I'd just like to take a moment to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving.
I'll be dividing my time between my family in Montgomery and my extended family that includes my partner Trey and my in-laws in Atlanta.
I know holidays can be a difficult time for LGBT people because we're often forced to bring half of ourselves to the table. Living our lives openly and honestly as black LGBT individuals can be quite a challenge, and although I've been out for over ten years as a single gay man, suddenly when you become partnered the dynamic amongst family changes once again.
I'm challenging myself and those of us in our community who have relatives that may be unwilling to acknowledge your whole person to spark a dialogue that will foster understanding and bring us a step closer to ending homophobia. After all home is the one place where you should experience unconditional love and acceptance.
So on behalf of Trey and I we'd like to wish you a wonderful Thanksgiving. Let's live out loud again on Monday.
This post is a special feature to loldarian.com by author and guest blogger Tiffany Hall. You may remember an open thread I posted on the site a few weeks ago titled "What Do Black Women Really Think About Us & Should We Care?". Tiffany's book was the inspiration for that post. She originally contacted me to review her book on this site and I initially declined because I felt a lot of it was rooted in stereotypes, not to forget the title was a bit of a turn off as well.
As you know this site is about informing, empowering, uplifting, and entertaining gay men of color, and I wasn't sure this book met the criteria.
But after an hour long phone conversation and the recent events surrounding the black church and Prop 8 I thought her point of view would create a healthy discussion. Get into it below and feel free to leave her feedback in the comment section.
Homosexuals joining church? Can't they get salvation at home? by Tiffany Hall
Okay, wow!! This hot topic has been on my mind since last night when I got a call from my mother telling me that my favorite gay man~Charles Pugh, TV anchor for Fox 2 News in Detroit, Michigan and on-air radio personality at the most popular urban radio station-WJLB, joined her church with his partner Michael. Now I interviewed Charles for my book Intimate Conversations with Fine Gay Men…What a Waste and went on his radio show That’s What’s Up back in October. I have found Charles to be an extremely intelligent, charming, giving, handsome and caring man. I have grown to love him as a human being and look beyond the fact that he is an openly gay man who is very comfortable living a “gay lifestyle” in the public eye.
You see this whole situation bothers me a little bit. My kitty kat kinda hurts because I am straddling this fence big time! Being a non-homosexual who grew up in the very same Baptist church that Charles and Michael joined on Sunday, I do not agree with the homosexual lifestyle. As a matter of fact, prior to writing my book, I looked at homosexuals as demonic spirits going straight to hell with gasoline drawers on! Harsh? Yes! Honest? Always! Anyway, growing up in church, I learned that fornication, homosexuality, adultery, lying, stealing, etc. were all sins, but homosexuality was just a straight up no-no. No-no as in; No you better not be gay, no you better not “act” like you think you’re gay and no you better not even begin to “look” like you think you might be gay. If you somehow decided that you were gay, you were ostracized, ignored or prayed for like your sole salvation depended on the prayers of the saints in church!
Now that I “know” better, I am trying to do better. But, I can’t say that I really am! When my mom called and said that Charles had joined church, my first reaction was “good for them.” I mean, I am a Christian~for real, for real. I LOVE when people give their lives’ to Christ. But then my mom said “humph, that wasn’t the response of the people sitting around me.” So me, being who I am, said “What? What did they say?” Now mind you I said this with a bit of an attitude because I believe this church is very elitist and full of hypocrites calling themselves saints. My mom, sounding a little nervous now as she knew I might be getting ready to tell her all about her “church folks” and how hypocritical they are, said, “they said that pastor should’ve said something!” “Said something like what?” I practically yell at her like she was the one who’d said it. “Said what? You aren’t welcome here? Y’all are sinners! Aren’t they entitled to salvation, ministry and God’s word just like the rest of us sinners?” I knew I was not using a tone of voice that pleased the woman who raised me but I was pissed off! Much to my surprise, my mother, who is just as judgmental as I am trying not to be, said “I know, that’s what I said and went in my purse to give them your business card for your book and told them ‘here you need to read this book my daughter wrote.’” I was so proud of my mom! I was also proud of myself!
Now saying all of this, all day today I have been thinking; “Would I be this defensive and happy for a gay couple who I didn’t know personally who joined my church?” Umm, probably not. “What role should the church play in welcoming and ministering homosexuals and lesbians?” “How can you minister to someone who doesn’t believe their lifestyle is a sin?” I knew fornicating was a sin and it tore me up every time I did it! I finally had to stop and ask God to take the desire away until I got married. Help me out y’all! I want to believe that homosexuals belong in church just like the rest of us sinners, however, if you are growing in Christ, you try to turn away from those things that are not pleasing to God. I can’t honestly say that I believe homosexuality is not a sin and that God is pleased! Oh! Y’all gone cuss me out!! That’s alright, I love you anyway and I am still praying for you…not because you may be a homosexual/lesbian reading this, but because we all need prayer, grace and mercy!
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.
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."
The beautiful images you see above are the work of Los Angeles based photographer Len of LUCKYVIRGO PHOTOGRAPHY.
As the story goes, Len picked up his first camera(a gift from his mom) at age 14 and was given instructions to "find something creative to do with his time". Len chose his brother and best friend Lucky as his first subject.
You may recognize Lucky from Maurice Jamal's new television series Friends and Lover's. I had the pleasure of interviewing Lucky a few months ago and he's just as stunning in person as he is in photographs.
"People have told me that I'm before my time. that my vision for art conveys my struggles through the lens. I want to see what others dont see at first glance, then completely expose them to it, and take them by suprise!", says Len.
Ya'll are gonna have to be patient with me because I'm still trying to take this one in. This is what we're up against as LGBT people of color in the black community. This is the kind of sick biblical hatred that has manifested itself in the black church that caused the overwhelming support for Prop 8.
I can't even begin to debunk all of the lies and theological liberties spoken in this sermon. I have to wonder how many gay and lesbian folks sat and listened to this and never said a mumbling word.
A few quotes from Rev. Todd Hall of Shabach Christian Church in Orlando, Florida.
"We don't know where homos came from, we don't know where lesbians came from. Some of ya'll are laughing cause you're hiding what you are-but I'm about to bust ya'll up! You cannot have the holy ghost and be a sissy!"
"You've got to preach fear, you just can't preach for money and faith".
Even if I was a sissy, if you were legally telling me I wouldn't go to hell for having Halle(Berry) and Jada(Pinkett-Smith)...at that time I was just a "man" for a day. If you can turn down something that fine and that fresh then you have a demon".
You may remember me mentioning emerging black gay photographer and filmmaker David Barclay Moore'ssearch for subjects for two documentaries centered around the lives of black LGBT individuals and their families earlier this year. David has since found his subjects and completed two great documentaries that are a must see. Both pieces were commissioned by The National Black Programming Consortium under The Masculinity Project.
Realness chronicles the life of Tika, a female- to- male transgender and her relationship with her girlfriend Nicki.
Moore lets the audience in on Tika’s transitioning while discussing views on black male privilege. Here we see a casual and intimate portrayal of a relationship confronting the very essence of the value of appearing male. Tika confesses that she is treated more equally, assertively, as a man while Nicki ultimately expresses some misgivings on the effect of the newly injected testosterone in their relationship.
In Dr. Al's Rebels Moore explores the life of a black male couple running a soft-ball team and raising three young children. Nigel and his husband Dr. Al, the team sponsor, share fathers day and a day of sport in the park discussing their relationship, the uniqueness of their team, and the hurdles involved raising small children.
The images in Dr. Al's Rebel's of a married black gay couple with a family running a household was especially powerful and affirming for me as a black gay man. It's no secret that there are thousands of gay and lesbian couples who are in committed relationships with families of their own, unfortunately very rarely do we get to see these images in the media. Thanks David!
Update: The weekend victim of a brazen murder in Syracuse, N.Y., was transgendered, family and friends now tell area media outlets.
Police originally had identified the victim as Moses Cannon, 20, and gay. Family members, however, now say Cannon went by the name Latiesha Green and was in the process of transitioning.
Another week, another hate crime.
Lateisha Green, 22, of Syracuse, New York was shot at 8:45 p.m. on Friday as she sat in a parked car with her brother Mark Cannon, 18, and a third person when gunman Dwight R. DeLee fired a .22 caliber rifle into her chest killing the victim. The bullet only grazed the left arm of Mark Cannon, who was in the driver's seat.
Police have charged DeLee, 20, of 420 Gifford St., with second-degree murder. DeLee went into the home at 411 Seymour St. to get the rifle after guests at the party started "making profane and vulgar comments in regards to the sexual preference of our two victims," police Chief Gary Miguel said.
"There was no previous argument between these individuals, there was no previous fight, there was no bad blood," Miguel said. "Our suspect took a rifle and shot and killed this person, also wounding her brother, for the sole reason he didn't care for the sexual preference of our victim.
Lateisha Green was killed, his mother said, because she was gay. "This death was senseless, and I'm very angry," Roxanne Green said.
Green said she received a phone call at 5:30 a.m. Saturday from a woman who claimed to know the circumstances of the killing. The caller told Green that her daughter was shot because the shooter objected to her sexual orientation.
Readers of the local paper The Post Standard are weighing in on this tragedy online, many of whom profess to know both the victim and gunman personally. According to some, the DeLee family has an extensive criminal history and this is not the gunman's first time in trouble with the law. One quick search on the NY Department of Corrections website supports these claims.
This comment from The Post Standard online user "Samiham" clearly illustrates the need for education and tolerance regarding gender-variant/transgender youth.
"He was killed because he was gay. I don't condone that so don't take what I am going to say in the wrong way.From the picture in the paper, he wasn't just openly gay, he was a flamer. Don't get mad at me for saying this.
My point is that he attracted attention to himself by the way he dressed. Much like some girls do by dressing like sluts. Or the person who walks out of the bank counting his stack of money and gets robbed. I am not saying they were wrong for doing that or deserved what they got. Definitely not.
What I am saying is that we all need to take more care in how we carry ourselves these days. We are surrounded by morons who won't think twice about stealing your money, raping you or taking your life."
Out Magazine brought out the creme de la creme of gay & straight celebrities to New York City's Gotham Hall last weekend to celebrate their annual Out 100. The 100 individuals who made Out's "unashamedly subjective" list in 2008 were recognized for their outstanding achievements and contributions not only to the gay community but to the culture at large.
An extraordinary group of gay and lesbian African-American and Latino actors, filmmakers, athletes, playwrights, and activists were recognized this year. Maurice Jamal (Ski Trip, Dirty Laundry), Corey Benton & Jamal Brown (Track Athletes), Guillermo Diaz(Stonewall, Weeds), Tarell Alvin McCraney(Wig Out!), Kenyon Farrow(Queers for Economic Justice), Denise Simmons(Mayor, Cambridge, Mass), Wilson Cruz(Noah's Arc), and Michael Brewer(Activist, Morehouse College) were all honored for their success in their fields as openly gay individuals.
I had the pleasure of escorting Out 100 honoree Michael Brewer from Morehouse College. Brewer was recognized for his leadership and visibility on one of the most notoriously homophobic campuses among HBCU's. In April he created the 'No Mo Homo' Initiative aimed at eradicating homophobia at Morehouse and creating a safe environment for all Morehouse men to achieve greatness regardless of sexual orientation.
R&B singer Michelle Williams presented awards to Broadway actor Cheyenne Jackson(Xanadu) and openly gay Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson.
Prop 8 was on the minds of many and found it's way into almost every acceptance speech. Of particular note was Bishop Robinson's plea to not let the media create divisions between the gay and the black community, "the religious right in this country are our enemies, not the black community", said Robinson.
The sound in the venue was horrible, ( and Ms.Patti wasn't shy about addressing this problem onstage) but I managed to pull together some footage from the event for you. Get into the performances in the video below, especially the ladies of LaBelle along with a few surprise guests.
Over the weekend comedienne Wanda Sykes officially came out as a lesbian during a Prop 8 protest in Las Vegas.
"I got married October 25th. My wife is here. I don't really talk about my sexual orientation, didn't think I had to. I was just livin my life. Not necessarily in the closet but I was just livin my life. Everybody that knows me personally, they know I'm gay. That's the way people should be able to live their lives really. If we had equal rights...we shouldn't have to be out here demanding something that we automatically should have as citizens of this country. But I got pissed off. They pissed me off. I said, you know, what I gotta get in your face. And that's what we have to do now. They have pissed off the wrong group of people!"- Wanda Sykes
After weeks of bitter protest that seemed to pit some gay activists against blacks who supported Prop. 8, Sykes appeared to bridge the divide. "I'm proud to be a woman. I'm proud to be a black woman, and I'm proud to be gay," she said, according to AP.
By coming out, Sykes has instantly became one of the most visible African American public figures in support of same-sex marriage. Congrats Wanda!
MTV's Staying Alive campaign has enlisted the celebrity of Ms. Kelly Rowland in the fight against HIV/AIDS in a new documentary set to air on December 1, World Aids Day titled "The Diary of Kelly Rowland".
The hour-long documentary chronicles Rowland’s recent visits with Staying Alive Foundation heroic grantees in South Africa, Kenya, Tanzania and the United States. These young people affected by HIV/AIDS tell their own stories and explain how they protect others in their communities from getting infected.
While in Kenya, where young females are five to six times more vulnerable to HIV infection than boys their own age, Rowland gets tested for HIV in an effort to encourage youth to learn their status. “Love yourself enough to protect yourself,” she tells the youths. “One person makes a difference.”
In an ongoing effort to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS, M-A-C Cosmetics has named pop singer Fergie as their latest spokesmodel for the M-A-C AIDS Fund.
“AIDS is an issue that was top priority when I was younger. It was new. It was scary. It was unknown,” Fergie told POZ. “But today, people seem to have put it off a bit; people are not paying enough attention to HIV/AIDS. It blows my mind as I look at the new HIV infection rate among young people. Nearly half of all new infections in the U.S. are among people 15 to 24 years old. That is something to pay attention to and stand up to.”
On September 3, Fergie paid a personal visit to youth enrolled in programs at Safe Space, which serves New York City’s homeless and urban youth and provides a myriad of HIV prevention services through its drop-in centers in Manhattan and Jamaica, Queens. Safe Space’s HIV prevention programs include activities focused toward homeless transgender youth, minority women and young people of color.
On Saturday, November 15 over 80 cities across the country participated in peaceful protests against the passage of Prop 8. Join The Impact, the grass-roots movement formed by ordinary gay citizens via social networking sites like Facebook and Myspace were able to turn out thousands of marriage equality supporters and straight allies as we took to the streets to defend our civil rights.
The Atlanta protest also drew a considerably large crowd of enthusiastic LGBT Atlanta residents. Although the state of Georgia passed an amendment in 2004 banning gay marriage, Georgians understand that Prop 8 affects the entire community.
Spirits were high and the energy and determination of the crowd couldn't be swayed despite the freezing temperature.
"Gay, straight, black, white, marriage is a civil right"! This particular chant has become the overarching theme during recent protests and everyone from the participants to those driving by who honked their horns in support seem to react to the truth within.
Monica Holmes of Transgender Veterans Association, Atlanta gay rights activist Duncan Teague, and children's author and straight ally Evelyn Coleman gave rousing speeches on the steps of the state capital. It also felt good to see the diversity in the crowd of those who care about marriage equality, debunking the idea that gay marriage only matters to white gays and lesbians( well I never believed that to begin with..I'm just saying).
The fallout about the passage of Prop 8 in California and the subsequent racism exemplified by the white gay community towards blacks continues. After all of the finger pointing is done I hope gay leaders on both sides are willing to roll up their sleeves and put in the necessary work to move our community in the right direction. God knows there are plenty of social conservatives who are enjoying watching us at each other's throats.
I've read plenty of blog posts and opinion pieces over the past week (as I'm sure you have) on this issue and today I'm numb. I simply cannot read another "blame" piece until there are pieces written by those on both sides that are willing to take responsibility for their racism and their homophobia, only then do I think the healing process will begin and we can move beyond this ugly moment in our community.
So for all of the organizations who have called me in the past 24 hours or have e-mailed me for a response on the racism from the white gay community and the homophobia of the black community regarding Prop 8, allow me to direct you to a recent post because today and maybe for the rest of the week I can't talk about it anymore.
Besides the louder voices in the black gay community would like everyone to believe that gay marriage is not our issue so my position is far from popular.
Duanna Johnson, a transsexual who filed a lawsuit against the Memphis police after a February beating at the hands of an officer, was found shot to death in North Memphis late Sunday from a bullet wound to the head.
In June, she offered to settle the lawsuit against the city of Memphis and the Memphis Police Department, but the parties could not reach an agreement. View video. -Andresflava
This was the year that Simmons became the first lesbian African-American mayor of Cambridge, Mass.—or any major American city, for that matter. She started out wanting to be a psychotherapist but got involved in politics after realizing that, rather than working with just one person at a time, she wanted to "influence a whole group of people."
It's not easy for anyone to be a student at Morehouse College, the only historically black all-male school in the country. With alumni that include the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr., NAACP chairman Julian Bond, and Spike Lee, the mystique of the "Morehouse man" looms large—and it hasn't traditionally included openly gay students.
Six years ago one student beat another with a baseball bat because he thought a sexual advance was being made. Michael Brewer (center), a political science major, helped to organize a week of activities this past spring that was dubbed the "No More ‘No Homo' Initiative." Now the senior would like to organize a pride festival. Things have improved at the college, he says, but "there are still some brothers who need their paradigm shifted." -Out.com
Forty-five minutes before show time they discovered that Logo had sent the movie Jump the Broom without the soundtrack. Translation "NO MOVIE TONIGHT!!" Yep, that's right, we all paid $20.00 (a portion going towards HIV/AIDS services) for a weekend long event that was to include the Dallas showing of Jump the Broom. To say I and others were upset was to put it mildly.
People had driven from various parts of Texas for this special night, all for naught. I had rearranged my scheduled in order to be there last night. What we got was two cocktails, a gift bag, and the last three episodes of Noah's Arc Season II which I dare say everyone in the theater had already seen!- SGL Universe
After weeks of rumors surrounding Bow Wow's—oops, now known by his real name Shad Moss—much-promoted first filmed sex scene for HBO's formerly popular Entourage, the results were ... okay. See the video for yourself.
The set-up between the Bow Wow character doing a porn star while on a conference call with Ari and studio exec while —a threeway!—is tres' Altmanesque. As far as the alleged nudity and the "performance" is concerned ... meh. Something tells us Bow Wow would have been more inspired if he were in a different position. Or had a different partner. - Rod 2.0
Detroit rapper Trick Trick in an exclusive statement to AllHipHop.com expressed his disgust of the homosexual lifestyle, and explained that he doesn’t want any gay individuals to purchase his newly released sophomore album, The Villian.
“I’ma go on the record right now with this. Homosexuals are probably not gonna like this album,” Trick revealed to AllHipHop.com. “I don’t want your f**got money any goddamn way. I don’t like it [homosexuality]. Carry that s**t somewhere else.”
On the self-titled album track, Trick hurls vitriolic bars against gay activists Ellen DeGeneres and Rosie O’Donnell, referring to them as “dyke b**ches” and promising to send a “scud missile right through their f**king cruise ship.”
Regarding same-sex adoption, Trick Trick adamantly spits that “He goes both ways/Either way he’s gay/Ain’t no other way to say/He’s a f**king faggot so I’m lettin’ off my AK/Bust ‘em in his forehead/He ain’t worth lettin’ live/A man and man shouldn’t raise another man’s kids!”
Trick Trick is a close friend and collaborator with Detroit superstar Eminem.
This is obviously a calculated stunt on behalf of an obscure and homophobic rapper who is attempting to use hate to further his career. Thankfully it's 2008 and even hip-hop fans who are accustomed to homophobic rap lyrics are acknowledging that it's a new day and this BS doesn't fly anymore. Check out this weak ass rapper and professed "Christian" in action here.
November 4th was a bitter-sweet celebration. We came together to witness the first black man who will become our president, yet watched in sadness as Florida, Arizona, Arkansas, and California all voted down equal rights for all citizens.
This is not a 4 state issue. This is an issue of equality across America. Stand up and make your voice heard.
A national day of protests against Prop 8 are scheduled in all 50 states this coming Saturday. If you're in Georgia please join me and thousands of other LGBT folks and our allies as we march and protest downtown for marriage equality. Click here for details on protests in your state.
Metro Weekly, Washington D.C.'s LGBT newspaper is giving you an opportunity to choose a winner in their Annual Nightlife Coverboy of The Year competition, and their is no shortage of hot men of color. Now I understand why they call D.C. "Chocolate City"!
Keith Olbermann,Tony Perkins, Lisa Bloom, Arnold Schwarzenegger on Prop 8
Taking a break from the harsh realities of inequality covered last week and shifting my focus toward an emerging choreographer who is taking the commercial dance world by storm. You may have never heard of Jaquel Knight but if you've seen Beyonce's latest video "Single Ladies"then you're definitely familiar with his work.
A new transplant to Los Angeles via Atlanta, Jaquel was tapped by longtime Destiny's Child and Beyonce choreographer Frank Gatson to create the choreography for the diva's first single off of her forthcoming album I Am...Sasha Fierce.
Jaquel's amazing choreography, the dancers, and the strangely familiar concept for the video has been the subject of online adulation and gossip since it's release.
If Madonna introduced the masses to voguing then Jaquel and Beyonce are introducing pop culture to J-setting. But make no mistake about it, neither diva invented the art forms, but gay men on the ballroom floors of New York City and black college female dance teams deserve all of the credit.
J-setting as choreographed by Jaquel for Beyonce dominates black gay clubs in the south and is featured this week in Atlanta's Southern Voice.
Beyoncé’s celebration of J-setting in “Single Ladies”is an even more explicit kiss to gay culture than when she implored listeners to “walk across the room like Naomi Campbell” in “Get Me Bodied” from 2006’s “B-Day” album, says SOVO reporter Ryan Lee.
While Beyonce's commitment to the gay community may be questionable unlike fellow divas Jennifer Hudson or Patti LaBelle, the kids love her and she has no shortage of black gay men on her creative team.
The popularity of Jaquel's choreography is reminiscent of Tina Landon's choreography for Janet Jackson's "If" and is being mastered and performed by amateurs and professionals alike, one simple YouTube search proves my point.
At 19 years old Jaquel's amazing talent is just beginning to blossom and it'll be exciting to see what he'll create next.
Get into "Single Ladies" below and two of my favorite amateur You Tube videos of Jaquel's choreography.
I will never forget Tuesday, November 4, 2008. America took one giant leap forward by electing Barack Obama our nation's first African-American President and one huge step backwards by enshrining discrimination against gays and lesbians into the state constitution in California, Florida, Arizona, and Arkansas. The night was an emotional roller coaster for me as I took pride in witnessing Barack Obama make history while simultaneously being paralyzed with an overwhelming sadness by the passage of bans aimed to strip gays and lesbians of equal rights, particularly in California.
Exit polls for Proposition 8 in California revealed that 70% of black voters voted in favor of the ban including 75% of black women. As expected, the blame game has started and fingers are pointing directly at black voters despite the fact that blacks only make up about 6% of California's population.
While black voters played a role in the success of the amendment they surely had some help and were not alone in their homophobia and religious bigotry.
I'm not really concerned with any other group right now. You may not like what I'm about to say. As I've been listening to black gays discuss the Prop 8 fallout I've been hearing lots of excuses and very little accountability or a plan to clean out our own house.
BLACK PEOPLE ARE HOMOPHOBIC AS HELL!
Yeah I said it. And I can say that with the utmost authority because I'm black and openly gay and I've experienced it firsthand. Please take note that I didn't say blacks were more homophobic than any other group, but we are and it's a problem that is not going to fix itself. We may not like it when white gays point out our shortcomings as it often comes from a place rooted in racism, superiority, and white privilege, but it's time for us to stop denying the truth and start taking the necessary steps to create the kind of change that will benefit EVERYONE in the black community.
Black heterosexuals do not hold the key to equal rights under the law nor do they hold the key to heaven. Why have we sacrificed our authenticity, spirituality, and mental well being just to belong?
The fight for marriage equality at it's core is a civil rights issue. Whether you want to get married today, tomorrow, or never you should have the right to do so and that civil right should never be up for a vote by the majority.
It's time for us to stop complaining about the lack of representation of black gays and lesbians in the media and do the one thing that is required in order to create change-come out!
We will continue to be dehumanized, reduced to disease spreading DL characters, and have our rights stripped away by our own and from outsiders until we find the courage to be who we are when everybody's looking.
70% of blacks voted in favor of Prop 8 because many of them either don't know we exist, refuse to admit that we do or have bought into the lie that homosexuality only exists in white culture. And it doesn't help that the media reinforces this belief.
So what are we going to do to eradicate homophobia and religious bigotry in our own community? How many more fire and brimstone sermons are we willing to sit through? How many more ballot initiatives aimed to take away our rights must we endure before we finally say enough is enough! Damn! What is it going to take? What is it going to take before we start showing up to something other than Black Gay Pride events by the thousands and start to get organized? How many more new HIV infections must occur before we ACT UP!
Our contentment with life as it is and not as it should be is going to destroy us.
I'll be calling on many African-American gay activists in Atlanta and eventually around the country to strategize over the next few months to create a grassroots movement to affect change at home. It starts with one.
Due to the overwhelming success of Noah's Arc:Jumping The Broom five new cities have been added. Detroit, Houston, San Francisco, Palm Springs, and Ocean,NJ.
I know all of my readers in Texas are extremely happy now. You can read my review of the film here before you head to the theater. Also check out what people are saying about this groundbreaking film all across the country below as well as a hilarious interview with co-star Jennia Fredrique via loldarian.com affiliate Lonnell Williams.
"Fans of the show should jump to see the film..." - Tim Plant, Metro Weekly (DC)
"The movie is terrific and worth the wait....Only a cast already this comfortable with their characters and with each other could come up with that kind of chemistry and those kinds of performances...." - Greg Hernandez, LA.com
"Noah's Arc: Jumping the Broom...delivers the goods." - Kevin Thomas, LA Times
"...not only does Patrik Ian-Polk and LOGO deliver on their promise but they've created a film that we can all be proud of. There is not a dull moment to be found in Jumping The Broom." - Darian Aaron, Living Out Loud