Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2015-11-18
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage



VIEW: Gay is NOT the new Black
by Rev. Irene Monroe

facebook twitter stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email

If you are African-American and gay, and fighting alongside your white LGBTQ brothers and sisters for queer civil rights, the notion that "Gay is the new black" is not only absurdly arrogant, it is also dangerously divisive.

In a presumably "post-racial" era with the country's first African-American president-elect, it's easy for some to assume that race doesn't matter.

But when critiquing the dominant white LGBTQ community's ongoing efforts to gain marriage equality and its treatment of Blacks as their second-class allies in the struggle a reality check happens: Both straight and queer African-American communities bond together against their strategy for marriage equality.


Because race does matter!

Here's a case in point: Proposition 8 and blaming the Black community for its win at the ballot box.

The Proposition 8 debate has brought much consternation and polarization between white LGBTQ communities and African Americans.

And with the expectation of a dominantly white marriage-equality movement pushing forward a single-issue agenda, the movement arrogantly ignores vital ways for coalition-building within Black communities, and honorable ways of connecting their struggle to those of African Americans.

But here's an example that defused the tension in much of the heterosexual African-American community when it was publicly arguing that same-sex marriage is not a civil-rights issue.

In commemorating the 40th anniversary of Loving v. Virginia in the June 12, 1967 historic Supreme Court decision that advanced racial and marriage equality in this country, the NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund, Inc., marked the anniversary by stating the following: "It is undeniable that the experience of African Americans differs in many important ways from that of gay men and lesbians; among other things, the legacy of slavery and segregation is profound. But differences in historical experiences should not preclude the application of constitutional provisions to gay men and lesbians who are denied the fight to marry the person of their choice." And in April 2006, the fund filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the case brought by New York same-sex couples challenging their exclusion from marriage.

But the Marriage Equality movement neither extends its reach beyond its concerns within its community nor outside of it.

How the marriage debate should have been framed—in a way that speaks truth to various LGBTQ communities of color and classes—has not been given considerable concern.

And with no public language to adequately articulate the unique embodiment of LGBTQ communities of color and classes within the same-sex marriage debate, this has become contentious. The dominant white queer languaging of this debate, at best, muffles the voices of these communities, and, at worst, mutes them. In other words, in leaving out the voices of LGBTQ communities of color and classes, the same-sex marriage debate is hijacked by a white upper-class queer universality that not only renders these marginalized queer communities invisible, but—as it is presently framed—also renders them speechless.

Within and across states, the marriage-equality movement persistently dons white leadership. Faces of color become important, visible and needed to the Marriage Equality movement only when the movement is actually pimping a Black page from the civil-rights movement for a photo-op moment to push their agenda.

The problem of saying "Gay is the new black" poses the following problems for many African Americans:

—The marriage-equality movement exploits Black suffering and experiences to legitimate its own;

—The marriage-equality movement's rallying cry against heterosexist oppression dismisses its own responsibility when it comes to white skin privilege.

—The marriage-equality movement appropriates the content of the Black civil-rights movement, but discards the context and history that brought about it.

But this is not surprising because the larger LGBTQ movement has distorted, if not erased, its own history when it come to the Stonewall Riots of June 27-29, 1969, in Greenwich Village, New York City, which started on the backs of working-class African-American and Latino transgender patrons of the bar. Those brown and black LGBTQ people are not only absent from the photos of that historic night, but they are also bleached from the annals of queer history and gay-pride events.

Because of the bleaching of the Stonewall Riots, the beginnings of LGBTQ movement post-Stonewall is an appropriation of black and brown transgender liberation narratives absent of black and brown people. And it is the visible absence of these black, brown and yellow LGBTQ people that makes it harder for white queer elites in our movement to confront their racism and transphobia.

If African-American LGBTQ people are not included in the history and in the decision-making issues involving queer life, how then can the movement expect our participation, let alone the rest of the African-American community?

Sadly, if racism continues to go unchecked in the marriage-equality movement it won't only cost California's LGBTQ community the right to marry—it will cost us all.

facebook twitter stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email

Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


Axelrod speaks on working for Obama 2015-11-25
National roundup: Indiana bill; Obergefell backs Hillary; task force 2015-11-24
World news: LGBT Ugandans; Ireland and marriage; trans deaths 2015-11-24
White House recognizes Chicagoan Pidgeon Pagonis among "Champions of Change" 2015-11-23
Biskupski officially mayor of Salt Lake City 2015-11-18
World news: Countries criticized; Justin Trudeau; manslaughter case 2015-11-17
Equality Illinois to honor Pelosi at February gala 2015-11-17
Upcoming: David Mixner Nov. 13; David Axelrod Nov. 17 2015-11-11
Obama backs Equality Act 2015-11-10
World news: France's blood ban; Elton John; IBM excels 2015-11-10
National roundup: Kameny honored; military rape; anti-gay attacks 2015-11-10
Hillary Clinton delivers keynote address to SC Equality 2015-11-07
Equality Illinois PAC to host David Axelrod 2015-11-06
HRC condemns Carson's attack on trans people 2015-11-05
Hundreds attend Personal PAC luncheon 2015-11-04
Salt Lake City may have lesbian mayor 2015-11-04
California Civil Rights Coalition ready to fight following Houston LGBT vote 2015-11-04
Youth, faith leaders, county commissioners call for funding for violence prevention 2015-11-03
OutRight CEO Stern 'hopeful' for future of global human rights 2015-11-03
Hastert pleads guilty in hush-money case 2015-11-02
Outed Goshen candidate still does not support ordinance change 2015-11-01
Carson talks gays at GOP debate 2015-10-29
GOP immigration bill blocked; Franken inquires about trans murders 2015-10-28
World news: Trans-murder trial; amfAR; gay 'vampire'; Russian law 2015-10-27
National: SAGE gala; intersex suit; Pelosi; 'Dying Words' 2015-10-27
Activist discusses Israeli LGBT life 2015-10-24
Biden not running for president 2015-10-21
National: Intersex awareness; therapy; Sotomayor; GLAAD PSA 2015-10-20
HRC unveils new goals at Chicago gala 2015-10-18
Democratic debate: Two of five mentioned LGBT support in opening remarks 2015-10-14
World news: Official comes out; Tunisian group; shocking Russian poll 2015-10-13
National roundup: Equality Act; out Penn. lawmaker; Spirit Day 2015-10-13
National roundup: Clinton liaison; trans suicide; Voices on Point gala 2015-10-06
World news: IGLHRC renamed; Ugandan honored; bi billionaire comes out 2015-10-06
Duncan to leave education post 2015-10-06
Bernie Sanders returns to UChicago for recruitment drive 2015-10-05
Clinton promises to fight, Biden says past ensures the future 2015-10-04
Donna Shalala suffers stroke 2015-09-30
Indiana Republican suddenly resigns 2015-09-30
Clinton, Biden to speak at HRC events 2015-09-30

Copyright © 2015 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.








About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.