Sex & Gender

feature: musician/activist mykki blanco goes in on the gay establishment’s exclusion of gay black men

March 30, 2016

After Sony songwriter Jesse Saint John tweeted an observation about the inclusivity (or lack thereof) of POC within the public and private gay community, musician and activist Mykki Blanco fired off a series of tweets (and is sill going at it) under #GayMediaSoWhite about tokenism and white supremacy. Similar to the ways in which whiteness is seated comfortably at the top of the general social hierarchy (or matrix of oppression), so it is within minority and sub identity groups. For example, colorism in the black community operates on the standard that whiteness, or the appearance of close proximity to whiteness, creates value. In the gay and queer community, this notion is twisted into tokenism and all-out erasure (i.e. “Stonewall”). “The White Gay Establishment likes a “Southern Black Gay who don’t ask too many questions” and can “YASS GIRL” for them,” Blanco tweeted.

In response to Blanco sighting race as the reasons why queer POC are so underrepresented in the Gay Mainstream, OUT magazine said, in a now deleted tweet, “”Surely you haven’t forgotten that you’ve been profiled in the Out 100 (we wanted 2 again last but u could not make shoot).” This immediately prompted tweeters to point out the unbearable whiteness of Out’s cover model history and the fact that plenty of hetero white celebrities have graced these pages (and those of publications like The Advocate) much more frequently than gay men of color. Even when it’s about gay and queer identities, straight white men are more representative of the community than men like Blanco. “This is not a blame game of “It’s all the White Gays fault” nor is it the “Oppression Olympics” it is simply a reality, a reality People of Color, Lesbian Women & The Transgender, Genderqueer communities face…. lack of inclusion, lack of representation & lack of visibility,“ Blanco wrote on Facebook.

By Erin White*, AFROPUNK contributor

*Erin White is an Atlanta-based writer and AFROPUNK’s editorial and social media assistant. You can follow her on Tumblr or friend her on Facebook. Have a pitch or an inquiry? Shoot her an email at