A fairly well known black gay activist once told me that it's impossible for one person to speak for an entire community. The black gay community isn't a monolith and although there is one individual who's voice is loud(and often wrong) I'm glad others are stepping up to the plate and refusing to be silent.
An Unpopular Opinion: Blacks, Gays, & Prop 8 is an amazing piece by fellow blogger Clay Cane that was posted yesterday on advocate.com. Below is an excerpt. Click on the link to read the piece in it's entirety.
An Unpopular Opinion: Blacks, Gays, & Prop 8-An Excerpt
I don't know if black people are more homophobic. But what I do know is that homophobia symbolizes manhood in the black community. I remember walking through Harlem and saw a T-shirt in a window that read, "A real black man is a man who loves God. A real black man is a man who doesn't deal drugs. A real black man is a man who doesn't have sex with men."
Homophobia in the black community equals a "real man." Sadly, homophobia is a conversation that we, as the black community, are absolutely refusing to have.
On the issue of civil rights, some black leaders say, "Gays need to stop comparing their struggle to blacks!" Sadly, it's the ruling class that wants these two minority groups to engage in comparisons of victimology. What it really says is, "Don't you n****rs let those f****ts think they have it worse than you!"
Funny thing, throughout African-American history comparisons have always been used to fight injustice. When enslaved blacks wanted freedom in America, they used the language of the Founding Fathers, who wanted freedom from the British Empire. What did the white ruling class say? "It's not the same!" When blacks demanded the right to vote, there were often comparisons to white women, who received the right to vote in 1920. What did many white women say? "It's not the same!" When another community even makes a slight comparison to the plight of African-Americans, we are now saying, "It's not the same!" The black community does not own the term "civil rights."
While I know the 70% of blacks voting yes on Proposition 8 is a number that is still being debated, regardless, even if one black person voted yes, they should be ashamed of themselves. My great-great-grandmother was born a slave in Virginia, and at one point she couldn't marry. Should I not have the right to marry, just like my grandmother, simply because I am gay?
As a black gay man, I am constantly torn between two communities. There is the white gay community that is steeped with racism, the black community that reeks of homophobia -- and the black gay community falling in between. Three years ago I interviewed former Real World cast member Karamo Brown, a black gay man, and he said, "We have to make sure that we let our churches know we are not going to let them judge us anymore. Until we as a community get better with our homosexuality and say, 'No more!' they are not going to get better with homosexuality."