I’m Black, Queer and Concerned

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The best way to repair a family is to repair the family. In theory, the LGBTQ community is a family. In theory, the Black Lives Matter movement is a family. Individually, these two families have similarities, but they are far from identical. In order to understand any kind of intersectionality, one has to understand what is right (and less so) about them. In essence, the struggle for gay rights was a human rights issue, but now it is a civil one. The struggle for black lives, while part civil, is vastly a struggle for humanity. This is a human rights issue. The struggle to be not only fully recognized, in all of our faults and greatness, as humans, but to not be slaughtered (by anyone) as animals. 

In practice, even in the bisexual culture, I identify with, there are “isms.” Too femme. Too butch. Too left. Too right. Too…gay. Too…straight. It makes my head spin. When do we begin to understand that a little struggle is a lot of struggle? When can we put theory into practice? Another interesting and disheartening fact is that being gay doesn’t make one more tolerant of other groups. There are racist gays. There are sexist gays. I’m sure if we think hard, we can uncover instances of prejudice about gays, by gays. As a bisexual woman who happens to be black, I have to say I am discriminated against damn near everywhere I go. Even the gay club. 

As a black woman, I also feel discriminated against within the black culture I so love. I love my blackness. For the most part, other black people love my blackness, too. But there’s this “dark little secret” about being gay. The black community, generally speaking, overwhelmingly does not care about my gay life. They look down on my gay life and (black) Christians have violently oppressed gays in the name of what’s “holy.” It comes from everywhere. In the non-black gay community? I am overlooked and discriminated against often. So, friends, while we as the LGBTQ community thrive, and as the BLM movement gains power, there is still much work to be done. To repair the family, we must honor and repair other families within the struggle for civil, basic and human rights. 

So when we speak about the intersectionality of the BLM and LGBTQ families, what are we really speaking about? It has to begin with the notion that while we’re different, we can be true allies. And if you didn’t know: being part of the Black Lives Matter movement has nothing to do with discounting other lives. We ALL know blacks in this country have been systemically oppressed, and while we have our own problems within our own community, we have been treated as less than human, historically. We cannot hide our blackness, and it’s insulting when people try and discount the need for everyone to understand that our lives DO matter.  

GettyImages-542054564Photo by Erik McGregor/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

Humanity. Race. Sexual Orientation. Religious Affiliation. Which do you identify with first? And why is it necessary for hierarchies within identity? Do you think there is a “gay” agenda? What do you consider the agenda of the BLM movement? I’ll take a whirl at these questions; I posed these same questions to people within my communities, and it’s been a strain to get answers. So I’ll take the lead. I am human, then black, then gay, then spiritually based in Christianity, yet I do not conform to many Christian practices. I cannot hide my humanity or my blackness. Being bisexual is not a choice for me, yet I could be “straight” I guess. At least in society. And as far as Christianity, it was pseudo-forced on me as a child. Now I pray to God every single day. I even prayed for God (Him, Her, It) to bless my hands and mind as I type these words. 

I think there are natural hierarchies to identity. Society pressures us to be “something,” and when we are, we are dealt with accordingly. I do not think these totem poles are necessary, but I am all too aware they exist. I believe there have been many gay “agendas.” Most recently the fight for marriage was won, and that is monumental. I can marry my girlfriend if I want. I’m not quite ready for that (lol) but it’s comforting to know I can. As far as the BLM movement, I believe far and above anything, we want accountability for those who police us, and to not be literally slaughtered at the hands of those whose job it is to “serve and protect.”

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