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  BLACKLINES

20/20 Segment On Gays 'Gratifying, Troubling,' Says Black, Gay Author
by K. Godfrey Easter - LLM Publishing Group
2003-09-01

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It's Friday, Aug. 15, around 11 p.m. The segment from ABC's, 20/20 just finished airing. I had carved out a comfortable niche on my bed, while at my foot rested my trusted friend and Chow-Chow, Zero. I had prepared earlier to view this particular episode because of the enticing commercial trailers. But by the end of the show's 10-minute segment on how America is growing to embrace homosexuality, I found myself feeling both deeply gratified and troubled. Afterwards, even Zero turned to me with a puzzled look on his face.

What are the myriad of colors that comprise the endeared rainbow flag thought to represent for the collective gay and lesbian body? If it's the ever-shifting colors, like a mood ring, that entertaining homosexuals on TV ignite on the faces of straight people due to excessive laughter, then I am gratified and have no complaint. But, if the colors of our established banner signify equality for individuals of all ethnic groups and sexual orientations, then although the show came across as warm, fuzzy and embracing, I'm deeply troubled. One word hit me as I evolved from consuming a very delectable broadcast to barely stomaching what I had just finished watching. Exclusion.

The show included virtually no ethnic minority, gay or lesbian presence. But then, why should it? Practically none of the successful gay/lesbian-themed shows do either. Neither do the boardrooms, employee rosters, and the financial budgets of national gay/lesbian organizations.

Granted, the primetime viewing did use a pinch of film to display an image of the alluring African American cop from Six Feet Under. It also highlighted a new show featuring fashion-savvy gay men in stereotypical roles. The brief clip from the upcoming show displayed what vaguely appeared to me to be one person of color in a group of white men running merrily up the outside steps of a brownstone.

Don't misunderstand me. To conclude that this article intends to reflect that the white gay/lesbian majority is the primary reason its minority populations are grossly underrepresented in media is to miss my point entirely. There are many self-inflicted issues that continue to fester within the Black gay and lesbian community in America that need to, and can only be addressed by us. However, for the white gay and lesbian community to cooperatively allow the exclusion of equally talented and committed individuals of color is to go against the grain of the unspoken laws which are meant to govern and solidify the gay community's overall charge—liberty, justice and equality for all who have been made to feel marginalized.

Contrary to the popular religious misconception, earnest research into the account of the story of Sodom and Gomorrah in the Bible will reflect that God never destroyed the sister cities because they were homosexual. God wiped that county from the face of this earth because its inhabitants were greedy, wicked, selfish, and unkind to strangers and to those who were not like them. Therefore, mainstream, straight America more accurately identifies with being considered sodomites, than does its S-G-A societal segment. The last thing we, as a uniquely blessed segment of society, should desire is to mimic sodomite-like behavior.

The late actress and comedian, Moms Mabley, put it best when she said… 'If you always do what you always did, you'll always get what you always got.'

K. Godfrey Easter is a spiritual and social activist, engaging public speaker, and the author of Love lifted Me: In Spite Of The Church. See www.loveliftedmenetwork.com .


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