The Black Queer Factor: Why Can't Black and Gay Coexist?

“You don’t have to live next to me Just give me my equality”-Nina Simone from the song Mississippi Goddam

October is National LGBT month and October 11th is designated National Come Out Day. I read an article on by Aliya S. King yesterday titled the “The Mean Girls of Morehouse.” In almost an instant the article spread like a venereal disease and the feedback was vociferous. I thought twitter was going to shut down the push back was that intense and mainly very negative. Many people argued it wasn’t fair and balanced enough and it put Morehouse in a negative light. I can understand the argument on both sides, but what struck me the most is how Black people are almost unwilling to discuss Black sexuality beyond heterosexuality.

Why is everyone else allowed to be sexual beings and explore their sexuality except us? Human beings are probably the only species that have sexual relations outside of the need and want to procreate. We engage in sex because we actually enjoy it, but for some reason a large number of Black folks refuse to come to terms with the fact that not everyone enjoys heterosexual sex. Sexuality is fluid. We must get to a place where we can respect all various forms of sexuality. There is a large number of straight people who think that if they give credence to gays, accept the fact that people are born gay, and if the government gives gays and lesbians equal rights that heterosexuality will cease to exist and that the human race will become extinct. This type of thinking is problematic, divisive, and distracts us from the bigger picture.

The gay rights struggle is so closely interlocked with the feminist movement as well as the Black Civil Rights movement. We have more in common than we want to admit. As people of color it doesn’t behoove us to adopt an “us vs. them” mentality because not too long ago we were considered the “them’s” and in some circles we are still considered the social outcast. Not too long ago my brothers and sisters we were considered 3/5 of a person, we were not allowed to marry, serve God how we wanted, keep our language, or even our own names. Just because “massah” has allowed us to sit at the big table and sleep in the White House doesn’t mean that as a collective group that we have arrived and we shouldn’t be quick to forget and disassociate ourselves with other minorities who are being marginalized.

The same way that Black people come in beautiful shades of brown and Black skin is the same way our sexualities is diverse, but at the end of the day we all add to the bigger picture. We should not shy away from discussing sexuality and how it adds to our lives. As Dr. Martin Luther King said, an “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” I challenge all of my readers especially those of us who are straight to use the month of October to learn about the LGBT movement. We all must come out the closet of ignorance and separatism and walk towards light of acceptance.

Why do you think it is so hard for people to accept that being Black and gay can coexist?


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