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1 comments | Thursday, February 28, 2008

Yesterday I received a comment from a reader that really made me pause. Like so many people who visit my blog and leave anti-gay comments (that you guys never get a chance to read), I was apprehensive about approving this particular comment because I felt it was the exact opposite of the tone I wish to set on this site. But after reading the last line I felt compelled to post it, therefore sparking the questions that I have today.

The following was left in response to my post on the relationship between Eddie Murphy and Johnny Gill.

“If he’s not gay, he has the right to say so. As you know, boys and men are being beat up every day for being gay or for being perceived as such. Don’t blame him for the society we live in. Leave the guy alone”.

I have to say in response that this comment is partially correct. Yes boys and men are being beaten up and killed everyday because they are gay or transgender. But my question is how long are we going to continue to allow innocent lives to be taken because of someone else’s homophobia and bigotry?

The gay community should not be alone in the fight to save our lives. Where are our straight allies? Where is the outcry of injustice from our political leaders? How many more of our brothers and sisters have to die from senseless deaths before Americans realize despite what your religious beliefs may be regarding homosexuality that nobody deserves to have their life stolen by a gunshot wound to the head at age 15 or have your body dismembered and thrown into trash bags to be spread all over New York City.

Have we forgotten that Michael Sandy, Lawrence King, Simmie Williams Jr., Rashawn Brazell, Sakia Gunn and countless others were all loved by their families and friends? They were somebody’s children, and now a mother is mourning the loss of her son or daughter because we’re too afraid to embrace the differences that make us all unique.

It hurts to know that while we watch in horror at the crimes being committed against our SGL brothers in Jamaica on a weekly basis that we’re not exempt from the same thing happening here.

Yes the society we live in is homophobic, but it doesn’t have to be.
I’m not expecting the world to change overnight and to begin waving a gay pride flag, but I do expect human beings to be able to disagree without taking a life that they didn’t have the power to give.

It hurts when our own black community turns a blind eye to hate crimes committed against us based on sexual orientation because they’re too wrapped up in the dogmatic teachings of the black church to realize when one of us falls down we all do.

I think it would be fair to say if the deceased individuals mentioned didn’t all have the one “tragic flaw” called homosexuality in common, the black community and the media wouldn’t discredit their lives by not bringing attention to the vicious crimes being committed all across this country.

Nobody deserves to die because of whom they love. I pray that one-day our country will realize that separate is not equal and racism and homophobia can and will end if we make the decision to promote love and tolerance instead of fear and hatred.


<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

I posted the comment you are referring to. I am an openly gay black man. I'm surprised that you considered my comment "anti-gay".

Johnny Gill made a vehement declaration of his heterosexuality. You seemed offended by his declaration.

I realize that you and others want him to either admit he's gay (if that is, in fact, true) or, if he's straight, to not proclaim it in a manner that makes being gay seem like such a horrible thing.

That is probably not going to happen with this guy. If he is gay, he's NOT going to admit it. If he's straight then he wants the world to know he's not a faggot, goddammit!

My point was that because of the nature of this VIOLENTLY homophobic society, Johnny Gill feels he has to "defend" himself against these "horrible" allegations. It's not his fault he looks at it that way. It's the nature of this homophobic society, not him.

Johnny Gill probably does not have anyone in his life who thinks like you do, who can pull him aside and tell him that being gay is not a bad thing. He thinks the way MOST straight black men (and women) think about these things. Again, NOT HIS FAULT.

It remains for black gay activists like you to make the case for the humanity of black gay men to the straight black community. Johnny Gill cannot accomplish this monumental task. He's not a black gay activist (whatever his sexual orientation) and don't expect him to act or think like one.

I hope this puts a different light on my earlier comments.

February 29, 2008 9:51 AM


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