Friday, February 27, 2009

Friday in the City

Is 2009 on a roll or what? I should say so, since February is giving way to the ides of March and COP:24/7 is locked and loaded. However, as the last day of Black History Month bows out, this forum will wrap it all up with this posting. Ladies and Gents, let's get this over and done with...!!

Black is New Gay??: The article on "Is Black The New Gay," which was actually an Advocate cover feature last November, has sparked a rousing round of commentary from coast to coast. I've read so many viewpoints, thusly including the article from M.L. Tracy which took a direct bulls eye approach to the matter. There were so many points that I agree with and a few that I have to mull over. When I read the Advocate article, I needed to decompress and dissect exactly what the author was attempting to state. The premise of the article drove the point of how aligned or juxtaposed the gay rights and the civil rights movement have been seen. I've been acutely aware of the debate this "co-ownership" has raised over the years and it's boomerang to now. Especially in lieu of that Prop 8 mash up where many in the California gay community went "to the left" meanwhile, finger pointing and blaming African Americans for it's passage. I have dealt with the issue of race, racism, and interracial issues for most of my entire life and I can firmly state that Gay is not, I repeat, not the new black. Tracy cites many cases where this thought process is flawed and I concur. Over the years, I've witnessed so many incidents where the being "gay" meant one thing usually "white" but, being "black and gay" was realized differently and treated as much. While living in San Francisco in the early 80's I saw that "OZ" was ripe with racial indifference's, a mixed bag of possibilities and at a times a cold disdain. I remember while seeking employment at a Castro District clothing outlet called All American Boy, I was told that I didn't fit the mold of an "all American boy." This observation was from the Black manager who had surmised long ago that black was not the new gay. Living in Arkansas and traveling in the Mid-South has given me first hand knowledge as well. In a variety of scenarios I've learned about outright bigotry in bars with excessive ID policies to personal attacks on my character or preferences. My experiences are just too rich and vivid for this forum. Perhaps I should do a book as a outreach tool. Mr. Tracy's observations are illuminating on this issue and I hope that it will give many a chance to ponder this issue openly and honestly. The floor is open and we'll leave the lights on....

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