An Online Magazine in the Reality-Based Community.

Visibility counts

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Head over to Keith Boykin's pad for Black LGBT Bloggers Flex Their Muscles (he kindly mentions the Blend there). He cites the acknowledgment of overall growing influence of blogs in affecting change when it comes to political activism, and how that has extended to LGBT blogs.
In recent years, LGBT bloggers like Andrew Sullivan, Doug Ireland, Michael Petrelis and Michael Rogers have had a major impact on public discourse, both nationally and internationally. Rogers, for example, has used his Web site,, to out closeted public officials who threaten the gay community. U.S. Congressman Edward Schrock was forced out of office because of Rogers’s disclosure, and Sen. Rick Santorum’s aide, Robert Traynham, a black gay man, became another target. (Perhaps that explains why Santorum signed onto a recent gay-friendly anti-discrimination letter, before he retracted his position later.)
That's an impressive first wave, and now we're seeing the emergence of LGBT black bloggers in several high-profile and effective campaigns that represent another wave of blogosphere influence. One example - the campaign by black LGBT bloggers and allies to make LIFEbeat, the music industry’s AIDS charity, realize that the selection of homophobes Beenie Man and TOK to perform at an AIDS benefit concert was ill-advised (considering the artists call for the murder of gays and lesbians) -- it swiftly led to its cancellation and admission by the organization that there are better ways to reach out to educate segments of the community about HIV/AIDS that are also supportive of the black gay community.
Bloggers have also helped to spark a broader new activism and political awareness in the black LGBT community. Bestselling novelist E. Lynn Harris focused his most recent book on the decidedly political issue of homophobia in the black church. A group in Chicago led a protest of anti-gay rapper DMX when he came to town. And residents of Chicago called a local black radio station to complain after the station refused to allow singer Jody Watley to talk about a performance at the Gay Games in July.
Why does this visibility matter? One big reason is that homophobia in the black community, in particular, goes under-reported and almost completely ignored in the white LGBT blogosphere. It's sad, but true and reflects the problem we often chat here about at the Blend. It has less to do with racism and more to do with the discomfort of predominantly white-run organizations and politicians in dealing with race overall.

They fear calling out bigotry in the black community -- as if tolerating intolerance in any community should be the status quo. They can call out a Falwell or Dobson on homophobia, but not a Willie Wilson, a Creflo Dollar, or Keith Butler in Michigan because they don't want the race card tossed out -- it's easier to let black LGBT citizens twist in the wind and fend for themselves when attacked from within their own community than to deal with discomfort about race.

Black and gay bloggers are, obviously, stepping up to the plate in light of the dearth of public support in the dominant gay/straight culture to address black homobigotry. It's good to see the visibility, and sad that there isn't more blogging in the dominant culture on the many rich bigoted black pastor targets, for instance.

The black community, in many ways, is still in a state of denial about the existence of black LGBT individuals. "Gay," to them, is still largely considered part of white culture only. And it is, in many ways, if you consider the MSM image of what "gay" looks like. It gives these black bigots a pass to remain ignorant, and well, if no one is calling them out on it, why should they confront their hypocrisy?.

Out and visible black LGBT bloggers taking stands makes it impossible for them to get a free pass. We've got to start somewhere. Now who will join us?

Race is a third rail topic in the blogosphere, as I've said many times before. We can endlessly comment on gay issues without a thought, but when it comes to race, clamming up has always been the trend, though. I do hope that here on the Blend you have found it a safe and fair space to discuss the topic, because the goal of civil equality knows no color. We all have to work together, ask the "dumb" questions on race, and get it all out on the table to move forward. The real enemies are the culture warriors who love nothing more than to see us at each others' throats while they slide into elective office and try to remove all of our rights.


What do you think is going on right now in the Patricia Todd dustup in Alabama? It's an ugly confrontation with the intersection of race and sexual orientation that is ignoring fairness and logic in favor of tired political race games. Why must an election be in jeopardy of being overturned because the candidate that won isn't the right color (or orientation)? It's a perfect example of why the Right loves a mess like this. Why look -- as the groups who should be allies working together to fight the wingnuts are in a sad battle against each other -- the Freepi are in heaven.

Actual Freeper Quotes™

Poverty and homosexual agenda pimps scratching each others eyes out. Just a "normal" day in the modern American democrat party. Although it might be unfair to categorize Gaynell Hendricks in the al sharpton/jesse jackson vein, but given todays democrats, he probably is with the sharpton/jesse jackson poverty pimp wing.

If this keeps up, I'm going to run out of popcorn.

An unintended consequence of the liberal multiculti's balkanizing into identity groups? I just love it when moonbats self destruct!

Last Thursday, Gaynell Hendricks held a press conference in front of the Jefferson County Courthouse where her supporters in her plain sight accused white people of stealing the election for Todd. The modern American democrat party, it's not the issues that count, it's the color of your skin or sexual proclivities, that matter.

Cynthia McKinney has some time on her hands now. I wonder which candidate she would support.....

Wait till the Hispanics get political power in the Democrat Party - socialism, Catholic, anti gay and look down blacks for not being as hardworking as they are. You will need a factory of popcorn to see gay, black, hispanic fighting.

...this is why we should ALWAYS try to put forth candidates even in hard-to-reach districts. A Black Republican could take advantage of this situation (and in AL, the legislative terms are 4 years rather than the usual 2).

The GOP should present candidates and fund them, because it is right. The returns may be a long time happening, or never happen, but I don't care. It is a matter of sending out the message that ever voter matters to a party, and they wish to engage in a civil conversation. It is almost a moral issue to me.

I mean, this particular race could be a gold-mine opportunity for us. The one group of people more anti-gay than your average religious Conservative are Blacks. Having a White lesbian as the standard-bearer in a Black district IF we had a Black Republican candidate could yield us a pick-up opportunity. It'll still be hard, but not impossible.

"Todd, who defeated Gaynell Hendricks, a black candidate in a runoff election last month goes before a Democratic Party subcommittee tomorrow (Tuesday) to defend her 59-vote runoff win in House District 54."

If she won the runoff how can a party defeat the will of the people?

"Having a White lesbian as the standard-bearer in a Black district IF we had a Black Republican candidate could yield us a pick-up opportunity. It'll still be hard, but not impossible."
This is The Base. We all have a vested interest in battling bigotry together, no matter where it exists, for this reason alone.

* New Black Gay Ads: "I Am Gay" run in NYC to educate on HIV/AIDS. It launches today.