Well, this weekend (or should I say since Wednesday) there has been the annual Southern Decadence in New Orleans where mostly white gay, bisexual, and transgenders have flocked. Whereas, since Thursday in Atlanta there is Atlanta Black Gay Pride this weekend as well. Both events are large well-known GLBTs pride festivities, but the kicker is that Southern Decadence is well-known for catering primarily for white gay, bisexual, and transgender people with controversial entertainers like Shirley Q. Liquor, who is known for their racially-degradating statements about black females. On the other hand, the Atlanta Black Gay Pride is more or less black-oriented with events and parties as such.
This brings me to the problems associated with the GLBT community when it comes to race. Most black GLBTs tend to feel unwelcomed at the mainstream events like Southern Decadence or the regional gay pride events in their cities because of the fact if you look at the imagery and things promoted it seems to be aimed towards primarily white GLBTs over any other group. I've heard the argument a number of times, "Yeah, but white gay and lesbians are more out about sexuality" or "white people make up the majority of the population". Yeah, the same is true about Canada, but you don't see them constantly pushing the idea of "white image" without any form of diversity of ethnicities including black, Latinos, or Asians. Just Google the 2009 San Francisco Pride week controversy with the "unofficial pride guide" book and its lack of diversity.
Well, I'll also scratch the surface for time purposes on how so many non-white GLBTs have faced rejection from gay clubs and events because of their skin color or ethnicity. Along with the sexual fetishization that occurs with so many white GLBTs on the idea of cultural tourism where they just want to be with someone sexual because of their ethnicity. Also lack of outreach of GLBT oriented organizations reaching out to GLBT of color when it comes to the STI crisis including HIV and AIDS. You rarely see predominately-white GLBT orgs go into poor neighborhoods advocating economic justice, but wants the support of the poor and people of color. Support is a two-way street and one must put in their work if they want support in return rather than expect support. Yeah, the GLBT community is a mess when it comes to interaction of races and ethnicities.
However, the point of this post is that as long as Southern Decadence wants to allow entertainers like Shirley Q. Liquor to perform degradating blacks then what do you expect? Many black GLBTs have this cautious disposition to enter a space where it is predominately white (outside of their work environment) because of the fact that there is this racialization notion that exists. It would be cool to one day see that, but there are some serious things that need to occur with both white and non-white GLBTS when it comes to race and ethnicity. You can't just judge and presume anything about an individual because of their phenotypical appearance rather get to know them and judge them for who they are. In meanwhile, Atlanta Black Gay Pride will continue to be its own separate thing where black GLBTs and their admirers will gather while the Southern Decadence will be where mostly white GLBTs and their admirers in New Orleans.
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