ESPN's LZ Granderson Comments That Gay Isn't The New Black

Further reading is at Holy Bullies and Headless Monsters: A. McEwen’s The black community is phony and hypocritical when it comes to lgbt issues.


Weighing in perhaps a little late on the subject (in comparison to when The Advocate commentary entitled Gay Is the New Black? was published last November, and Tyra Banks’ response to that assertion last December), ESPN The Magazine and writer/columnist LZ Granderson weighs in on the assertion that Gay Is The New Black by asserting himself that Gay Is Not The New Black. In the middle of his piece, he states:

Despite the catchiness of the slogan, gay is not the new black.

Black is still black.

And if any group should know this, it’s the gay community.

He also states:

While those who were at Stonewall talk about the fear of being arrested by police, 40 years ago, blacks talked about the fear of dying at the hands of police and not having their bodies found or murder investigated. The 13th Amendment was signed in 1865, and it wasn’t until 1948 that President Harry S Truman desegregated the military. That’s more than an 80-year gap.

Not to be flip, but Miley Cyrus is older than Bill Clinton’s “don’t ask, don’t tell.” That doesn’t mean that the safety of gay people should be trivialized or that Obama should not be held accountable for the promises he made on the campaign trail. But to call this month’s first-ever White House reception for GLBT leaders “too little too late” is akin to a petulant child throwing a tantrum because he wants to eat his dessert before dinner. This is one of the main reasons why so many blacks bristle at the comparison of the two movements — everybody wants to sing the blues, nobody wants to live them.

This lack of perspective is only going to alienate a black community that is still very proud of Obama and is hypersensitive about any criticism of him, especially given he’s been in office barely six months.

He concludes:

If blacks are less accepting of gays than other racial groups — and that is certainly debatable — then the parade of gay people calling Obama a “disappointment” on television is counterproductive in gaining acceptance, to say the least. And the fact that the loudest critics are mostly white doesn’t help matters either.

Hearing that race matters in the gay community may not be comforting to hear, but that doesn’t make it any less true.

So perhaps in this comparison between African-Americans and gays, the comparison comes down to which minority group has suffered longer, and that gays — in being described “akin to a petulant child throwing a tantrum” — are perceived to be whiners for suffering less long and less hard.

I don’t believe that it’s tangental that this week, @TLDEF and @Andy_Marra (of GLAAD) are covering the LaTeisha Green Hate Crime Murder Trial. LaTeisha was an African-American trans woman — her alleged killer is being accused of a hate crime because it’s alleged he perceived LaTeisha as gay. (Andy, as I’m writing this piece, is reporting that the jury is in deliberations.)

I also don’t believe that it’s tangental that at Camp Pendleton a few weeks ago, August Provost — an African-American and a member of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community — was killed in what many of us perceive as a hate crime.

I guess my point is that African-American people in the LGBT community die in hate crimes, and from what I’ve seen on the Transgender Remembering Our Dead list from 2008, it’s pretty clear that African-American trans people are recorded as being killed in larger real numbers than that of their caucasian trans counterparts.

I guess what matters to me more is that when it even just comes to down hate alone, there is significant community overlap between African-Americans and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) victims of these crimes.

I guess what also matters to me is that LGBT non-profit organizations tend to put too caucasian a face to their spokespeople when there is as much overlap between communities as there is.

So, I don’t know how “black is the new gay”/”black is not the new gay” comparisons matter in a bigger picture — unless the goal is to create or fester rancor between these communities. I don’t see how pointing out who has suffered longer for civil rights, or which community’s hate crime deaths are more statistically or fundamentally significant –either historically or now — are useful in the pursuit equal treatment for all under the law. I don’t believe the real point is about who suffers or suffered more, but instead about ending as much suffering as possible.

This week, I’m thinking about two African-American LGBT people who are dead in apparent hate crime murders. In the bigger picture — at least in my mind — it’s that there is significant overlap between the African-American and LGBT communities, and that suffering and death by members of either community should probably very much be of concern to both communities…if for no other reason than sometimes those who are killed in apparent hate crime murders are members of both communities.



* Rev. Irene Monroe: ‘Gay is NOT the new black

* Pam’s House Blend tags: Race; Racism

* Transgender: “The New Gay”

* Transgender Really Is The Next “Culture War” Battleground Against LGBT Civil Rights Legislation

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