(Guest blogger – Staci)
I’ve heard many anecdotes regarding the reluctance of the Black community to get behind the LGBT people and their fight for rights. Generally, these supposed reasons are assumed to be based in religion and adherence to the scripture. We’ve been chastised, ridiculed and even endured attempts at shame – to motivate movement towards their belief that gay rights equates to civil rights. Here is the issue for me and many that I know. To compare the challenges that gay people endure to the atrocities that Black people experienced, borders on insult. Any possible compassion flies right out the window when someone is attempting to convince us that these are two concepts with a common basis. How can they possibly be on the same plane? People who are gay have not experienced the systematic challenges that the black community faced for hundreds of years. How can one use the same argument when you self identify as gay, but one glance identifies ethnicity? At what point in time was it punitive to teach a gay person to read or have that same person recognized as 3/5th of a person and in fact, to be referred to as cattle and/or property and sold as such? How many families have been broken up and sold apart because of sexual identification?
I fully understand that there are some asshole folks out there that get their “fun” antagonizing people strictly due to sexual orientation, but generally, there is no risk of loss of life. Conversely, there was a time in history where this same “fun” ended the life of a black person and instilled enough fear to make entire families pack up and move under the cloak of darkness.
To my friends in the gay community that are trying to change minds and hearts – maybe think about changing your methods. Most people understand fair vs. unfair and can get behind it. To say that not having the right to marry somebody of the same sex is the same as the rights to equal and fair housing, education or the rights to be treated as a human being, will only continue to alienate the support that may be gained with a different argument.