I’ve wished to jot down concerning the notion of the “Homosexual Agenda” for a really very long time. As rainbows proceed to go up on each group’s web site, the violence dealing with Black Queer individuals continues to rise at astounding charges. The burden is commonly positioned on the backs of Black Queer people to be entrance line troopers for a lot of who haven’t supported us in return. The intersection of our race, sexuality, and gender identification create a multilayered oppression that many people aren’t surviving.
There isn’t a “Homosexual Agenda” in opposition to the heterosexual neighborhood or some objective to make everybody Queer. To even say that’s an erasure of Black Queer people who reside on the intersection of race and sexuality. Our Queerness doesn’t negate our Blackness, nor make us much less inclined to racism or anti-Blackness confronted by our hetero brothers and sisters.
The 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots ought to be a celebration for us. However whereas the white Queer neighborhood prepares for a parade, the Black Queer neighborhood continues to mourn every loss that comes and goes so rapidly from the headlines. This has been a tricky 12 months for us. The Queer antagonism on a macro stage from whiteness because the White Home continues to trickle down into the neighborhood, making us susceptible to assaults and missing safety.
There’s an ask that always comes that we should be Black first— in any respect prices. It is a type of erasure that Black Queer individuals know all too properly. In a bit I wrote for BET, I defined how Stonewall—the riots that began the LGBTQ rights motion—is the truth is Black historical past. That as a result of our Blackness is commonly decreased due to our Queerness, now we have by no means absolutely accepted that second as ours. Stonewall was not only a battle for LGBTQ rights, however for civil rights of people who find themselves Black and Queer.
The second type of erasure happens with the disregard for the roles now we have performed traditionally in shaping Black tradition, thought, in addition to being a part of the motion for liberation. Bayard Rustin—a Black homosexual man—is now generally known as the architect for the March on Washington and Martin Luther King Jr’s right-hand man. Writers like James Baldwin, Audre Lorde, are nonetheless quoted recurrently for his or her politics which have helped form the minds of so a lot of our leaders. Even the latest Black Lives Matter motion was began by three Queer girls of colour.
Regardless of this historical past, there’s a narrative that exists as if WE are a brand new development. Black Queer individuals have all the time existed. We simply now occur to be in a spot the place now we have extra visibility and illustration—typically an issue for the hetero neighborhood who both consult with us because the emasculation of the male picture or take into account us genocide to our neighborhood, as if we don’t additionally procreate. Neither of these statements maintain any fact, nevertheless, ideas like that turn into actions—actions that always have lethal penalties or render us as disposable our bodies.
There have been no fewer than 10 Black transgender girls murdered this 12 months—typically occasions by heterosexual Black males. The our bodies of two Black homosexual males named Gemmel Moore and Timothy Dean have been discovered useless within the dwelling of a white homosexual man named Ed Buck, who hasn’t been held accountable. And most lately, we misplaced a 15 years outdated Black homosexual boy by the title of Nigel Shelby to a loss of life by suicide. Jonathan Hart was a 21 12 months outdated Black man killed by an armed guard at a Walgreens. Though the guard accused Hart of shoplifting, many say Hart was focused as a result of he was homosexual. There aren’t any main marches, or headlines, or rallies. No communal therapeutic and try to do higher. There’s simply ache we stock as extra names turn into hashtags and ignored by the neighborhood that has the facility to make a change.
Nevertheless it’s not only a neighborhood challenge, neither is the Black neighborhood extra homophobic than some other. The white neighborhood colonized our hatred for Queerness in an try to assimilate us—a situation we should battle every day to interrupt. We face hatred and racism from whiteness simply the identical, even in our “protected areas.” Yearly, there are experiences concerning the racism we face in white LGBTQ institutions.
The reality is, we’re drained and the one Homosexual Agenda is a Black Agenda—one which acknowledges us as equal homeowners of the tradition. We’re uninterested in main the revolution for individuals who will gladly take part in our oppression. Black Queer individuals have ALWAYS been Black first. It’s now time in our plight for you too keep in mind to place our Blackness first. There isn’t a Blackness with out Queerness, and there’s no liberation with out us included.
George M. Johnson has joined BET Digital as visitor editor for Delight Month. Look out for his weekly column and curation of editorials from queer Black writers this June. George is a author, activist and columnist for Afropunk. His debut YA memoir, “All Boys Aren’t Blue,” is ready to be launched April 28, 2020.