Tag Archives: gay

That Moment When Lafayette Read The Nation

“Has it ever occurred to that I want a piece of happiness to. Lafayette that queen who makes you white heterosexuals feel happy? No.”

I am sure that the quote is not 100% accurate but forgive me because I was too busy screaming, “Speak my life!” It was not because it was such a great read, I mean it was an epic read, but I screamed because so many times in my queer black life I have been made to feel as if I am to exist solely for the pleasure of straight females, or the curiosity of straight white folk, or to teach straight black folk about gay and queer rights, to convince masculine gay guys that fem guys deserve more respect than we are given by our brothers, or to tell white gay folk why Sierra Mannie’s article deserves something better than a “Bye Felicia.” I have been made to feel this way and I refuse it; I struggle against it on a regular basis.

It becomes repetitive.

It becomes too familiar.

It makes you numb.

This can be exhausting.

So, when Lafayette said his speech he was not speaking only to Jessica, nor was he speaking for all gay folk; he couched his words in a rhetoric that acknowledged sexuality, race, and gender performance. He was speaking to so many of you about us.

We black femme queer bois and gurlz want that piece of happiness and we don’t exist for any of you.

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New HuffPost Blog Post

New HuffPost Blog Post

I even used the term “blaqueer.” Share the post luvs.

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Told you that saying “Gay is the new Black” is so last season (and the season before and the season before)

I found a 2011 peice I wrote in resonse to Monique Ruffin’sDecember 2011 piece “It’s official gay is the new black” over on the Huffington Post; I share it to show how my argument, for better or worse, has not changed, and also to show how I stated before, this claim is not new. (I have also wrote about this at least 3-4 years ago in St Louis’ The Vital Voice) My old piece:

“Gay is the new Black” (GITNB); it is witty, catchy, and T-shirt consumer ready but the problem is it is overly simplistic and blatantly wrong.  Monique Ruffin’s well intentioned article is simply the latest entry in a campaign to equate sexuality-based oppression with race-based oppression. An awareness is needed; we must look at the phrase “gay is the new black” and recognize that it simultaneously conflates oppression with fashion and replaces one oppression with another. We must ask ourselves: what does this mean and what are the consequences of this? In order for this to be true then one of two things must occur; either race-based oppression has ended (When did this happen?) or caring about race-based oppression is passé and tired. The consequences of this sentence, this campaign are many and profound:

  1. While articles like Ruffin’s are quick to, rightfully, take the black church to task for its homophobia, they also treat the black culture as one monolithic being that is fully homophobic. They reduce us to flattened people; people void of nuance; people without a complicated history when it comes to queer sexuality and queer people.
  2. The GITNB crowd leave unexamined, unmentioned, un-confronted the ways gay culture is in many ways deeply racist and rushing after privilege; it does not question how the gay rights movement tries desperately hard to break down the walls between gay men and white male privilege not to destroy that privilege but instead to partake in it.
  3. GITNB thinking does not recognize that there are queer people who are gay and black, gay and latino, gay and Asian, gay and American Indian, gay and mixed-raced and that we therefore experience multiple forms of oppression from multiple places of origin; due to this, our voices are often silenced except for those few of who are trotted out to support the idea that our raced communities are more homophobic than mainstream (i.e. White) America. (Never-mind that many white gay peoples have historically fled their original mostly white neighborhood to set-up gayborhoods, or that every single piece of homophobic, anti-gay, anti-queer legislation has been passed by majority white legislatures.)
  4. Finally GITNB ignores the fact that we live in a world of multiple oppressions–W.E.B. Du Bois statement ““for the problem of the Twentieth Century is the problem of the color-line” is no longer true; the problem of the Twenty-First Century is the problem of Lines. We live in a world where many of us occupy roles of oppressor and oppressed; I am black, queer, fem, fat, dark, but I am also male, educated, and middle class; I have my privileges and to run from this is to be part of the problem.

It does no good to say “gay is the new black”; gay will never be the new black because black will always be black and gay will always be gay, and it is not that the two will never meet; it is that they already do and always have as long as these subjectivities have existed. Oppression by nature, as power’s enabler, works diffusively and creatively in multiple simultaneous ways–each feeding the other. We need articles detailing how oppressions are linked and examining the real world effects of these links (see the handling/reporting of the Lawrence King murder case).

Of course I could be flip and write what a friend of mine wrote to me on my Facebook page regarding Ruffin’s article; he wrote “when will they say ‘Big is the new Gay’?” I replied “You know never; gay people hate big people, especially [us] gay fat people, too much to let that happen.” But I can’t write that because that is like gay racism, we just can’t talk about that–hurts our mainstream campaign by showing that like others we oppress as we are currently being oppressed.

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Gay is not now, not ever will it be, the new black (or to stick with a tired fashion analogy: saying “Gay is the new Black” is so last season)

Re: John McWorter’s Daily News Article “Gay Really is the New Black”

No sir, it really is not. Here are some of the reasons why:

1) As David Eng states in The Feeling of Kinship,  statements like “gay is the new black” acts as if the racial project(s) in US America is complete. It is not.

2) This statement ignores that there are many gay people who are both black and gay and as a recent (no shit sherlock) report showed, Black gay people experience more hardships than white gays, so yeah “gay” doesn’t fully capture our experiences and definitely not to the point that it can be called the new black as if it is supplanting it.

3) There is no acknowledgement of gay racism nor homonormativity (which, as Roderick Ferguson points out in Black Queer Studiesworks in tandem with whiteness) in this statement. If gay(s) want to be the “new black,” then start by confronting the very real privileging of and preference for whiteness and white bodies in the community. Address gay racism.  Till you do that with as much furor as we talk about black homophobia, please take a few seats.

4) Why if black people are human are we to expect them to be more accepting than others regardless of their history? Many have been persecuted and oppressed and yet also, unfortunately, oppress others. So why expect Blacks to be these magical beings?

1) how in the hell did this tired piece get pass the editor? This topic is so old and played out.

2) Despite stating “Yes, homophobia is American, not African-American,” McWorter still lingers on the idea that Blacks are/were somehow more homophobic than white people.

3) Obviously homonormativity knows no color.

4)The conclusion of the piece reads like some misplaced “blind items” blurb.

Parting shot:
From Pat Parker’s Movement in Black:

If I could take all my parts with me when I go somewhere, and not have to say to one of them, “No, you stay home tonight, you won’t be welcome,” because I’m going to an all-white party where I can be gay, but not Black. Or I’m going to a Black poetry reading, and half the poets are antihomosexual, or thousands of situations where something of what I am cannot come with me. The day all the different parts of me can come along, we would have what I would call a revolution.

As this is still not true for many POC, gay is not, and cannot be, the new Black.

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