Sex & Gender
my face to face with racism in the lgbtq community
By Gender Bent
October 24, 2012
It’s that time of the year again, when all American citizens have a right to vote for the right person to lead the country. Apparently it is also that time again, where Blacks are being harassed by some racist white people, including in the LGBTQ community when LGBTQ issues are up for a vote. One of those issues is marriage equality. Recently, I was one of the people who was harassed by one of those white racist Gay male. The harassment spun from a comment I made on the Advocate.com’s website regarding Angela McCaskill, the African-American chief diversity officer for Gallaudet University, who signed Maryland’s antigay marriage petition. Gallaudet University is a university for the deaf and hard of hearing students. Mrs. McCaskill has been a supporter of the LGBTQ community and has the support of various LGBTQ leaders, which made me believe that she had made an honest mistake, as she later explained. She is on paid leave after the University was informed of her signing the petition. Here is the link if you’re interested in reading her story.
Words by Lunakiss
Unfortunately, I’m not able to post verbatim of the exchange between me and this harasser so I will sum up the conversation. I had to delete this person’s comment due to its offensive nature. Basically, I stated and felt that the university did her wrong, but she McCaskill needed to pay attention to other diverse groups’ human rights. I wanted the Gallaudet University to give her job back despite the fact she is on paid leave. Several commenters believed she should have been fired. Many of these commenters were White people. They respected my comments and I respected theirs. A lot of them seem to be unforgiving to accept other people’s mistakes as I have of McCaskill’s. A lot of commenters scuffed at my use of the word “mistake”. I accept those scolding comments since they are using freedom of speech, which are opinions and viewpoints. However, one male commenter decided to take this a step further by initiating a verbal exchange of hateful and harassing rhetoric. His tone was sarcastic, he even told me to go screw myself. He got so pissed and went on to tell me some crazy mess that I would still be a slave if such and such didn’t pass (I was so mad I skimmed his racist rhetoric and deleted it).
I had to calm myself down. I reported this abuse to Facebook and the Advocate. On social media sites such as the Advocate these types of direct racial insults towards African-Americans by white Gay people are common. This is more so when a social and civil right issue is the centerpiece of election time. I’ve seen this attitude before on other white Gay sites a few years ago even through today. The attitude and underlining sentiment is that Gay Black people do not have a right to opinions or viewpoints or that “we” owe the white Gay community something. Just because civil rights movement in the United States was birthed from African-American culture does not mean African-Americans owe any group anything. All it shows that African-Americans are people with their own views even if they include anti-same gender marriage, even if that person is a head of a Diversity Affairs office. White Gay people do not understand the complexity of McCaskill’s issue which is balancing professional views with her personal and religious views. One can be accepting of all people yet have different political and religious viewpoints. As African-American LGBTQ people we know this.
I am discussing this to expose the ugly truth about racism in the LGBTQ community. It gets extremely personal around election time on certain social LGBTQ media sites. In this isolated case, an African-American woman’s two views clashed and sparked a heated controversy. I happened to express my viewpoint and was targeted based on my ethnicity. A lot of white Gay people do not how to separate themselves over social issues. It’s like if you do not agree 100% of everything then you are their enemy. They tend to forget there is a vast diverse group of people who are part of the LGBTQ community. I am one of them. Some may think that person was a troll. He may have been but he is not a robot. He is a person. People do attack people online.
Social media sites and magazine who hosts online magazine websites need to be held accountable for such attacks. They need to allow people to express freedom of speech without being targeted by hate speech. Hate speech isn’t freedom of speech when others aren’t allowed to be free to express their own views peacefully. Peacefully means not targeting a person’s skin hue, ethnic, religion, sexual orientation or even a political affiliation as a means to express a view. You can have a disagreement without having it full of hateful rhetoric.
I want white LGBTQ people to acknowledge differences within the community and to accept those differences and not deny different LGBTQ people exist. I believe LGBTQ social issues are so sensitive they forget a lot of us are fighting for the same rights: that is basic human rights. The article in the Advocate only exposes the complexity of racial tension within the LGBTQ community. The only way to see all sides of it is to bring to surface of the problems that resides within in it. We can do this by start talking about it now.
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