OK… I am going to ruffle some feathers here, so if you aren’t feeling up to it, go ahead and keep it moving. I want to talk to communities of color (and other marginalized groups) about something that has been bothering me for a little while: the engagement in homophobia and anti-LGBTQ rhetoric/behavior.
I understand homophobia/anti-LBTQ rhetoric is a problem in all communities and I am NOT saying that any one community is more homophobic than another because, frankly, that has been proven false. BUT there is something about oppressed communities oppressing one another that has really gotten me beyond irritated lately. I’ll tell you why.
Today, I ended up in a conversation with a bunch of people of color about LGBTQ rights. This was inspired by DJT’s most recent decision to be a fucking asshole. Below are some screencaps (all identifying info removed). I need you to see them. The blurred photo is me.
This conversation frustrated me deeply. I couldn’t believe the degree to which people in one oppressed community were willing to oppress those in another one. I think that was my naivety getting the best of me. I stupidly assumed that we were all in this together because we NEED to be. But clearly, I was wrong.
So I guess this is my plea to my friends and family who are people of color and/or parts of other oppressed communities: we need to reach out and educate each other. We need to call out bigotry and ignorance within our communities, too. It is not OK to just call out white people for theirs and then come home and engage in it ourselves. That’s bullshit… and I feel like we know it. With forces like the current white nationalist sect of the GOP and their president working against us, there is no time for this internal division. If we can’t figure out how to love and accept one another, I am afraid we will fall.
I understand that a big piece of this is religion and I have my own feelings about that. What I will say, though, is that if your religion requires you to hate or judge people, you need a new religion. Stop using Christianity (or any religion) as an excuse for bigotry, ignorance, and oppression. It is hypocritical and it makes you no better than the very same people who discriminate agains communities of color. As far as I know, we are meant to live with love and to respect one another. If we can’t do that, then I sincerely believe we are bound to crumble under the weight of this whitelash and all of its associated hate and rancor.
Our strength is in our unity. The resistance depends on that almost SOLELY. We need to dissolve any hatred within and between our communities if we have any shot of making a difference. All of those who are oppressed must mount this resistance and we cannot be successful if we can’t manage to love, respect, protect, and advocate for one another. I promise that division within us is a victory for them… and that should scare you.
So please, challenge yourself. Challenge yourself to call out your mother, brother, pastor, cousin, best friend, cousin’s girlfriend’s mother… because it is vital. Calling out our white friends and/or family is not enough because clearly, we’ve got some internal issues to address. And personally, I am not into discrimination when it comes to calling out discrimination. When oppressed people oppress people, we are all in danger. We are playing right into the hands of those with the power. I don’t want to do that. We can’t do that.
The LGBTQ community shows up for us because they ARE us… we need to show up for them. Period.