Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Gayness Equals Whiteness?

I had been meaning to write a post on something I read over at Keith Boykin's blog months ago. His post seemed almost like he was countering me directly--I'm not bigheaded enough to think that he was--but I'm sure a lot of blacks have made similar points as I have regarding blacks vs gays.

I can't remember the exact post, but it was something about how a lot of blacks aren't interested in helping or siding with gays because the majority of gays are white or (white) gays seem more privileged than blacks, and they don't give a f*ck about blacks...something like that. And I understand this. Then Boykin goes on to make a good point--what about the black gays who need help?

Here's the (unfortunate) thing:

Nobody thinks about these people. Black gays are utterly left out, both by hetero blacks and homo whites/Asians/Latinos. Hetero blacks would like to believe one of two things about these people: they don't exist, or they exist but only because they have been entirely too influenced by white people. See, gayness is another "white thing." Black people would never be gay, at least not on their own, not if it weren't for white people bringing that "shit" here. If you're black and gay, then, by default, you couldn't possibly be "black enough." You've left the "black community."

White gays keep this idea up by mainly depicting white gays or depicting black gays only hanging out with white people (see "The L Word"). We had "Noah's Arc" and we (I think) now have "Don't Go." But "Don't Go" is not just about blacks, and "Noah's Arc" was hopelessly shallow. The only thing gay about the show was the characters...oh, and that one time Noah got gay-bashed...which led to absolutely nothing but his falling in bed with his ex. I mean, change, like, 3 or 4 of the dudes to females, and you'd have a show that is absolutely no different than any other show out there, i.e. hetero shows.

So, you see--white people will be white people, regardless of sexual orientation. But black people? Since when do black people stick together? You think we're going to stick together just because a queer brotha or sista needs it? We, apparently, won't even stick together when a hetero brotha or sista needs it. Sometimes not even when a blood brotha or sista needs it.

I like to think of myself as one of the queer black casualties in all of this, too, but I'm merely being my realistic self. The white gays are self-centered as hell, to the point that I--as a gay person--don't even really care whether or not they are victorious in anything. Yes, it's an us vs them thing, to me--not even gays are united. As far as other black gays...okay, I suppose I could find, like, a "black gays" group or something and try to help "one of my own"...but, wait...how am I going to help a queer black? I haven't been the beneficiary of that kind of assistance, so it's not like I know the first thing about how to help a queer black person deal with, say, telling their homophobic black parents that they are gay or how to find a queer mate. Plus, I find that "newbie" gays usually want to speak to someone who is more experienced than I am. On the socioeconomic and legal tip, I'm there. Housing discrimination--or no housing at all--AIDS/HIV, and so on. Of course, white gays would have to get the same assistance from me. I mean, I would start a legal practice or organization that only attempted to reach out to blacks and/or minorities who are gay...but, with as much as white gays love to complain, I suspect I would find a discrimination suit on my hands.

I would come out with a decent black GLBT webshow if I could, because I think, despite my lack of personal knowledge, that I could do a better job than all the GLBT shows that have ever come across the TV screen. Hmmm, but writing's more my speed, so I've seriously thought about writing a book.

A good question is why is gayness whiteness? Perhaps it's because, being a black person, you wouldn't choose one more burden that you didn't have to deal with. This, of course, is the idea that homosexuality is a choice, which I do think a lot of heterosexual blacks believe. Along those lines, I think there's a fear of "converting" other blacks. Maybe there's a bit of "the black community doesn't need another 'issue' to deal with--we have too many already." However, this doesn't seem to stop blacks from pointing out and talking (and blogging) incessantly about "black issues" that aren't really black issues, such as the media's portrayal of black women (which I consider a sex/gender issue since other races of women--particularly white women--look ridiculous in the media, as well).

And what about stereotypes of whites? A lot of people aren't aware, but blacks stereotype the hell out of white people. One of those stereotypes relates to white people being too sexual, to the point of being willing to do things sexually that are crazy. So for a black person to do those things, too...they're trying to be white or are acting like white people. This might actually be the answer. Especially since, seemingly, every time you turn around, there's some white female taking a dare to kiss another white female...or, hell, there doesn't even have to be a dare--she'll kiss another white female. Black women? Eh, not so much. I think it's also more common to hear hetero white women comment on the hotness of another woman and/or say she'll do another woman than to hear this coming out of a straight black chick's mouth.

Bottom line, white people are more sexual, in a lot of black people's minds. I've had black guys talk about the things white women will do sexually that black women won't do when explaining why they like or prefer white women. I remember the "Flavor of Love: Charm School" reunion show on which one of the white contestants, Brooke, rather correctly pointed out that black women tend to be more conservative sexually than white women. Comedian Mo'Nique had expelled Brooke from Charm School because she acted like a "whore" at the school prom, and Brooke fervently disagreed that she acted like a whore. At the reunion, she essentially was explaining that white women and black women think differently when it comes to proper sexual behavior...and I definitely agree with that.

I had some more examples, but I forgot--anyways, you should get the point. My thing is, we've been influenced by whites in so many other negative ways as blacks. Why is sexual orientation, for those who seriously think that's where homosexuality in blacks comes from, the breaking point?