Doing My Part: Just Say No to Down-Low
Via Joe, I have to add to the viral here and link to No More Downlow TV. It's internet TV so I don't feel bad about doing that; no commercials, yo. I'll be spreading this around at other blogs with African-American writers and I hope you will too. DLism is a big problem in our communities of color, and it's time to change that.
I'm spoiled. I grew up in conditions that made my coming out relatively easy; liberal parents, accepting grandparents, rich queer friends, socially liberal environments. And most importantly, no church. That's what's killing the African-American gay population right now, megachurches run by bigots and hypocrites like Eddie Long. Far too many middle class African-Americans buy into that crap.
For all the queer community is focused right now on the rash of teen gay suicides and correctly blaming the bigots for those deaths, it also is not properly focused on the minorities within the minority, so to speak. Frankly, American communities of color are ~40 years behind white America in this way, and just now coming to terms with the fact that some of us are queer too. It's very complicated, especially in poor and working class communities of color. You know why; when the cops are busy rounding up and jailing 1/2 the het males, it's hard not to be angry that the ones they don't jail as often are queer, if you're a str8 single woman. Especially when some faith-based funded huckster at a pulpit is telling you every Sunday that all your problems are because of those gay guys. It's also scary to bigots that a lot of women of color are turning to each other, instead of endlessly pining away for an available man.
I recently had a conversation about this with my native South Side Chicago best buddy, and he informs me that yes, it's just as bad as I think it is in the "Black Church." Which is to say, queers are continually the scapegoats and targets of preacher ire. Well, I'm not afraid of that and I'm not afraid to say what I say here and elsewhere. Bigotry is just a big scam, in the end, a scam to raise money via instilling fear in easily led people. At the very least I can do this post, and put this meme into the Cloud, so hopefully a Black or Brown gay teen will find these links more easily in a google search. You're not alone, baby. It does get better. Hang in there and remember: it's totally possible to live without the church. Look at me! I insult "god" on a daily basis, and I haven't been struck by lightning yet. I also have a lot of hot, sexy lovers and a wonderful social life. You can too, never fear.
To my white queer friends I will say this: you know what your problem is. Let's not deny it, shall we? The ugly truth is that the American white queer community is almost as racist as the cracker community. So why don't you get busy and act like Joe, and undo some of that? "I don't do Chocolate" is the most bullshit and insulting crap you can say, and if I had a nickel for every time a white gay man or lesbian said it to me in white gay clubs, I'd be rich. Get over yourselves, already, and recognize that black gay youth are even more vulnerable than whites. If you care so much about gay teen suicide, care about all gay teens, and not just the ones who will someday be rich and famous TV producers and fashion designers. Don't make me go there with example; I'm the nigger lezzie who actually can speak about your racism from vast, deep experience in your communities. I'm that black queer person, and you know what I mean.