Politics: An Open Letter to the White Gay Man
Submission by Michael O., first-time contributor
The views expressed on this and other LGBT websites regarding race relations often characterize blacks as behind the times regarding homophobia while ignoring the racial prejudices that have become so normalized in the LGBT community (among gaywhite men in particular) that they are not even thought of as worthy of discussion. The recent backlash turned media phenomenon that followed Tracy Morgan’s idiotic tirade during a standup routine in Tennessee brought up much of the old racist innuendo that was so prevalent following the passing of Proposition 8. I am often fascinated by those who say the racial element is irrelevant. They vehemently maintain that the LGBT movement is just identifying a collective enemy of its causes.
So last week, when Marcus Bachmann referred to gay people as barbarians where were all of these heroic white gays to offer their astute commentary on homophobia in the white community? This incident was certainly reported on, but it just seemed to lack some of the pizazz that Tracy Morgan brought out. This man would be the “First Man” of the United States if Bachmann is successful in her campaign, and Morgan is a mere comedian.
With the latter, The New Gay even posted a moronic article called “An Open Letter to Tracy Morgan“ in which Craig Gidney (whose post scarcely even addressed Morgan’s remarks) launched into a rather incoherent tirade about his experiences being bashed and denigrated by those that “share[s] a hue and culture that matches [his]own.” Unsurprisingly, the article was hailed by some as heroic, and one commenter even boldly stated “May we all call out homophobia and bigotry no matter its source,” insinuating that blacks are spared criticism from gay rights activists due to political correctness. This juvenile assessment is reiterated loudly and often. The problem with this “analysis” is that races are not typically given ownership of homophobia. After all, under more careful scrutiny it was revealed that Hispanics actually won the “homophobia as measured by percentage of their race’s approval of Proposition 8″ award. I recall no collective effort on behalf of the courageous white gays to offer their cold, hard truths to the Hispanic community.
A commenter on an article on TNG called “Why am I Not Attracted to Black Men“ even gave blacks credit for the high instance of gay hate crimes in Washington, DC. He maintained that it’s all because Marion Barry and Bishop Harry Jackson efforts to incite the 50% of the city’s population that is black to target gay white men through some nebulous mind control process that was never clearly defined. Never mind that blacks are victims of hate crimes far more disproportionately than they commit them. Never mind that there are a litany of African-American leaders who are supportive of LGBT rights like Julian Bond and . . . oh yeah . . . . Barack Obama that black people could turn to for leadership, but white gays are always so certain that it’s these anti-gay black preachers who are running the show among the darkies and that black people eagerly listen to them. Interestingly, these same well-intentioned white gays feel no need to give blacks credit for getting gay marriage passed in DC. That must have been entirely the work of the LGBT movement’s efforts to mobilize support in the city.
Before the Tracy Morgan incident, one of the most famous examples cited as evidence of “black homophobia” was that white people (as a demographic) voted against Proposition 8 in California, which the majority of black voters supported.
So what about Oregon? Oregon Measure 36 was approved by 57% of voters and the population is only 1.8% black. 53% of whites voted for the measure. What about Montana Initiative 96? Black people make up approximately .4% of the population in the Treasure State, yet the measure passed by 67%. 66% of white voters there passed the measure. Utah Amendment 3? Again,66% of white voters were for that one. In Kentucky, 76% of white voters supported Kentucky Amendment 1 which banned same sex marriage, while 70% of blacks did. What about Arkansas Amendment 3? In my home state 77% of whites voted for it while only 66% of blacks did. Why weren’t any of those stats paraded all over every gay media outlet? Where were the brave calls to speak truth to the white populace in those states? But many would have you believe that the selective outrage and blatant racism brought about by the passing of Proposition 8 stems from a desire to speak out to intolerance “no matter what its source.”
The real issue (surprise, surprise) is actually the religious demographics of each race. African-Americans are the most religious racial group according to Pew studies. Further, Historically Black Churches (which not all black people attend) aren’t the most intolerant toward homosexuality. They come in second to White Evangelical Churches. To be certain, religion has played a strong role in the African-American community due to so many of its prominent leaders in the middle of the 20th century (MLK, Malcolm X, etc.) having strong religious ties. To some blacks homosexuality is still seen as the pinnacle of debauchery and excess, and this homophobia must be addressed. But the homophobia of black people is not attached to their blackness any more than the homophobia of white people is attached to their whiteness. Black people are much more likely to be hard up than white people. And people who are hard up tend to be very serious about Jesus. And people who are very serious about Jesus tend to be very serious about homosexuality being a great societal evil. So if you want to put an end black homophobia, perhaps instead of ostracizing gays of color and condescending to African-Americans you should put away your iPhone and attempt to alleviate some of the poverty and desperation in the black community that has made them (past and present) rely so heavily on religion for the answers to their problems.
Unfortunately, most of the white people screaming loudest on this topic have no interest in unraveling the causation of these disparities. They just want to extrapolate the statistical data that demonstrates a correlation between a person’s race (so long as they are not white) to their negative traits. They attack white intolerance through their religion and black intolerance through their race, and facts be damned. Instead of using every instance of “black homophobia” as evidence that the Negros are coming to get the white homos, the white homos could avail themselves of the realities of minority experiences in the LGBT community.
White gays are only concerned with the races of homophobes if they’re black because the gay community is extremely racist. Most of the social outlets in the LGBT community are aimed at upper-middle class, white gay men, and as a result minorities, people who are transgendered, and lesbians are relegated to second class citizenship. Patrons at every gay club I have ever been to are almost exclusively white males (occasionally lesbians will be in a separate room upstairs) and the people of color are typically ignored and even sneered at. Magazines purporting to represent all gay people feature almost exclusively white male models and statements like “no blacks please” and “not into rice” on dating and “hook-up” sites are so commonplace that many do not even see these statements as offensive. And transgendered people? Do they even exist?
But this segregation and stratification rarely factors into the equation when white gay men seek to lecture blacks (gay & otherwise) on “black homophobia.” They would love to have a dialogue about race as long as it’s understood from the beginning of the discussion that (a) they are in no way responsible for the racial stratification that exists in society at large and within the LGBT community, (b)they have NEVER (GASP!) done ANYTHING as a result of racial prejudices, (c) they have never benefited from their elevated status, and (d) minorities must entertain the propagation of their ridiculous narrative regarding the racial oppression of white people.
“It’s like you think Brown v. Board of Ed ought to apply to boners too lol.”
“You can’t legislate friendship and/or who I wanna fuck! Am I sexist for only sleeping with women?”
“I’m not going to apologize for being white!”
Narcissistic absurdities such as these are screamed indignantly as if the underlying message of the rhetoric directed at their privileges is a direct attack upon their whiteness. The proclivity of white gays to look to the brown skinned people around them as the source of their plight while simultaneously ignoring their white privilege is alarmingly common. Apparently race only matters when certain anti-gay legislative measures pass in certain states where certain ethnic groups voted for it, or when certain comedians make disturbing comments in their stand-up routines. That’s why every time I read a self-serving article about “black homophobia“ touted about on a completely Euro-centric gay blog or an embarrassing essay about the victimization of the gay white man within a community that is expressly tailored to the interests of his specific identity, I find myself shaking my head. We have along way to go to reach equality within the gay community before we can fully tackle the oppression coming from the lunatics who seek to eradicate it. The racist scapegoating that is masqueraded as political pragmatism needs to stop. If it does not, expect to retain no credibility when criticizing minority opposition/indifference to the causes of the LGBT movement.
First time here? See what we're all about... Get involved... Send us a tip!...