Anonymous asked: In my experience with homophobic POC, they might hate you but you are still a part of the community. Everyone I grew up with had a cousin who was “funny” (that was the term for not-heterosexual). Or maybe a pair of aunts who lived together but no one discussed why. They still came to family dinner. There was NO open dialogue about it though. I asked my mother and her response was, “Folks don’t condone it but we gotta stay close cuz white people are crazy.” We understood where the power was.
things are never as simple as we make it seem. this is a conversation that is constantly being had. I even remember LGBT activsts who were of color expressing frustration that the campaigns that they worked on NEVER went to reach out and include communities of color. Even when the issue was constantly being brought up.
Like when prop-8 activists were organizing against the measure, very little attention was given to communities of color, all the money time and energy was spent educating and reaching out to everyone else. But then when the polls came back and it turned out that a significant amount of POC voted for it, everyone was calling to declare all POC hypocrites. When privilege is that institutional and invisible, it becomes “lets hold these communities that we deliberately held resources from as the poster child of bigotry!”
I really like all this about communities of color hanging on to queer people for the sake of community; I’ve seen the same thing happen plenty of times. Which is part of why I get extra mad when white queers wanna tell me their friends are all white because POC are so homophobic. It’s just fucking false.
BUT! I remember after Prop 8 passed, and white LGBT groups like HRC were blaming black people for voting for it. And it turned out later that 1) HRC never really organized in black areas, like you said above, and 2) the numbers were really flawed. Black people voted for Prop 8 in roughly the same numbers as other racial groups. The stronger correlation was not any one race voting for it, but active churchgoers voting for it; black people have higher rates of being active in a church. Amongst churchgoers, black people voted for it at lower rates.
The other thing that mainstream LGBT groups failed to mention is that even if all the black voters in California turned out to vote and they all voted in favor of Prop 8, there wouldn’t be enough of them to change the direction of the vote. Black people alone couldn’t account for anything near a victory for Prop 8—again assuming all black people voted for it, when actually 58% did.
California also has a huge black prison population, who can’t vote, and a huge black population on parole, who also can’t vote. So among black adults, 7.6% are disenfranchised based on felonies.
So in conclusion, everything is always complicated. But seeing the rhetoric around this as it happened and the completely faulty logic blaming black people was a turning point in how much I felt I could trust white LGBT groups and organizing, even when they swear we’re on the same side.