Colour and the Rainbow Flag

 What do you think of when you think of a gay person? Chances are you think of a Caucasian individual. Why is that? Undoubtedly there are gay Asians, Indians, First Nations, African, Arabs, etc. in the world. So why do we tend to see only Caucasians on the television?

To cry out racism would be a superficial arguement because the various cultures that make up the American society carry with them their own prejudices as to the level of acceptance of homosexuality.

I’m going to consciously ignore the First Nations because there isn’t much in the way of hard evidence saying one way or another how they were treated; though a small look on the internet suggests that they were accepted as just another human being.

Looking at the second eldest ethnic minority in America, there is a little more contention on the subject. In the initial days of the Civil Rights/Gay Rights (I believe they are one and the same, but some would argue otherwise) movements there was little visible difference between ethnicity and homosexuality. We shared a common struggle, therefore the enemy of my enemy was my friend. Differences within the gay community seemed to become noticeable during the Reagan years and socio-economic disparity grew. While Caucasians climbed up the proverbial ladder, those within the African community remained stagnant or fell. With the coming of the HIV/AIDs crisis did we only come together again because no-one but ourselves were going to help each other. An arguement has been presented to the African community that it is because of their own prejudices of homosexuality that part of the problem has persisted within the gay community.

There was an interesting article I found about homosexuality and the “black church” and the coming out of the Rev. Benjamin Reynolds. One quote from the article was “I think the black church has a long way to go in this area,” he told a reporter. “The oppressed, when they feel a place where they’re free, they’ll find others who they’ll oppress.” I found this to be something that has confounded me for as long as I’ve been aware of this paradox. Why would any community that has had a history of oppression knowingly, and willingly, go after another?

My African blood may be too thin to sympathize with the African community in America but their blood is still my blood and it does hurt me on a different level when I see them attack my gay “brothers and sisters” because of who we are. Sometimes I would like to remind them that, even though their level of oppression isn’t what it used to be, we still share a commonality.

I’m leaving the links to the articles I read below:

The Black Church and Homosexuality

Thoughts on Race in the Gay Community


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