Wednesday, May 27, 2009

My column on black prides to run in The State newspaper

This is the good news I hinted about last night:

Last week, I received word that a column I wrote regarding black prides will run in the State newspaper. Most likely the column will appear next month just in time for SC Black Pride (June 18-21). The column will run as either a daily Online Extra or part of the State's online Saturday Opinion Extra package.

I have told only a few friends and was going to announce it on this blog last week. But then the Proposition 8 thing happened and I held back.

The last thing I needed was someone to spoil my good news by saying that my column running in the State is not as important as the Proposition 8 case.

But it is important. As far as I know this will be the first time that the State newspaper will address lgbt issues from an African-American gay man's perspective on its editorial pages.

They also wanted a picture of me to appear with the column. And I should tell you that it's not one of my best but I like it for that reason. I don't look like the usual gay activist one sees in the magazines and on television. My glasses are huge, my hair is wild and I don't look "All-American," so to speak.

Another thing that's important about this column is that it totally avoids the distractive issue of comparing the black civil rights movement to the gay rights movement. It focuses solely on how lgbts of color are ignored in the mainstream African-American community and how this endangers us. I made it a point to address this issue several times, including calling out hypocrisies and expressing the "Native Son" theory of community self esteem made by black author Richard Wright.

So despite the Proposition 8 decision, I continue to be in a good mood. I personally think a step forward has been made.

I will let you all know when the column is published.

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Wednesday afternoon news briefs

This is what happens when I miss a day of work. I get waaaay behind and have to catch up. Oh well, I apologize for the lateness of these news briefs

Prop 8 crazy in the Blend mailbag - Now I'm never one to pay attention to the opposition gloating in my face but in light of how the religious right exploited the Proposition 8 anger in November, take a look at what some folks had to say to us. Gloating is so un-Christian.

Ted Olson, better known as the devil, is now better than our president on gay marriage - And suddenly the world gets crazy.

Back on the ballot in CA in 2010? - This is the way to go!

Calif. high court dug its own hole, jumped in - Courtesy of One News Now, these folks are never happy. Reminds me of an ex.

How the Prop 8 Ruling Will Help Gay Marriage - I know folks will probably resent this piece because they are swept up in self pity and tears. WELL GET OVER IT FOLKS!! Did you think it was going to be easy? The race never belongs to the swift but the one who can stay on course. Keep pushing.

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Day after storm yields good discussion on race and sexual orientation

First about President Obama picking Sonia Sotomayor for the Supreme Court - may I never get picked for anything by any sitting president. Folks go through all of your business. I'm not sure I can destroy all of those pictures and videos before they fall into the wrong hands.

Seriously, we are one day removed from the Prop 8 decision and other than a little circular firing, the community seems to be more geared to action. We are galvanized and that ain't a bad thing.

One thing I noticed is how quickly some of us want to get into the intense discussions on the things that hinder our struggle. While I believe that these discussions should take place before something seemingly negative happens, it's still good to have them.

I'm following one on Pam's House Blend that speaks to a problem I know so well:

As someone who is black and lesbian, it's tiring and absurd to encounter the argument that the black civil rights movement somehow exclusively owns the ability to use "civil rights." And the result of that is any challenge to this thinking amounts to stepping on the third rail.

There is no Oppression Olympics that requires a certain level of historic suffering by a group of people to be able to use those words. I refuse to cede them to anyone.

In the Bay State Banner, there is an article by Talia Whyte, "Black gay couples in Mass. mark marriage anniversary," that shows just how black gays, even prominent ones, have had to deal with the issue of being rendered invisible -- but how marriage equality in the state has begun to crack through the wall of homophobia within the black community there.

I've come to the conclusion that any discussions comparing the black civil rights movement and the gay civil rights movement is a distractive argument, i.e. an argument that solves nothing and exists only to make the participants mad at each other.

The problem is that no one is personalizing the lgbt equality struggle in the black community. African-Americans should not support gay civil rights because Dr. King would or Coretta Scott Kng would. And they shouldn't support gay civil rights because Julian Bond and John Lewis would.

African-Americans should support gay civil rights because they have friends and family who would benefit from gay civil rights. Gay rights are a black issue but one would never know that due to the images put out in the media and by our spokespeople.

The gay rights movement is homogenized (i.e. too damn white). Our public image does not speak to the true diversity or the needs of the lgbt community and until someone steps up to change this, we are going to continue to have problems with race in the lgbt community.

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