by Guest Contributor Monica Roberts, originally published at TransGriot
One of the memes that has irritated many Black people gay, transgender and straight since the Prop 8 debacle has been the ‘Black people are more homophobic’ one.
You’re kidding, right?
Every time I’m watching TV I see predominately white ministers such as James Dobson, other white fundamentalists, white dominated anti equality orgs and peeps like Tony Perkins leading the anti gay charge. Fred Phelps checks the ‘white’ box on his census forms, and the megachurches bankrolling these rights rollback or anti same gender marriage amendments have membership rolls of predominately European ancestry.
I’m not saying we don’t have ‘phobes in our midst. The peeps who are selling out to the white fundies like the Hi Impact leadership Coalition come immediately to mind along with the homophobic pronouncements of people like Rev. Gregory Daniels, Donnie McClurkin, and Rev. Bernice King.
But it was the Mormon church who provided the cash to fund and provided the foot soldiers for the Yes On 8 Forces of Intolerance. Last time I checked, the Mormon church ain’t exactly chock full of members who look like me.
I find it laughable the Blacks are ‘more homophobic’ charge when the number one blog for almost a year in the Afrosphere’s BBR’s (Black Blog Rankings) has been the GLBT oriented Pam’s House Blend. I and my transsisters have received much love, support, hands of friendship and sisterhood from womanists, but the predominately white dominated rad fem ranks have shown me and my transsisters nothing but hostile vitriolic hatred for three decades.
Even our civil rights icons such as Rep. John Lewis, Julian Bond and the late Coretta Scott King have consistently stated that GLBT rights are not only civil tights but human rights.
And if Black people are so homophobic as was scurrilously charged in California based on a flawed exit poll in Los Angeles County, explain why Prop 8 was defeated in Alameda County, which has a 13% Black population?
The major problem I have with the ‘Black people are more homophobic’ meme is that the peeps that keep spouting it are not only overwhelmingly white gays such as Dan Savage and others, but it deliberately ignores the fact there are Black SGL people as well.
If you want to eventually win the fight for same gender marriage, you can’t continue to write off large chunks of the electorate because you have this false belief that our community is ‘more homophobic’, won’t be receptive to your message and won’t even try to be in my community to win it. You have to find a message that resonates with us just like you do any other community, and you’ll need the help of the Black SGL/transgender community and our allies to do that. Failure to engage my community means failure to win at the ballot box.
So just as the white community has not only ‘phobes but supporters and allies, so do we. It’s past time you stop demonizing us with this disrespectful discredited meme and start humbly asking what can you do to win our support.