Friday, April 17, 2015

Are we Invisible?

One day in 2008 I walked into a club in the Montrose area only to receive the “why are you here?” stares. Not giving it a second mind, I proceeded to the bar to get a drink after a long day at work. To make a long story short, I waited a total of twenty minutes to be served by one of the six bartenders who did everything they could to keep from serving me. One could venture to say that I was crazy for even waiting so long for a drink; but I wanted to see for myself how bad relations were between black SGL-BT and the white LGBT community. Some consider my experience fictional, quite rare, and laughable which leads to the usual shrug of the shoulders.

The reality of prejudice within the gay community is constantly swept under a rug and has been given a status of a mythical unicorn. While that is true, there is another reality that we fail to address. A reality in which there are gays and lesbians that are transphobic, display effemiphobia and even display intra-racism. How can we possibly address white vs black prejudices & racism when these fractures within our own community go unaddressed? As a good friend put it, “come be a part of our community, welcome! (GLBT), be yourself, but you must be masculine, not too skinny, no fems and no uglies.” When my friend made this statement, he was really saying he hates that these demands to fit into these boxes exist.

This is one of the main reasons that we are invisible to each other within the gay community. Ask yourself how many trans-men and women do you have friendships with? How many of you have lesbian friends? How many of you have plus sized friends? I could go on and on with questions, however, I would like to get to my point. My point is that we must be all inclusive and remove all of the barriers and stop pretending that our counterparts are invisible! When we achieve true cohesion and community, only then can we address prejudices from the “mainstream” gays and the straight black community.

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