Thursday, April 23, 2009

The reason why Black Prides must exist

Forgive me for doing a little advertising this morning

Last night, I got angry with an episode of Tyler Perry’s House of Payne.

One of the child characters, Malik, found himself in the middle of the dilemma because one of his friends was HIV positive. The child was ostracisized and Malik had to defend him from the other children.

This the second time House of Payne focused on the issue of HIV and AIDS in the black community. The other time, another one of the leading characters was dating an HIV positive woman.

But at neither time did this show even talk about black gay men who are one of main groups affected in startling large numbers by HIV and AIDS.

It's almost as if the show was saying that HIV and AIDS is a problem only when it affects the "normal folks" in the black community.

But it’s par for the course with this show. House of Payne is one of the most popular shows in the black community and it has yet to have even a guest character who is lgbt. But it doesn’t seem to have a problem with making jokes about someone being gay or being on the “down low.”

And its indicative of the black community. No one in the black community seems to care about lgbts of color - our issues, or our lives in general.

Instead we are supposed to be placated by ridiculous assurances that "no one has a problem with our 'lifestyle' as long as we aren't in anyone's faces about it."

Meanwhile, we are pushed in a psychological closet and muzzled like dogs.

When our leaders talk about the problems of the black community, we know they won't include us.

When well meaning activists focus on the "State of Black America," we are absent.

When magazines like Ebony write articles comparing "black civil rights" and "gay civil rights," they conveniently can't find lgbts of color to comment.

Well that's nonsense and I'm tired of it. I'm gay, I'm an African-American and I am proud of both of my identities.

I don't feel as if I have to choose between the two. That's why I have been busy helping to coordinate Black Prides in South Carolina. This year will our the fourth one.

Black prides must continue to exist so that we can remind people that lgbts of color exist. Whether the rest of the black community approves of us or not is irrelevant. We deserve acknowledgement and respect.

It's as simple as that:

South Carolina to be United 4 Change:
Black, Bold & Proud in June

The African-American lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community of South Carolina and its allies will be out and proud June 18-21 as the state holds its Fourth Annual SC Black Pride in the state’s capital, Columbia.

The theme, United 4 Change: Black, Bold & Proud, promises many surprises that will celebrate the richness of South Carolina’s same gender loving community of color as well as the diversity of the LGBT community at large.

“Our purpose is to celebrate the often subjugated creativity, beauty, dignity, and brilliance of South Carolina’s Black LGBT community,” says Dr. Todd Shaw, Chair, of the SC Black Pride Committee. “Racism and homophobia attack same-gender loving [African-American] sisters and brothers [conjointly]. Now’s the time for the Black community to understand how much we contribute to the larger freedom struggle and for society to understand how much we contribute as loving mothers, fathers, teachers, preachers and young leaders.”

Organizers anticipate a record 4,000 South Carolinians and out-of-town guests will participate in the scheduled events, official parties and community expo.

All are welcome to attend! To learn more about this Pride’s many empowering events (including becoming a vendor and advertising in the Pride Guide), refer to:

South Carolina Black Pride
P.O. Box 8191
Columbia, SC 29202

2009 SC Black Pride Events
(All events are in Columbia, South Carolina)

*** Pre-Pride Events ***

Friday, May 29th
Sexxy Redd Party, $10 Admission

PT’s Cabaret, 1101 Harden St., 10 p.m. – 2 a.m.

Friday, June 12th
Mr. & Ms. SC Black Pride Pageant
, $10 General Admission
PT’s Cabaret, 1101 Harden St., 10 p.m. – 2 a.m.

Sunday, June 15th
Volunteering Training & Appreciation Dinner
, Free Admission
Harriet Hancock Center, 1108 Woodrow St., 6:30 – 8 p.m.

*** Pride Week ***

Thursday, June 18th
Welcome Reception
, Free Admission – Cash bar
HUSH Restaurant & Tappas Bar, 1004 Gervais St., 7 – 9 p.m.

Friday, June 19th
MSM (Men who have Sex with Men) HIV Prevention Institute
"Evidence That Demands Action",
5605 Bush River Rd., 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 pm
$20-25 registration
Sponsored by AID Upstate, Greenville, SC with support from the AAMSM Workgroup

Juneteenth Black LGBT Film Fest & Talk Back, Free Admission
USC Law School Auditorium, 701 Main St., 7 – 10 p.m.

Saturday, June 20th
Community Expo!
Free Admission
Vendors, Entertainment, Door Prizes
Courtyard by Marriott, 630 Assembly St.
Presidential Ballroom, 12 noon – 6 p.m.

Women’s Party!
Sponsored by SC Black Pride, 10 p.m. – 2 a.m., TBA

SCBP Ball Hosted by Econ Blahnik
“Operation Enduring Freedom,"

$30 Admission
Courtyard by Marriott, 630 Assembly St.
Presidential Ballroom, 12 midnight – 5 a.m.

Sunday, June 21st
Community Worship Service
, Free Admission
Courtyard by Marriott, 630 Assembly St.
Co-Presided by
Pastor Rashawn Flournoy, Freedom Worship Church, Greenville, SC and
Bishop Tonyia Rawls
and Rev. Marage Romeo of Unity Fellowship Church, Charlotte, NC

1 comment:

StumblingBlock said...

I agree... a definite need for this. I would happily see such an event and even participate. I'm white, but extremely supportive. I've brought up how sad a fact the split in the community and the stigma against gays in the black community can be, and... well... it wasn't pretty. But I stand by it. There's no reason for us to not all support each other equally, and those who don't have no excuse for not knowing better, but someone of one minority group fighting against inequality especially should know better.