by Lavern Merriweather
One of the biggest issues President Barack Obama has had to deal with during his presidency has been the demand for marriage equality for the gay population in America. And I say ‘big’ because it’s such a hot button issue for many reasons., the main one being that many consider gay marriage to be an affront to what straight people believe is a ‘real’ union between two people. I’m not here to rehash that debate. What I am here to write about is why I don’t like how most white people who are gay have been framing the argument for gay rights.
Well honestly, I don’t like that many gay white people period, especially after hearing some of the things that they have been saying to defend their right to be legally married just like a traditional couple. I particularly hate it when non-black groups always try to compare their situation to black people, and then, get all huffy when a black person calls them on it. If you don’t like my response then don’t say such stupid, arrogant, selfish, thoughtless, insensitive, insulting things just to make your point.
Racism is not some game with a scorecard and chalkboard diagraming the best moves to win. It’s a very real problem that black people have been struggling with since we reached American shores. And unless you have walked a mile in my shoes, don’t tell me how I should feel when I say that mine are too tight while yours fit perfectly.
Even when they are being insulting, white gay people are still very self-centered when it comes to the fight for gay rights. I have had a number of internet spats with people, even some that are black, who say I should not bring up the fact that gay people have the luxury of nobody knowing just by looking at them that they are gay. Somebody even said to me that you can tell when a person is gay, and I call bullshit, because if I saw 30 people walk past me I couldn’t tell if one of them was gay or if they all were gay. It’s impossible to determine something like that just by looking at a person where as my skin color is an obvious distinction of my race.
A while back my sister and I were talking about this, and she complained that she was sick of the media saying how ‘brave’ Ellen DeGeneres was for coming out. My sister said that she’d bet if the Klan was at Ellen’s front door she wouldn’t be so damn brave then, and I wholeheartedly agree.
Another thing that pisses me off to no end is when white people who are gay flat out refuse to acknowledge their privilege. A white gay person can still catch a cab in 20 degree weather in any major city a shitload faster than I could ever hope to or can drive a brand new expensive looking car and not get stopped once, even if they are breaking the speed limit. Me? Not so much. Hell, not at all!
Recently there was a big brouhaha because the CEO of the Chick-Fil-A franchise said that he was firmly against supporting gay marriage and gay rights. So, of course we have the inevitable white, stupid, clueless, overprivileged liberal asshole commentary about how this is just like what black people have suffered. Oh really, dumbass? Please stop trying to preach this ridiculous pseudo solidarity with me, because you can’t order a fucking chicken sandwich. You haven’t got one clue as to what discrimination truly feels like, nor would you want to find out. Make no mistake those ‘just like the blacks’ gay white people and their supporters wouldn’t want to spend one DAY in the life of a black person or try actually putting that lame theory to the test. Spare me! Most of them love every minute of their privilege and ignorance the same way they love the old, rich, white male guard that has kept them in their higher social status.
Every time I hear white gay people or white female feminists bitch about the Ronald Reagans and George W’s of the world, I want to roll my eyes. Who do they think is keeping them on top of the totem pole? (I’ll give you one hint it ain’t the Japanese.) The truth is they already know that and obviously don’t give a rat’s ass much as they like to make it appear that they care about all gays regardless of race.
Well, if that’s the case then why is it that the face of the gay rights struggle is always a white one? And why is it that gay people’s representation is predominantly white if they are supposed to be so about including everybody? Bottom line, they are not, and not only that, but white gay folks are the most hypocritical, full-of-crap bullies on the planet. When there was legislation in California to ban gay marriage in that state called Prop 8 and it passed, you should have seen the rush to racism by many white gays, the very same people who along with their straight white allies sigh and cry endlessly about black folk’s homophobia and how the black church is trying to keep a gay man down. These people obviously have no qualms about being racist as they want to be, yet act like 4 year-olds if they think those big bad darkies are being mean to them. And to many of them, we are just that not friends, not compatriots, not brothers in the struggle. We’re just a convenient partner when needed and nothing more.
Speaking of Ellen, I thought it was very interesting that she invited actor and “Grey’s Anatomy” star T.K Knight on to whine about how co-star Isaiah Washington had allegedly called him the f-word. Remember, this is the same Ellen who once defended white rapper Eminem despite his blatantly hateful lyrics and disposition towards gay people. But I’m sure that in her little world it’s all just a big old coincidence and not done deliberately. And I’m sure when gay people who are white ignore standing up for any issue not involving them, that’s because they are just too busy.
I have a gut feeling that if homosexuality was only prevalent in communities of color, a lot of white people would be nowhere to be found. It must be because they want to be as invisible for issues pertaining to us as we are to them, unless it’s an issue they want our help with. When stellar comedian Richard Pryor performed at the Hollywood Bowl in 1977 as a request from his friend Lily Tomlin at a benefit for gay people he became so disgusted with their behavior that he called them to the carpet, and then pretended to ‘moon’ them. He later said that not only was the place lily white, but that the crowd there was very disrespectful to a mostly black dance troupe called The Rockers who were big at the time. That doesn’t at all surprise me, and I wasn’t even there. As Brotha has stated many times ‘whiteness is a hell of a drug’. Even to those who bemoan that they are just discriminated against as the people who they stomp on to get to the top of the privileged heap.