lgbt-black-rights

Gather around, dear black and brown faces, it’s time for a “Come to Jesus” meeting.

As a self-described liberal, I’ve come to terms with the fact that there are many that will never agree with my views on say abortion or marriage equality. But for the life of me, I’ve never understood the fascination with the sex lives of others. Regardless of where you fall on the political or religious spectrum, a clear separation between church and state ensures that (in theory at least) the will of one religious group does not infringe upon the rights of an entire nation. You can thank Thomas Jefferson for that.

Built on the notion that justice is blind, in truth our legal system is in need of an overhaul just as badly as the one that allows Congress to be rewarded for not doing its job. As hot button issues like gun control continue to dominate the media, the grip of the NRA has ensured that donations trump the will of the people.

Despite the flowery rhetoric that has followed the senseless tragedy in Orlando, many have questioned the sincerity of those that have previously fought against gay rights, including Anderson Cooper, who questioned the sincerity of condolences sent by Florida Attorney Pam Bondi saying, “I talked to a lot of gay and lesbian people here yesterday who are not fans of yours and said that they thought you were being a hypocrite, that you for years have fought – you’ve basically gone after gay people, said that in court that gay people simply by fighting for marriage equality were trying to do harm to the people of Florida.”

Others have been blatant on where they stand, as seen during an outburst from Pastor – yes Pastor – Roger Jimenez, who recently told his Sacramento congregation that Christians “shouldn’t be mouning the death of 50 sodomites.” He added, “I think that helps society. You know, I think Orlando, Fla., is a little safer tonight. The tragedy is that more of them didn’t die. The tragedy is –I’m kind of upset that he didn’t finish the job!”

The obstacles that minorities face in America are well documented, from income inequality to racial discrimination; but what about the obstacles that gay minorities face? Whether you believe that being gay is a “choice” or fully support their plight, we should at least be able to agree that you shouldn’t lose your life solely based on your sexual orientation. Queer black women helped coin the term Black Lives Matter and have been on the front lines protecting that very notion. It’s trans black women being routinely murdered by men for their mere existence. How can we, in good conscious, come together against issues like systematic racism, while ignoring our LGBT brothers and sisters that have been on the front lines since the beginning; assisting in the fight for equality for all.

Imagine the double edged sword of being targeted for not only your race, but your sexuality as well.

Who consistently gets battered and bruised and bullied about their sexuality? Black teenagers who not only have to fight the stigma of black culture but also that of the church. What sanctuaries do they find yet hide their identifies and shroud themselves out of fear? The church, sometimes. Some of the brightest minds, damaged and ridiculed solely because their sexual preference doesn’t align with the beliefs of another group of people.

To paraphrase Brad Pitt from 1999’s Fight Club, members of the LGBT community are part of the “people you depend on”. Especially those who check black as ethnicity in the LGBT community. They help make church better, give us new slang terms in regards to society, verbal taunts and boasts and participate in the overall culture of being black that can not be denied, no matter how unapologetic or loud or joyful or how it may rub you the wrong way. It doesn’t matter how “woke” you may be, the same bodies and people who willingly want to fight with you for equality demand their respect too.

My stance is firm, because if the Zombie Apocalypse breaks out today I don’t care if you’re gay, straight, black, white, Muslim, whatever. Can you shoot a crossbow? The last thing I’ll be concerned about is whose bed you climb into at night.

Photo via Mother Jones.

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