December 18, 2009

Encouraging Words 12/18/09: "LGBT Are Our Folk Too"

An essay on a blog that focuses on African-American issues took the rare step of embracing LGBT people of color.  From "theblackbottom" via Gay Agenda.

One of the many pressing concerns within our communities is the men and women who are gay, lesbian, or, perhaps, transgendered. Their struggle is ours too. I take the position that anyone who identifies themselves as African American, those who have the historic and sociological experience of dealing with our country’s pervasive racialized history and who have collectively struggled to advance an ethnic identity that finds value in democratic inclusion, anti-racism, and cultural Africanity of the American South and the urbanity of the big cities are black. It is with this understanding that I take the position that the struggles for civil rights for LBGT communities is important to the overall freedom struggles in which African American have been historically engaged and are currently engaged in.

Black LBGT folk are our fellow religious adherents, sisters, brothers, and friends. They are not some hideous pariah class of deviant folk. They are the people whom we are in contact with on daily basis. We often eschew their concerns out of fear and ignorance. This is often couched in a religious orthodoxy that very few of us in our black communities truly adhere to in other parts of our lives. What is wildly ironic is that religious orthodoxy becomes our trump card when discussion of the rights of LBGT citizens is a topic. What is even more puzzling is the selective use of religion that is put forward to deny the civil rights and humanity of those in our community whose sexual orientation we do not understand or agree with. What is more worrisome is that we make those in our community who are LBGT exotic specimens using religion, when all religious faith call us to unity as men and women.

Click here to read the rest of this essay

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