Join the leadership of the LGBTI community and stop trying to be the leader of the Black Gay community.
You seem rather reluctant to bring both sides together, and instead seem to be feeling that the White Gays are busy oppressing Black Gays.
Ms Cannick, you are still fighting the 1960′s. I, on the other hand, am not. The lack of black faces in the leadership of the LGBTI community is certainly not because any of us are excluding you from taking an active role in obtaining rights for all of us, black or white. Or, in the case of a number of us, Hispanic. I certainly know of no rule, or even move to exclude intellects and voices just like yours from the ranks of the leadership. All we ask is that you stop blaming us for your reluctance to step forward.
Stop acting as if, somehow, some way, we are the root of the problem.
I certainly know of, and even personally know, a large number of interracial gay and lesbian couples. I know transpeople of all races. Why not step forward and go after the root of the problem instead of projecting this issue upon the rest of us. Why not take on the leadership inside the black community for their prejudices instead of projecting prejudices upon the rest of us. Stop acting as if, somehow, the majority of the LGBTI community is kicking blacks down into the gutter.
The breakdown of the vote on Prop 8 was telling.
The majority of the black community that did show up was older, the demographic which voted overwhelmingly in favor of Prop 8. Even Nate Silver of fivethirtyeight.com was clear on this. The younger generation- black, white, latino- voted against Prop 8. It is certainly more the Mainstream Media which have been pushing this supposed importance of the black vote for Prop 8 than anyone on our staff, or anyone of the blogs that I have read, and yet, you blame the “white” leadership of this movement.
When I was growing up in Tampa, Florida, I learned a very stark lesson in racism. A man was being served with a warrant. The crime was fairly minor, but he needed to come down to the station. The officers involved allowed the man to go back into his house to get a jacket. Instead he came back with a gun and shot the two police officers. One of them died. The man went free in the end only to later commit a crime that he was sent to jail for.
The caveats to this tale? The man who was served the warrant is black. The officers were a white woman and a latino man. Officer DeSoto, the Latino man, died when one of the bullets hit him in the armpit and entered his chest cavity. The man who shot him said at his trial that he was afraid of the white officers who came to arrest him. As Officer DeSoto’s wife said after the trial, he was never white until he died.
I have strived very hard not to fall into racism. Through my nearly twenty-five years in the South, I managed to keep racial hatreds from overwhelming me. I clung to the color-blind vision I had when I first moved to Florida. I did this despite listening to whites tell me how blacks were dangerous scum, and blacks blaming ME for slavery. That’s right, a woman who had only one branch of her family in this country at the time of slavery was being blamed for it, and my ancestors in that branch fought for the union and against slavery.
What’s more, many of the leadership within the LGBTI community are not white.
Certainly a fair number of us are Asian and Hispanic, especially in California.
Ms Cannick, leave the racism behind and embrace being a leader within the LGBTI community. Stop acting as if, somehow, we “whites” in the leadership are excluding your unique voice. The LGBTI community today- maybe not yesterday, but certainly today- are more than open to all races, and we would like to see leaders of all races come together to fight for our rights. We lament not having more black voices in our community. It makes us feel less whole. Their silence makes us less of a chorus, and deprives us of our strength.
Sei is a trans-lesbian who lives in Vermont and has a strong passion for LGBTI rights. She has a BA in History and her hobbies include sci-fi, anime, fantasy, action movies, video games, and more. You can visit her Blogger profile here.