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Thursday, April 28, 2011

GAYS AND BLACK ARE OF THE SAME COLOR

In America, there is often and great divide between black and gay communities.  This strikes the gay community as a hurtful and negligent misunderstanding of the common place that these two minorities hold.

Even in a city as gay as Atlanta, there is an uneasy relationship between the black and gay community.

I recently went out to a black gay bar known as Bulldogs.  This bar has been open since 1978.  I have avoided the bar like a plague for one reason: SO many white people told me not to go because I wasn't welcome there--because I would be treated poorly for being white.  I am ashamed to say that I listened--and I am sure that so many other people over the years have avoided this bar for the same reason.  It turns out: I LOVE THIS PLACE! It's the ONLY gay bar in Atlanta that plays hip-hop, serves super cheap drinks, and contains the essence of gay black club life.  But that's my point: people believe what they hear, and therefore inadvertently participate in an active and ignorant prejudice between two cultures.

I find it odd that there is a Black Gay Pride separate from Gay Pride.  Although I understand there is pride to be had by those whose face the hardships of being both gay and black in the south, I believe such an intentional segregation will only hinder our ability to achieve equality in the eyes of the law and our communities.

In my experience, many black do not like gays referring to themselves as a "minority".  This is a silly and ignorant offense to take because of A) the definition of the word "minority", and B) how much these two minorities have in common.  Some people, like NAACP leader Rev. Keith Ratliff, don't approve of the term "civil rights" being applied to the gay struggle.  Currently, gays are fighting for the right to marry, the right to fight for their country, and the right to have a family.  Gays know what is like to be abused, singled out, discriminated against in the workplace, public, and in school.  The struggles gays have had and continue to go through mirror those of the African American population and the Civil Rights Movement--and it would be unfortunate if the rift between these two minorities would continue to remain without the proper bridges being built.

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