On May 6th Tyra talked to people on both sides of the spectrum in an effort to figure out: Is gay the new black? What follows is a comment that was too long to post in her comment section.
As a gay male, first off let me say that I think some of you are reading too much into the statement “Is Gay the new Black” It’s a figure of speech, not a direct statement. No one in the LGBT community has ever or will ever suggest that both groups struggles are the exactly the same. What I really find disheartening about some of these comments is the fact that none of you, that feel so angry about the comparison even stop to think that the LGBT community has NO racial boundaries. LGBT people are not trying to minimize the horrible, awful, and sickening way that African Americans were treated in the past and on some level are still not treated equally by some in our society.
Some need to brush up on a bit of history as well, weather you realize it or not when the fight for civil rights began for African Americans there were also gay African Americans fighting right alongside their straight counterparts. Now for MARYAM, (05/16/09 6:31 am) part of your comment shows a somewhat severe lack of knowledge regarding the struggles that LGBT people have suffered. Take for example “black people were denied the simple right to a job, career, or better education due to the color of their skin. The gay community has never been denied these things nor were they hung from trees.” This is not a contest to see what group has struggled more that the other. Considering the fact that gay people have been denied or lost jobs and in some cases housing, although not on the same level as the African American community.
Not to mention FBI crime statistics against the LGBT community. In 2007 over 47% of sexual orientation bias offenses were violent assaults, in comparison to 31% for all hate crimes. Nongovernmental monitors reported a substantial increase in 2007 of violent attacks on LGBT people. Organizations across the country reported a 24 percent increase in incidents of violence against LGBT people in 2007, compared to 2006. They noted that murders more than doubled from 10 in 2006 to 21 in 2007. Again this is not a contest; I am letting you in on this information to let you know that although your ancestors went through hell. In this day and age it is the LGBT community who are going through hell, and considering the African American community knows what that is like it is more than understandable why someone would ask “Is Gay the new Black?” It was not asked to “diminish the reality of black slavery and its tragic consequences resulting from that which lasted for years and years.” Only to draw a slight comparison to the plight of LGBT community in today’s society.
A simple compare and contrast is all that needs to be done, but there is no reason to take it to the extremes and accuse the LGBT community of trying to hijack or out suffer the struggles of your ancestors. More than anything, what seems to be strange in this situation is that how some in the African American community could overlook these things and not even care to understand how citizens are being treated to this day. I was raised in the south and most of my family was pretty racist when I was growing up I would let them know how wrong they were and continue to do so today if it comes up. The reason is because YOU and the entire African American community are first and foremost American Citizens. I believe in our founding documents that “ALL men are created equal” and as such we should all be treated equal.
Now as for the religious aspect of things, we are a nation of laws and those laws are not based on religion. Religion has no place in the debate, in doing so religious people are only trying to force others to live the way think we should. Another reason the comparison is being made is simply because that most of the same excuses being given as to why LGBT people shouldn’t be able to marry were the same reasons given when slaves were not allowed to wed, or when interracial marriage was illegal. Take that up with the church and religious leaders, also this nonsense about letting voters decide what other citizens do in their own lives is crazy. What’s next? Would you support voters being able to decide if Christians couldn’t get a divorce? You see when you let the majority decide for minorities that’s Tyranny of the Majority, that’s exactly why we have the courts to override unconstitutional laws. Not only that if we had let the people vote on segregation back then, how do you think that would have turned out? Another thing to think about anyone of us at anytime can be considered a part of a minority group at some point or another, which means any of us, could possibly have the majority decide what it wants for us. No one is safe from having rights taken from them in that case.
Things people keep trying to bring into the debate that do not belong. Pedophilia and homosexuality are not related or even close to the same thing. The American Psychological Association is on record saying that there is no relationship between homosexuality and child sexual abuse. And it’s ILLEGAL. Polygamy, now this should be an easy one. It’s ILLEGAL equally to everyone. So there is no case that could be made that to deny this would be to deny equal rights, because it’s equally off limits for everyone. Marriage on the other hand is only off limits to LGBT people; therefore it constitutes unequal treatment under the law. Let’s continue the discussion as adults; we are talking about two taxpaying consenting adults. Not children or animals that cannot consent or group marriages.