, and ageism). It is very critical for black gays to find ways to become more visible where they live or work. The more visible we are through our everyday lives, the greater the opportunities there will be to change people’s misconceptions of us. It also will dispel the myth that we are ashamed of who we are and would rather live our lives in the dark. Finally, it is important to support organizations like GMAD and the National Black Justice Coalition that exist to raise awareness about the black gay reality and to empower the community to live free of fear and intimidation."