||03-09-2009 12:49 PM
Queer As Rights - No Religion Allowed
Can you continue to deny homosexuals the right to get married, join the military, or any other civil right without quoting anything from scripture, without mentioning the bible/Koran/Torah, or without mentioning God or Jesus?
I'm just wondering how many people would be able to do that.
An essay that might be of interest to some -
'Gay is NOT the New Black'
There is an ever-increasing popular notion and phrase that haunts me: "Gay is the New Black.".....
To apply Elle Woods’ feeling about orange being labeled "the new pink," whoever called gay "the new black" is seriously mistaken.
Let me be clear, I see the gay rights struggle as part of the civil rights struggle. To miss that point is to allow the struggle for civil rights to remain fragmented, incomplete, and under the ownership of one particular group... The Civil Rights Movement encompasses gay individuals, women, racial minorities, class struggles, citizenship issues, gender identity, and many other varying categories...
My quarrel with the idea that "gay is the new black" is that it is insulting to me as a gay black man who is politically, socially, and culturally engaged and active inthe (white) gay community, black community, and gay black community. Gay can never be the new black because first and foremost this phrase does not acknowledge the fact that there are those of us who are already gay AND black. We live within the margins, not because we choose to but because society places us there.
What is labeled as ‘black culture" frequently does not acknowledge our homosexuality.... does not overtly accept homosexuality as readily as mainstream (read white) culture, largely due to the proportionally larger role that conservative Christian religion plays in African-American households...
The fact is that black culture is homophobic because America is homophobic.
What is not talked about to the same extent as "black homophobia" is that gay culture is just as racist as black culture is overtly homophobic—because America is still a racist country. And yes, I am aware that I am writing this at a time when our president is a man who looks more like me than any other president we have had, but contrary to the hype, the election of President Obama does not signal the dawning of a post-racist America...
Since gay racism is rarely if ever addressed, it has allowed gay individuals to view gay culture as devoid of racism and therefore it might seem natural to label gay as "the new black."
Indeed, after a few quick comparisons it may seem like a common-sense proposition that homosexuals have taken the mantle of acceptable bigotry from African-Americans. Once upon a time a black person and white person could not marry; now it is not a person’s race that prevents two people from being legally wed but their gender; blacks at one time served in the military under different conditions and pressures than their white counterparts, now gay men and women must serve in the military under different conditions and pressures than their heterosexual counterparts; housing has historically been an issue for both blacks and gays and the list can go on. Yet, I refuse to allow gays to co-opt an identity so frequently discriminated against by gay people...
Queer As Folk, the supposedly monumental breakthrough for gay visibility did not have a single significant character of color during their entire run. When I brought this up in a chat room years ago, this is the resounding response I received: Be glad that we have a gay television show at all! But "we" did not have a gay television show. For me, and the millions of others who looked similar to me and not at all like Ted, Emmet, Mikey, or Brian, we still did not see ourselves represented on television. We had not arrived, our time had not come---it felt like we were still in the back of rainbow bus....
The final sin that gay racism commits is it makes gay culture apathetic and through this apathy, gay racism can become deadly. Alternatively, ignoring or paying attention to an epidemic simply because the face of that epidemic is changing is immoral. Blacks and whites, gays and straights all share in this guilty behavior. For heterosexual black communities to finally start addressing AIDS simply because the face of AIDS has become the face of a young black woman is almost unforgivable—what about all those gay black men who died before? For the gay (white) community to put the AIDS pandemic on the political and social backburner and focus on legislation-gay marriage.. when the face of AIDS is now the face of gay black men...well, that is criminal.
Consider the film industry, when AIDS first hit, there were many movies that dealt with the subject and usually starred white gay male characters. Now that the image is shifting, the number of AIDS-themed films are decreasing and the number of gay romantic comedies and tragedies are increasing. When I spoke to one of my white friends about this he said, "Don’t you think people are getting burnt out on it? I mean people know what to do, wrap it up, what more can you do?" Now at a time when people who look like me are dying... I say no to my white friend, people are not getting burned out, people are dying and still dying. The only difference, my white friend, is that many of them do not look like you...
Gay will never be "the new black" because it does not respect blackness nor does it embrace blackness. Gay cannot love blackness because it does not recognize the complexities and variances of blackness and black experiences....
For too long the voice of the gay community to America has been blindingly white; for too long the image of black America for gay people has been a heterosexual image--neither community has sought to listen to the voice of those of us who are gay people of color.