Comments

  1. Kelvin says

    I wholeheartedly agree with Ben Jealous. Further, I believe that it’s critical for the LGBT community to embrace our multiculturalism We can’t accomplish anything anymore without it.

  2. mike128 says

    One thing we need to remember is that the black and LGBT communities are not separate. There are many people who are black AND LGBT. It’s not an us and them.

  3. Ron says

    Very well said, @Mike128! I am black, gay and proud of both! It really irks me when racists and homophobes attempt to pit us against each other as if black LGBT people don’t exist.

  4. Gay American says

    I always say LGBT people come from ALL walks of Life. color,backrounds, incomes…..seems tho – alot of people have this view of Gays as Rich/white Privilaged

  5. Sarah says

    I used to work for the NAACP and I can tell you that Ben Jealous is full of it. Gay, lesbian and bisexual employees were not well treated in the organization. In fact, branches rebeled against the national office trying to take a stance on LGBT issues and Mr. Jealous gave in to there homophobia.

  6. says

    I have never felt that Benjamin Todd Jealous was totally on board with LGBT rights. He’s not like Julian Bond at all. Seems to me like he’s not above stirring up some Black vs. Gay animus. He’s like Barack Obama, somebody you gotta watch.

  7. Madam Bomb says

    The racism WITHIN the gay community is ASTRONOMICAL. The real question here is when will mainstream LGBTQ groups get with the program and start diversifying their own organizations and reaching out into the AfAm, Asian and Latino communities. We need broader and more entrenched connections. Our communities are far too balkanized. We need to cooperate in each others movements and cultivate respect.

  8. Fenrox says

    @Madam Bomb, You are totally right.

    We need to deal with our problems before we ask another group to deal with theirs. But as people already said, The two groups have overlap that makes this easy.

  9. says

    Maybe it’s just the fatigue after keeping my righteous indignation going for the past 25 years, but honestly… I’m getting really tired of people telling me that my tribe needs to “do more outreach” in order to be successful in securing the equal civil and human rights that are guaranteed to me under the Constitution of this country. I deserve those things because I’m a human being and an American, not because I’ve been able to persuade a bunch of people to vote a certain way. I also don’t like Mr. Jealous’ generalization that black people will vote against equality just because the affected group came “late in the game with an expectation”. An expectation of what? A personal commitment to civil rights and equal justice under the law? So is he saying that we can’t count on the black community to make an informed and just decision in the voting booth unless some group spends months or years pandering to them? NAACP has never once lobbied me for anything, yet I still vote for equal rights and equal justice every single time I have the opportunity. Why can’t we expect the same from other groups who are purportedly committed to the same ideals?

  10. Dairyqueen says

    I am all for progress, but until the hip-hop and rap community and black churches stop demonizing and using antigay slurs & put downs nothing will change.

  11. Derrick from Philly says

    What Wanda Sykes and Patrick Ian Polk and other Black Gay folks were doing at that NAACP convention was a form of “outreach”. Somebody should’ve pointed that out to Mr Jealous. There’s no need to seek “outreach” from hostile quarters.

    Black people’s views on Gay marriage equality are pretty much the same as the White Americans they share a common religious background with: Southern Evangelicals. Black people’s roots are in Georgia, the Carolinas, Alabama, Missisippi, etc. same as White Evangelicals. Even Southerners who haven’t been to church since they put on their new Easter suit at age 7 still base many of their views on the Old Testament–a lot of hypocritical views.

    That poll that Andy posted last week showed that 60% of Blacks were against marriage equality while 71% of White Evangelicals were against. Yes, there’s work to do–but it aint just a Black thing.

    I was impressed with that 40% who were for equality. That tells me “It Gets Better.”

  12. TampaZeke says

    Sorry folks but Jealous is no friend of the GLBT community and those of you patting him on the back would do well to learn more about him.

    Julian Bond has always been, and continues to be, an amazing hero of the civil rights movementS, black and gay. Jealous will never hold a candle to Mr. Bonds legacy, character or understanding of justice.

  13. StillmarriedinCA says

    @Milkman-exactly. There is way to much racism in the gay community when there is more than zero. But you would be very unlikely to find many LGBTs who would vote to take away marriage rights from any minority…..or preach that minorities are less than equal. Wish the same could be said the other way around.

  14. Keith says

    I too agree with Ben Jealous. Well stated, and it’s time for us to hit the pavement in support of equality for everyone. . .not just for ourselves!

  15. brenda says

    I agree with Madam in this thread when she said, “The racism WITHIN the gay community is ASTRONOMICAL.”

    As a Korean-born lesbian person I see this racism acutely, especially directed at gay Asian guys.

    But at the end of the day, LGBT problems should be the concern of all “races” and ethnic people.

    I thought Ben Jealous’ answer to the man’s question was unnecessarily combative. He made the issue bigger than it is by not having a gracious TONE.

    And it MATTERS when a board member of a major black civil rights organization is homophobic.

    I wonder what it would take to kick the man out of the NAACP’s leadership?

  16. jason says

    The NAACP appears to be a homophobic organization. If anybody needs to fix the homophobia, it’s the NAACP itself. Jealous’s comments reek of deflection. He seems to be deflecting the homophobia issue.

  17. StillmarriedinCA says

    @Keith- “it’s time for us to hit the pavement in support of equality for everyone. . .not just for ourselves!

    The thing is, there are already laws that protect racial minorities. And gays and lesbians were there to help fight for those rights. Those laws go a long way to combat inequality. You can’t erase bigotry in everyone’s mind, but as long as the law treats you as equal, it makes it much much easier. We don’t have those same protections under the law. So we need to hit the pavement for ourselves. Changing attitudes within the LGBT community is important but what is most crucial right now is getting our own rights recognized. And by our own, I mean ALL LGBT citizens. That includes racial minorities who are LGBT. People forget that when we fight for our equal rights it automatically includes every person of every color who is gay, lesbian, transgender or bisexual. So we are advancing the cause for racial minorities when we “hit the pavement…. just for ourselves.”

  18. Cognitive Dissonance says

    Miss Stuffed Animal said:

    “Seems to me like he’s not above stirring up some Black vs. Gay animus.”

    So says the so-called “blended gender” who wears wigs and makeup, refers to hirself as an inanimate asexual object and attacks women with hir gender queer patriarchy!

    Seems to me like YOU’RE not above stirring up some gay vs transgender animus. Stop bashing trans sisters such as Ashley Love and Autumn Sandeen! Stop attempting erasure of our own self identified trans narratives! Stop with your obscene and sexist attacks of Taylor, Pam and Autumn!

    Let go of the hate speech! Lay down the master’s tools. Reveal your own queer plushie/furry transgender identity. And while you’re at it, put some new material in your act, sugah.

  19. Marty says

    Sorry, but combative or not (and I didn’t feel he was combative, just firm) Jealous made EXCELLENT points. White gays love to go on ad nauseum about black homophobia but say little about white racism in the gay community. Say what you want, but if you know a community is racist against black people, you are deluding yourself to think that black people would give two craps about gay rights. Also, this whole thing about prop 8 and black people is a LIE first told by white racist Dan Savage (It’s Get Better ….but only if you’re white).

    Even Julian Bond took the speaker to task along with Jealous when asked what the NAACP has done. The “gay community” needs to get off it’s collective asses and DO something for once.

  20. Max says

    “The racism WITHIN the gay community is ASTRONOMICAL.”

    No Madam Bomb, it is the homophobia within (part of) the black community that is “astronomical.” Black men beat up gay men, not the other way around. Black men (primarily Jamaicans) sing about killing “batty boys,” not the other way around.

    Much love to those in the black community who are trying to change this. I’m not sure that includes the NAACP.

  21. sugarrhill says

    Max seems to conveniently forget that his white brethren are the ones not only actively denying your rights, but they also bash too.

  22. CHRIS DACHOCOLATEBEARCUB says

    And gays and lesbians were there to help fight for those rights.

    Posted by: StillmarriedinCA | Aug 1, 2011 6:51:04 PM

    UMMM StillmarriedinCA Can YOU tell me who are these gays and Lesbians who fought for Blacks rights? And PLEASE no damn statments from Coretta,or Bayard. I want to know from YOU the names. And also are you telling me that these people were Caucasian Gays at a time if that if it were known they were gay back then they would be found in a river dead???

    Because if they do REALLY exist one thing is perfectly clear. Some of you Caucasian gays of today are certainly NOT THEM. You’re no friend to The African American Community let alone Black gays. You all use those statements when justifiably appropriate to do so. So you need to cut the Bull you know damn well you could care less about Black people.

    And one thing you said is correct “Changing attitudes within the LGBT community is important” Yes because us African American Gays are sick of the racist attitudes of some of you Caucasian Gays! White folks says homophobic statements and some of you respond by talking about their religion. But when it’s an African American. We have to hear how the entire race is like this and this is why we have alarming rates of HIV, etc like you care???? BECAUSE YOU DON’T and you know you don’t!

    The white church has villified our community worse than anybody.All of these Exodus Int’l and Miss Marcus Bachmann ex-gay clinics but you seem to think that Donnie McClurkin is worse than them????? Why because of his skin color???

    Gurl make it stop now! And as for Miss Max she was born from a racist family she needs counseling!

  23. Pete n SFO says

    Sorry, buddy… your org has failed us. You can state your support of GLBT community, but I lived through Prop 8 in CA & your declaration of support was muddied at best.

    During an election when black ppl would have been turning out in greater numbers, it was difficult to find the NAACP position on our equality.

    And, as others have rightfully pointed out, I would never not support equality for black people b/c ‘the black community’ has not reached out to me. Get real, the homophobia is in your community. Deal with it, you are supposed to be a leader.

  24. Chitown Kev says

    To paraphase a very wise man, many of you white gays need to pluck the planks out of your own racist eyes, first.

    Seriously.

    I have nothing more to add.

  25. GregV says

    “The racism WITHIN the gay community is ASTRONOMICAL.“

    I think this comment is misleading and essentially baseless.
    As long as ANY community in the world has more than ZERO people who are racist, sexist or homophobic, there are still too many.
    But it would be hard to name any category of people in the entire world that is less racist than the gay community as a whole.
    If the whole world were only as homophobic as the gay community is “racist,“ then I would be jumping for joy because all of the gay community`s major legal and cultural battles for equality and acceptance would be essentially over.

  26. GregV says

    Mr. Jealous makes some valid points, but it`s not accurate to state that the percentage of California`s 2008 voters who were black was smaller than the percentage by which Prop 8 passed.
    Prop 8 passed by 4 points among all voters.
    Exit polls suggest that GLB-indentified people were 5% of that state`s voters and blacks made up 10%.
    BOTH of those categories are a larger number than the percentage by which the measure passed.
    Those polls also suggest that non-GLB voters voted for the measure by 8 percentage points, and that non-black voters voted against it by 1 percentage point.
    As for Dan Savage, he never said anything overtly racist. He expressed disappointment in the Prop 8 results in his post-Prop 8 column, and also spoke in strong terms against any form of racism.

  27. Hollywood, CA says

    That room should have been filled… maybe if they had offered a happy hour, the gays would have come. If we can’t show up to discuss thsi improtant topic in a city that has a plethora of black homosexuals, then how can we expect other people to take an interest?

  28. Marty says

    “But it would be hard to name any category of people in the entire world that is less racist than the gay community as a whole”

    I also find this statement misleading and baseless.

    Funny, how white gays always claim the gay community is not racist, yet every gay of color I know freely and readily acknowledges that it is…

    funny

    and yes, I can only imagine GreggV is white.

  29. DiMi says

    How could Towelroad write this without pointing out that Julian Bond – black legendary Civil Rights Activist and NAACP leader – is gay and a gay rights advocate? (And so is Wanda Sykes.) I expect the writers on this site to know Julian Bond, but this post is written as if Julian Bond didn’t exist. Is the purpose to perpetuate the idea that all black people are homophobes? Why didn’t you report on what Julian Bond said? This is an insult to the work he has done for decades.

    I’m a straight black woman and LGBT Rights supporter. ALL discrimination is wrong. Many white members of the LGBT have been doing a lot of finger pointing at the black community for homophobia, without looking at racism in their own community. Black people of all sexualities have stayed pretty quiet about the vicious racism that is going on in the gay community. Maybe we should start naming it so that we have a more balanced dialogue.

    As some folks have said, you can be Black AND gay at the same time, folks. It is offensive for everybody to act like the black community and the gay community are two different communities with no intersection or overlap. There are plenty of folks who are members of both.

    Black gay activists are doing AMAZING work in both communities, and they deserve a lot more credit from everybody. We can start by acknowledging Julian Bond’s incredible legacy.

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