Monday, March 23, 2009

Black People More Homophobic? You're Kidding, Right?

One of the memes that has irritated many Black people gay, transgender and straight since the Prop 8 debacle has been the 'Black people are more homophobic' one.

You're kidding, right?

Every time I'm watching TV I see predominately white ministers such as James Dobson, other white fundamentalists, white dominated anti equality orgs and peeps like Tony Perkins leading the anti gay charge.

Fred Phelps checks the 'white' box on his census forms, and the megachurches bankrolling these rights rollback or anti same gender marriage amendments have membership rolls of predominately European ancestry.

I'm not saying we don't have 'phobes in our midst. The peeps who are selling out to the white fundies like the Hi Impact leadership Coalition come immediately to mind along with the homophobic pronouncements of people like Rev. Gregory Daniels, Donnie McClurkin, and Rev. Bernice King.

But it was the Mormon church who provided the cash to fund and provided the foot soldiers for the Yes On 8 Forces of Intolerance. Last time I checked, the Mormon church ain't exactly chock full of members who look like me.

I find it laughable the Blacks are 'more homophobic' charge when the number one blog for almost a year in the Afrosphere's BBR's (Black Blog Rankings) has been the GLBT oriented Pam's House Blend. I and my transsisters have received much love, support, hands of friendship and sisterhood from womanists, but the predominately white dominated rad fem ranks have shown me and my transsisters nothing but hostile vitriolic hatred for three decades.

Even our civil rights icons such as Rep. John Lewis, Julian Bond and the late Coretta Scott King have consistently stated that GLBT rights are not only civil tights but human rights.

And if Black people are so homophobic as was scurrilously charged in California based on a flawed exit poll in Los Angeles County, explain why Prop 8 was defeated in Alameda County, which has a 13% Black population?

The major problem I have with the 'Black people are more homophobic' meme is that the peeps that keep spouting it are not only overwhelmingly white gays such as Dan Savage and others, but it deliberately ignores the fact there are Black SGL people as well.

If you want to eventually win the fight for same gender marriage, you can't continue to write off large chunks of the electorate because you have this false belief that our community is 'more homophobic', won't be receptive to your message and won't even try to be in my community to win it. You have to find a message that resonates with us just like you do any other community, and you'll need the help of the Black SGL/transgender community and our allies to do that. Failure to engage my community means failure to win at the ballot box.

So just as the white community has not only 'phobes but supporters and allies, so do we. It's past time you stop demonizing us with this disrespectful discredited meme and start humbly asking what can you do to win our support.


D.J. said...

I have to both agree and disagree with you on this one (I know right)! While i am not prepared to measure the level of blacks and their homophobia I will say our community has a lot of it. You did mention some very supportive people , but for Coretta Scott King (bless her soul) you have 500 Bill Dukes. For every Noah's ARC you have 200 other media outlet (Tom Joyner & co., Barber/Beauty shop esque movies) that portray gay black men as limp wristed dress wearing nellys (not that you should not be effimine if that is what you feel).

As far as prop 8 goes, well that was just badly handled. From everything I read and heard and talked to folks about GLBT POC were very much an afterthought.

Monica Roberts said...

True DJ, but the problem I have is we're being painted by elements of the white gay community as the biggest homophobes on the planet when that just ain't so.

Wonder Man said...

I agree with you Monica

Renee said...

For every Noah's ARC you have 200 other media outlet (Tom Joyner & co., Barber/Beauty shop esque movies) that portray gay black men as limp wristed dress wearing nellys (not that you should not be effimine if that is what you feel)

The problem is that the white gate community has a penchant for constructing us as uniquely gay. No one is denying that homophobia is present in the black community however, we are no more intolerant than any other group.

chamblee54 said...

Maybe a better question would be: Are Jesus Worshipers more homophobic than the rest of the population?

Dennis R. Upkins said...