Recently I stumbled across an article titled, “I’m Black, Queer and Concerned” on AfterEllen.com, a website dedicated to the representation of lesbian/bi women in popular culture. The author expresses that in theory, the LGBTQ community is a family and so too the Black Lives Matter movement is a family. Individually, these two families have similarities, but they are far from identical. So whether fighting for gay rights or black rights, there are many ways the LGBTQ and Black Lives Matter struggles intersect.
Society pressures us to be “something,” VOTE some way and when we are/do, we are dealt with accordingly. I do not think these totem poles are necessary, but I am all too aware they exist. Humanity. Race. Sexual Orientation. Religious Affiliation. Which do you identify with first? And why is it necessary for hierarchies within identity? Do you think there is a “gay” agenda? What do you consider the agenda of the BLM movement?
Families are complicated. Families struggle and families are dysfunctional. If you take anything from your answers to these questions posed above, it’s that there are no easy answers. Accountability, true acceptance and understanding are all threaded through this piece. Whether cis-straight, queer-identified or other, black or non-black, we need reform in our families (our Country) in order to fight for the freedoms every person deserves.
As a bisexual man who happens to be black, and worked for the Romney campaign in 2012, I am overlooked and discriminated against often. Even in the black and gay communities. So, friends, while we as the LGBTQ community thrive, and as the BLM movement gains power, there is still much work to be done. To repair the family, we must honor and repair other families within the struggle for civil, basic and human rights.
For Black LGBT folks, there are so many issues at stake, from racial profiling to college affordability, student loan debt and employment discrimination. Most recently the fight for marriage was won, and that is monumental. I can marry my boyfriend if I want. I’m not quite ready for that (lol) but it’s comforting to know I can. As far as the BLM movement, I believe far and above anything, we want accountability for those who police us, and to not be literally slaughtered at the hands of those whose job it is to “serve and protect.”
In this election, there were two things that finally led me to endorse Secretary Clinton: The first was doing my homework to understand all the allegations that were directed toward her and found most not based on fact and the remainder, as Mark Cuban put it, far from material. The tipping issues were Donald Trump’s regular incite of political violence and his role as a serial liar, rampant xenophobe, racist, misogynist and birther who has repeatedly pledged to ban all Muslims ― 1.6 billion members of an entire religion ― from entering the U.S.
Additionally, Trump vowed to appoint judges who will overturn the Supreme Court’s ruling on marriage equality, stated that he supports states’ rights to pass laws that give permission to discriminate against queer people, and he recently courted 400 of the most anti-queer leaders in America, so his promise to protect queer people (especially as the leader of the Republican Party which just passed “the most anti-LGBT platform in history”) is nothing but a pile of steaming elephant shit and anyone who tries to tell you otherwise ― including Trump himself ― is lying to you and themselves. That’s not even touching how he plans to rescue the black community from the vilals of the inner city.
We don’t have to be this divided, I hope we are not always this divided. Even though I’m black, queer, and voting for her, I hope we can learn to relate to each other as one family.
Mariel Kanene is Founder and Editor of TheArtOfPersptive.co and lead storyteller with a focus on music, startups and travel. His passion for culture was born in Kinshasa, Congo and bred in Washington, DC where he resides. By day, Mariel spends his days slowly trying to change the world—one meaningful interaction at a time. He loves reading factual-fiction, good podcasts, traveling, health and fitness, foreign languages and good conversations over good coffee and even better rum. He hates talking about himself in third person.Thanks for stopping by. Always appreciated. Find me on: Twitter | Instagram | Linkedin | Website.